Last Saturday, I received an email from my mother-in-law notifying me that Sunday, July 17 was National Ice Cream Day. Yep, a whole day dedicated to the consumption of my all-time favorite dessert. Sounds pretty great, right? She wanted to know what kind of ice cream I was planning to make for the occasion, but to be honest, we’ve been so busy lately I hadn’t even thought about ice-cream-making much since the chocolate chip extravaganza last month (I know, I feel sorry for my taste buds, too). But who am I to argue with a national holiday? Luckily, it’s never too late to jump back on the bandwagon.
I’ve cut back on my excessive coffee-drinking in a major way this year, but I still have a place (a very large place) in my heart for all things coffee related. I figure if I can’t pound back cup after cup of deliciously strong coffee in the morning anymore (yes, I know that’s bad for me — but I looooove it), why not allow myself a frozen cup of Joe as a nighttime treat? Coffee and ice cream = the best of both worlds. Sounded like a winning combo to me.
I’m convinced that homemade-coffee-ice-cream success heavily relies on the coffee with which you choose to make it. It definitely helps to use something strong (that’s why instant espresso powder is a good choice), but as far as blend and flavor go, it’s really up to you. Jared picked out Starbucks’ Italian blend Via, and it worked really well. The flavor was spot on, though the four packs we used might seem a little strong for the coffee-wary ice-cream tasters. If you’re looking for something with a bit less bite, try three packs instead of four or a lighter roast altogether.
• 3 cups heavy cream
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3 to 4 packs of Starbucks Via (or about 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder of another strong instant coffee)
• 2 ounces semisweet baker’s chocolate, shaved
In a large bowl, mix together cream, milk, sugar and vanilla. Keep stirring until sugar is pretty much dissolved.
In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee in ¼ cup hot water, then add it to the ice cream base. Stir until well combined.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to machine’s instructions. Add the chocolate shavings during the last two minutes of mixing. Serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight container.
Are any other java fans out there getting their coffee fix frozen style this summer? And speaking of coffee, what are your favorite unexpected uses for it? I’ve heard of using it in dry rubs or spaghetti sauces but haven’t ventured that way yet. Any great recipes to share? Let’s hear it!