Friday and Saturday were warm enough that I was inspired to try my hand at another flavor of ice cream. Coffee is Phineas' favorite, so that was next on my list. Also, it would serve my other goal of perfecting a recipe for an ice cream base that I could use for a variety of flavors.
The starting point for this recipe is the vanilla ice cream I made over Labor Day. If you recall, I thought it wasn't creamy enough. So this time I increased the amount of cream and reduced the amount of milk. Then it was on to the coffee. After surveying a bunch of recipes, there seems to be 3 different ways to add coffee flavor: using instant coffee or espresso, using strong brewed coffee, or steeping whole coffee beans in the ice cream base. I decided to go for the bean approach since steeping seemed to work very well for the vanilla ice cream.
Coffee Ice Cream
So, I basically brought my milk, cream, sugar and salt to barely a simmer, added in the coffee beans, vanilla and cognac, popped on the lid, turned off the heat and let the whole thing steep for 90 minutes. I strained out the beans and vanilla before refrigerating overnight and then churning for 15 minutes.1 vanilla bean1 1/2 cups milk1 1/2 cup heavy cream1/2 cup sugar3/8 teaspoon kosher salt1 tablespoon Cognac1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
On Saturday evening, Phin and I tested the ice cream. The bean method made for a very richly coffee flavored ice cream. Yum! And the creaminess was much improved from the vanilla version. It didn't occur to me until late on Saturday night, as I tossed and turned in bed, unable to sleep, that this was also a very highly caffeinated ice cream. Doh! Next time, I'll use decaf beans!