The secret to good homemade coffee ice cream
By Michael Mealling
Its late. I have a headache and I'm in the mood for something light.
A few years ago I picked up a Cuisinart small batch ice cream maker and set about making anything but vanilla. I've loved coffee ice cream since I was 10 (mixed with rum raisin). All of the recipes I found involved using either instant coffee (bleck!) or normally brewed coffee. The problem with brewed coffee is the water produces a very crunchy and icy texture instead of something creamy.
After a few experiments I found the secret: brew the coffee with cream, not water. Pick a very good coffee with as bold a flavor as possible. While there is some debate about whether you really need to scald your cream (some think its a hold over from before pasteurization), scalding your cream is a great way to infuse flavors into your ice cream.
For the Cuisinart ice cream maker a typical recipe will call for about three cups of cream and 1 cup whole milk. Use 1 heaping tablespoon of ground coffee (use the grind for drip coffee) per cup of milk/cream and bring them to a bare boil (180 degrees). Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.
While the mixture is steeping take one aluminum bowl and fill it half full with ice. Take a moderately sized piece of cheesecloth and fold it in half twice (i.e. you'll have a piece that is four layers thick). Place the folded cheesecloth so it covers the mouth of a medium sized strainer or colander and place the strainer over a second aluminum bowl. Now slowly pour the coffee/milk mixture onto the cheesecloth so only the cream filters through the cheesecloth into the second aluminum bowl. As it slows you can pick up the cloth and squeeze the cream but be careful because it will be hot. But do not squeeze to much or your cream will start to become bitter. If your recipe uses egg yolks go ahead and temper the yolks and mix them into the now awesome cream. Put the second bowl down into the ice in the first and chill.
Follow the instructions in your ice cream maker and enjoy.
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