Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Amaretto Espresso Ice Cream with Almonds & Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

When life gives you heavy cream and LOTS of chocolate covered espresso beans (thanks to one of my 'besties', Erinn!), you make special occasion ice-cream!

I get sentimental about coffee ice-cream because it reminds me of the ice-cream that my aunt made for us when we spent the summer in Bran, Romania when I was 9 years old. I had never had homemade ice-cream up until then... and to this day, I have tried to replicate Cami's ice-cream. My last experiment resulted in scrambled eggs....happy to say this time was not the same! One taste, and the memories come flooding--I remember holding my new baby cousin (Alex), the fragrant fruit trees in the front yard, the animals my grandparents let me help feed (they had chickens & lambs), the smell of the cheese my grandmother was smoking in the back yard (yes, she smoked her own cheese!), and the wildflowers I picked along the river bank that crossed their property. Hope that you guys have happy memories that flood you when you eat ice-cream too!

I came up with this recipe because the heat is in the triple digits, I didn't want to go to the store for ice cream, and my husband deserved a treat after working to clean out our office. This was SO. GOOD. If you are a coffee and nut lover, I think you will enjoy this! IF you want a milder, regular coffee flavor--omit the espresso/coffee powder (but leave the strong brewed coffee in).

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup super strongly brewed coffee or espresso
  • 2 Tbsp. coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. pure almond extract (depending on how strong you like your almond flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 or 2 small pinches salt
  • 6 large egg yolks (reserve whites for another use)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) chocolate covered espresso beans, roughly chopped (I ran mine through the coffee grinder until they were chopped into smallish chunks--but you don't have to)
  • ~1/3 cup sliced almonds

In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, coffee, sugar, extracts and salt until the mixture is steaming hot and the sugar has melted into the cream mixture. You will notice tiny bubbles around the edge of the saucepan. Turn off the heat at this point.

Meanwhile, in another bigger saucepan (about medium sized) whisk the egg yolks until their texture is sort of 'fluffy' in a large bowl. (I like to use a silicone coated whisk because a metal one scratches the bottom of my enamel coated pots. I don't mind using a metal whisk on metal pot....maybe I should?)

Begin pouring a little bit of the hot cream into the whisked eggs---slowly, a tiny bit at a time (WHILE CONTINUALLY WHISKING), so as to 'temper' the eggs. When the mixture is well combined, place the pan over medium-low heat and continue to heat the custard-like mixutre while stirring. (Yes, you can step away just a little bit to get the mail or whatever else you have to do, but hurry back). When the custard coats the back of a spoon, it is to be removed from the heat. This is what I mean:

Trust me on this one: Pour the hot custard through a fine sieve and into a bowl. See what I have below? Little remnants that did not make the cut. (Continually whisking helps eliminate 'curds')

Refrigerate the cream mixture at least two hours, and even overnight. After chilling, pour the custard mixture into the ice-cream maker (with a FROZEN BOWL). When the ice cream is about half-way through the churning process, add the chopped espresso beans and almonds.

Scoop the ice cream into a container--it will be soft. You can either enjoy it now in a softer texture, or freeze for at least 4 hours. I like it to freeze a bit longer before I eat it--but it's all about preference.

Scoop it out and enjoy the creamy, very crunchy, adult-like treat!

If you like 'mudpie' flavor, you absolutely have to try this!

My husband said it tasted like Haagen Dazs.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum!! Can you send some of that my way, pretty please??!? I love coffee flavored ice cream.