Black coffee ice cream. This creamy, easy homemade ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, made with no eggs, is a caffeine fix, coffee fix, and ice cream fix all in one, whether you take it in a bowl or on a cone or straight off the spoon. Seriously, it’s so damn good. We’re talking stick-a-spoon-in-it-and-swoon good.
To make this ice cream, I steep freshly ground beans directly into cream. It’s a very different process than most coffee ice creams, which are made by steeping coffee in water and then adding that to cream and milk. When you do this, you get a very different experience. The flavoring of the coffee itself adheres to the water, but the fat-soluble scents—the ones that give coffee its rich and earthy aroma—have nowhere to go.
But take those coffee grounds and steep them in cream, and you can lock all that scent into butterfat. And that’s exactly what I do: I literally take all of that scent off the ground coffee to make this ice cream. That’s why my black coffee ice cream tastes exactly the way coffee smells.–Jeni Britton Bauer
CAN YOU MAKE ICE CREAM WITHOUT EGGS?
Yes, you absolutely can. And yes…it’ll be just as good, if not better than something made with a French custard base. Jeni Britton Bauer has perfected her sweet cream ice cream base and it lends itself to all kinds of flavoring—although it’s truly superb even on its own. For her ice cream base, her notable additions are cornstarch, corn syrup, and cream cheese. Cornstarch helps to thicken the base, as expected. We advise you not to skip out on the corn syrup or sub in granulated sugar because the corn syrup makes it remarkably smooth and aids in keeping it from becoming granular. And now, onto the cream cheese. It might seem questionable to say the least but think of all the qualities it has—smoothness, a bit of body, and a little tanginess. The small addition of cream cheese makes a remarkable difference and we urge you to give it a try.
Black Coffee Ice Cream
- Ice-cream maker
- 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 granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans coarsely ground
- In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. Forget about it for a little while.
- In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Forget about it, too.
- 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 it steep for 5 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: Much depends on the quality of your coffee. Freshness, too. Trust us when we say freshly ground will make ALL the difference.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions 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.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is one of the best coffee ice creams I've ever tasted. There is a rich, natural flavor of coffee that I haven't experienced with most other coffee ice creams.
All of the timing specified in the recipe worked perfectly. Like all freshly-made ice creams, this ice cream was creamy and soft when it came out of the machine, and then it set up quite firmly after a few hours in the refrigerator. The idea to put the warm mixture into a resealable plastic bag and submerge it in an ice bath is brilliant and a great time saver. Normally, ice cream directions will tell you to chill the mixture in the refrigerator for six or more hours before spinning it in the machine.
This Ice Cream is UNBELIEVABLE! Jeni’s ice creams use 3 tablespoons softened, full fat cream cheese. This, I am certain, is THE secret to the CREAMIEST ice cream EVER! This, for me is, hands down, the tastiest coffee concoction that has ever passed my lips.
Originally published March 16, 2012