Espresso Chip Ice Cream

When I was home last weekend, I stole my mom’s ice cream maker and brought it back to Indy with me. I actually had it for a year or two when I was in college, but she insisted she wanted it back after I graduated. I’m really surprised it stayed in her possession as long as it did, though.

Growing up, my mother was a pretty major ice cream fan. On vacation (and sometimes even in real life), we were allowed to have it for dinner. Sometimes more than once in a week. I guess ice cream for five is cheaper than actual dinner for five. I highly doubt that was the motivation behind the decision, though.

But as much as my mom is ice cream obsessed, she’s not one to make it at home. We own an ice cream maker entirely because my grandma gifted us with it when I was young, and it was rarely, if ever, actually used.

So when I discovered food blogs, I also discovered the innumerable ice cream recipes that fill the Internet. I proceeded to have a major freak out at my computer. Then I took the ice cream maker (for the first time) and made strawberry, French vanilla, and at least four batches of electric green mint chocolate chip ice cream for my roommates and friends.

See, I’m a girl who realllly loves her ice cream. Like, you guys…I really really really love it. When it comes to things I literally CANNOT keep in my apartment, ice cream tops the list. It disappears. Very very quickly.

One flavor I’ve recently gotten into is coffee. I went to San Francisco last year and had an espresso chip cone as I was walking around the city. It was so insanely fabulous, and I’ve been looking for it ever since. Unfortunately, the only coffee ice cream I can find in stores is sans chocolate chips and is usually one of the premium brands and therefore fairly expensive.

For some reason, I had that coffee ice cream on my mind yesterday, and I knew I needed to make it happen. Immediately.

Enter this recipe. I adapted it, very basically. I don’t keep agave syrup on hand so I subbed honey, and I used 2% milk. I also only had medium roast coffee beans, but since I’m actually not a coffee drinker (gasp, I know!), I don’t think I minded the milder flavor the medium beans offered over the dark roast.

Oh, and I added the chocolate. That can never be a bad thing. This recipe is good. Majorly good. It is thick and creamy and oh so easy to make. It’s adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, a book I definitely plan on investing in very soon. It relies on a cornstarch slurry, rather than eggs, to thicken the ice cream. Try this before we run out of summer!

Espresso Chip Ice Cream

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup ground medium roast coffee beans (I used a preground Dunkin Donuts variety and it worked just fine)
  • 4.5 ounces dark chocolate

1. Fill a very large bowl with ice and water. Place in fridge as you prepare the ice cream base.

2. In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry.

3. Add the cream, sugar, honey, and remaining milk to a large saucepan and bring to a soft boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes. (Be careful about walking away from this step! I must have had my heat a little too high, because it very quickly boiled over on me.)

4. Remove from the heat, add the ground coffee, and let steep for 5 minutes.

5. As the milk mixture steeps, combine the softened cream cheese and salt in a large bowl.

6. Pour milk mixture through a cheesecloth set over a fine mesh strainer to remove the coffee grounds. (At first I just used a coffee filter–it’s purpose in life is to strain coffee, right?? But it was taking absolutely forever to filter, so then I tried using a fine mesh strainer, but my coffee grounds were too small. Best to stick to the cheesecloth, I think.)

7. Return the milk mixture to the pot and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Allow to return to a boil over medium heat until thickened, about 3 minutes.

8. Once thickened, strain the mixture once more, this time into the bowl with the cream cheese and salt. Whisk to combine.

9. Pour the ice cream base into a gallon zipper bag, seal, and set in the ice bath to chill, about 30 minutes. (I actually ran cold water in the sink and let it run over the sealed plastic bag before I placed it in my ice bath. I only had so much ice and didn’t want it to melt too fast!)

10. As it’s chilling, chop your chocolate as finely as you would like.

11. Once the mixture is very cold, churn in the ice cream maker for about 15 minutes. Once it’s starting to get thick, add the chopped chocolate and let freeze for an additional 5 minutes. (This may take more or less time, depending on your particular ice cream maker. 20 minutes of freezing was perfect for my machine.)

12. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, place wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the ice cream’s surface, and freeze until hard. Enjoy!!

As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but have another bowlful. So good.

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One thought on “Espresso Chip Ice Cream

  1. this looks sooo delish!!! i’m with your mom, i love love ice cream, eat it every day, but the first thing i gave away when cleaning out my cabinets, was my ice cream maker. can’t do it!!! but you’re making me want to…. 🙂

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