My favourite ice cream in the whole world is coffee. When other kids wanted chocolate, I asked for Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. It smells beautiful and its warm cappuccino taupe colour still makes me feel all warm inside even as my mouth freezes as I eat it. When I saw Pastry Studio’s Turkish version, I was inspired to try and recreate my childhood favourite. I changed the recipe a lot to make it my own. Ice cream making from scratch with the custard method is time consuming but I promise you, well worth it.
In a medium sized saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 3/4 cup of skim milk, 3/4 cup of light cream, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of whole coffee beans (I used decaf Irish Cream coffee beans). Warm slowly and gently until the sugar has dissolved, do not boil. Take off the heat, cover and let the mixture infuse for an hour.
I also made one serving of decaf espresso which I let cool. If you do not have a way to make espresso you could add 1 tbsp of espresso powder later with the vanilla and Baileys. Strain steeped coffee brew into a new and clean saucepan and make sure to use a spoon the push out any liquid hiding amongst the beans. Once again, warm gently.
You want to separate four egg yolks from the whites which is easiest to do when the eggs are cold. That egg yolk is not a monster-sized one like it appears, I just have very small hands. I am saving the whites for a raspberry pavlova! Whisk the four egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly add the warm coffee mixture, whisking the entire time to bring the egg yolks’ temperature up without scrambling them.
Once completely incorporated, put mixture back into the saucepan and on medium heat. At this point you are going to want to put on the radio or your favourite CD because you are going to be stuck stirring with a wooden spoon for a while. Keep stirring and it will thicken slowly. When it can coat the back of the spoon and stay separated after you run your finger down the back, it is done.
Sieve the custard into a clean bowl and add the espresso, 1 tbsp of Baileys (or Frangelico, Kahlua or no alcohol at all, your choice) and 1 tsp of good quality vanilla. I used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste. To hasten the cooling process, I put the bowl on top of another bowl filled with ice water for a few minutes. Then I put it in the fridge until the next day, I was too tired to do anymore!
You absolutely have to make sure your ice cream vessel is frozen solid. In the summer I just keep it in my freezer all the time so it is always ready to make a frozen treat. You turn it out, slowly pour in the custard and let it go until it is moaning and complaining that this churning process is now too hard. Put it in a plastic container and freeze. I personally love to eat the ice cream when it is all nice and soft right out of the ice cream maker.
This takes me right back to being a kid! On my birthday to this day, if I can I pick up Häagen-Dazs’ coffee ice cream. I usually only allow myself to indulge once a year. Now I can make it whenever I want, it is that close in flavour! This must be my third attempt at trying to copycat their recipe and I am done.
Considering the coffee and cream alone cost me $6, not to mention all the work and dishes involved (I think I used every bowl I have and I have a lot of bowls!), I will not be making this recipe again for a while but I did it! I made it! Finally!