Monday, August 1, 2011

Coffee Toffee Ice Cream

After we ate all the large bits of toffee at a movie night, we were left with toffee crumbles. Delicious delicious toffee crumbles. And since one of my absolute favorite Ben and Jerry's flavors is coffee heath bar crunch, I decided to make my own. And I didn't like any of the coffee ice cream recipes I was finding online, so I made one up. I don't make up ice cream terribly often, but it worked out beautifully.

Before I left for work, I made cold brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee is my favorite way to do coffee, it is designed to be drunk cold, so you don't have to chill for iced coffee, and it doesn't get bitter. Magic, I think. It takes a while to sit, I usually let it steep overnight, but my 8 hour work day amonts to the same thing.

I decided, basically, to replace the milk that goes in most ice cream recipes with coffee. So I heated it up, while beating eggs and sugar, and then I slowly poured the hot coffee into the eggs, beating the whole time. As one does for all custard things. (I seem to be on a custard kick lately, with ice cream and lemon curd.) Return it to the heat, and cook, stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the eggs from scrambling. It won't quite coat the back of the spoon like it would if there were milk, but it comes close.

The other magic is the strainer. I love my strainer. It helps keep any scrambled egg bits you have out of the ice cream. I strained directly into a pitcher, pushing custard through the eggs. And then add cream.

After a delicious ice cream disaster over the weekend, I was feeling exceptionally paranoid about the ice cream freezing properly, so I actually prepared this a full day in advance of sticking it in the ice cream maker. I let it come to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator. A coworker told me a tip for checking on the freezer bowl for your ice cream maker: if you shake it and hear no liquid, it's okay to go, otherwise, stick it back in the freezer. And stick it in the back of the freezer, not the front, where all the warm air comes.

Mix the ice cream as your ice cream maker instructs. I love my ice cream maker. When it's frozen, pour it in a container with half the add ins. Pour on the other half, and mix up. Freeze again until ready to eat. It is delicious.

Cold Brewed Coffee

1/3 c medium ground coffee
1 1/2 c water

Mix together, cover. Steep 8-12 hours. Strain once, quickly, and discard most of the large grounds. Strain a second time through a coffee filter (or a cheese cloth, if you are feeling environmental. I use a coffee filter.) If you are drinking this, it's generally recommended to add some more water. (This is how I make iced coffee in the morning.)

Coffee Toffee Ice Cream
1 c strong coffee (one batch of the above cold brewed coffee turns out perfectly)
4 eggs
3/4 c white sugar
2 c heavy cream
any leftover toffee or other add ins (malted milk balls would also be delicious)

Heat the coffee until it starts to steam. While the coffee is heating, beat the eggs and sugar. Slowly pour the hot coffee into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return to heat. Cook on medium until it coats the back of the heat-proof rubber spatula.

Strain into pitcher and mix in heavy cream. Chill overnight.

Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Put half of the mix ins at the bottom of the container you are moving the ice cream to, pour ice cream in, and add the rest of the mix ins. Mix all together and freeze until eating.