I can’t count the number of people who’ve said, “I am not a coffee drinker, but I love the way it smells.” There’s good reason for this. Our noses detect volatile compounds in the oils of fresh-roasted coffee; when you steep coffee in water, it can taste bitter, and you lose some of the aromatic oils. For coffee ice cream that tastes as good as coffee smells, we grind just-roasted coffee and add it to warm cream, not water, to steep. The aroma of just-roasted coffee is sealed into the cream and then released into your nose as the cream melts on your tongue.
If you can, buy coffee beans from a local roaster. The flavor is markedly more pronounced when your coffee is super fresh. We have long purchased our coffee from Stauf’s Coffee Roasters in Columbus.–Jeni Britton Bauer
LC Ice Cream Fix Note
There’s a reason folks in New York state go gaga over Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. They’re good. Damn good. We’re talking stick-a-spoon-in-it-and-swoon good. An exacting attention to technique and innovative tactics makes them so mind-bendingly good, witnessed by this recipe for black coffee ice cream. It’s a caffeine fix, coffee fix, and ice cream fix all in one, whether you take it in a bowl or on a cone.
Special Equipment: Ice cream maker
Black Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes, not including freezing | Makes 1 quart
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans, coarsely ground
- 1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. Forget about it for a little while.
- 2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a bowl until smooth. Forget about it, too.
- 3. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart or larger saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the coffee, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- 4. Strain the coffee mixture through a sieve lined with a layer of cheesecloth, squeezing the coffee grounds in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid from them as possible. Discard the grounds and return the coffee mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the reserved slurry as you bring it to a boil. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- 5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the reserved cream cheese mixture until smooth. Let cool slightly, then pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice to the bowl as necessary, until the ice cream base mixture is uniformly cold, about 30 minutes.
- 6. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface of the ice cream, and seal with an airtight lid. Tuck it in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours, before serving.
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Black Coffee Ice Cream Recipe © 2011 Jeni Britton Bauer. Photo © 2011 Stacy Newgent. All rights reserved.