Sunday, July 19, 2009

For what ails you...

I can think of very few problems in life that aren't helped by a bowl of coffee ice cream. There's just something about the robust flavor of coffee paired with the creamy cold texture of ice cream that's oh so comforting! I really feel that I'm somewhat of an expert on this matter given the past month of my life- Bobtail's Cappuccino Crunch frozen yogurt has been an especially good friend during these sad times.

Over this past weekend, Mike and I packed up our little apartment in Evanston to move into my Dad's old house. We're going to venture into the unchartered land of home improvement with my sister, and new roommate, Emily to bring that house up to date. It was a busy weekend of packing and unpacking, that's for sure, and certainly bittersweet. We were a little sad to leave our apartment and trepidatious as to what DIY challenges we'll face. However, Dad's house has a fantastically large kitchen with all granite countertops and Emily happens to be an excellent cook. It's definitely a trade off and I'm looking forward to the fun we'll have in that kitchen.

Emily and I are very like-minded, so within minutes of her finding Dad's Cuisinart ice cream maker, she uttered the perfect words given our hectic weekend of moving- coffee ice cream! So that is how we spent our evening, making the most delicious coffee ice cream that is sure to ease even the most stressful of days. The rich texture is balanced nicely by the fantastic coffee flavor and chopped chocolate. This is a small batch recipe because we were working with a small ice cream machine. If you have a larger one, you should definitely double the recipe. It just seems like the right thing to do! If you don't have an ice cream maker, David Lebovitz has some great steps on his website that you can follow. When making any kind of ice cream, it is best to have all of your equipment clean and to have your ingredients measured and ready ahead of time. It makes things so much easier when preparing your ice cream.
Emily's Cafe Mocha Ice Cream
Ingredients:
2 cups half and half
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbs. instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or even better- chocolate extract!)
4 egg yolks
2 to 3 ounces good quality chocolate, finely chopped
Directions:
-Make sure all of your ice cream maker components are clean and ready to go and that the freezer bowl is...frozen. Brilliant advice, I know!
-Put a medium saucepan of water on the heat to simmer.
-Heat the half and half, the sugar, and the coffee granules in another medium saucepan until sugar and coffee are dissolved and milk is scalding.
-While the milk is heating, whip the egg yolks until light and fluffy in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
-Continue whisking while SLOWLY streaming in the hot half and half mixture, being careful not to let the eggs scramble.
-Place the mixing bowl over the pan of simmering water and cook, while stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to overcook the mixture or you will end up with scrambled eggs!
-Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
-Strain the custard mixture into the medium mixing bowl.
-Gently stir the mixture until cold.-Prepare an ice bath by filling a large mixing bowl halfway with ice and setting a medium mixing bowl on top of it.
If you have more patience than us, you can let the mixture cool to room temperature and then chill it in the fridge overnight.
-Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
-Transfer to a chilled container, fold in chopped chocolate, and freeze overnight or until firm.

No comments: