Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Coffee Toffee Crunch Ice Cream

So after my mom came and spent four days helping me unpack my kitchen, she left behind her extra ice cream attachment for the kitchen aid. Woot woot. I can't tell you how excited I was to make ice cream with it. I've made two ingredient ice cream before and it's turned out excellent but it's not quite the same as churned ice cream.

The ice cream I made is based on a recipe by Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. If you're from Ohio you've probably heard of Jeni's. If you've ever visited Columbus where Jeni's is based, you've probably visited the shop. If your fortunate enough to call yourself a Buckeye, you've probably eaten at Jeni's more than you care to admit, but that's okay. Jeni's makes gourmet ice cream; flavors as basic (but in no way ordinary) as chocolate or vanilla, to as gourmet as sweet corn and raspberry, tres leches, and chamomile Chardonnay, just to name a few.  So a Jeni's recipe was an obvious way to start out my ice cream making expedition. I took some cues from the Ben and Jerry's cook book and concocted this amazing dessert.

The ice cream most definitely tastes of like coffee, fresh brewed and full of flavor. The Heath bar changes from its crunchy texture into something glorious and chewy and soft.  It's not a change that happens overnight though, and I honestly finished all of my ice cream before that happened. The reason it will (eventually) change in texture is because Heath bars are hygroscopic - meaning that it takes up moisture and retains it, which changes the original texture.

The recipe
Yields a little more than 1 quart.

4 1/2 ounces Heath bar, chopped into 1/2"-1" pieces (I bought minis and chopped them in half)
2 cups whole milk, divided
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup of freshly ground course dark roast coffee beans (I milled a small bag of beans right at the grocery store in the coffee aisle and used them same day)


1. Freeze your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. For my Kitchen Aid ice cream maker, I froze the canister overnight.

2. Chop the Heath bar, put in a small bowl, and place in freezer. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk with the corn starch. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese and the salt, set aside. In a large bowl, make an ice bath and set aside.

3. In a large sauce pan, whisk together to combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and instant espresso powder. Bring to a rolling boil, and let boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in coffee grounds, and let steep for 5 minutes.

4. Strain the coffee from the cream by lining a wire mesh sieve with two layers of cheese cloth. Squeeze cheese cloth to extract as much cream as possible, discard grounds. Rinse out the pot so that there are no grounds left and return the cream to the saucepan.

5. Place the saucepan on medium high heat and whisk in the corn starch slurry. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute - the mixture should be thickened.  Then whisk the hot cream over the cream cheese.

6. Transfer cream to a gallon sized ziplock bag, seal, and place in the ice bath to cool, about 30 minutes. Add more ice as necessary. When the mixture is cold, assemble the ice cream maker and attach to the kitchenaid. Turn the mixer onto stir, and slowly add the cream mixture to the bowl. Let stir and churn for about 20 minutes during which time the ice cream will begin to thicken and look like soft soft-serve. Add the Heath pieces and mix for another 5-10 minutes.

7. Transfer the ice cream to an air tight container, press parchment or plastic wrap over the surface, and freeze for several hours or overnight.

After all the effort I put into making the ice cream, I began to wonder if I even saved any money doing it myself. I mean, I love that there are no weird ingredients in it with improuncable names, but I also like convenience. A quick breakdown indicated that this batch of ice cream (around 2 pints) cost about $6ish to make, which is way cheaper than a pint of Jeni's from the store ($9/pint).  Hooray for savings and for delicious ice cream!

Recipe adapted from the Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream book by Jeni Britton Bauer (page 162-163).

Input taken from Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (page 24 and 33).

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