Coffee Ice Cream

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Of course, ice cream photographs badly … but I’m sure you get the idea!

A seriously underused cookbook in my collection is The Silver Spoon. This is the Italian cooking bible and covers absolutely everything. If you want to cook it and it’s vaguely Italian … you should find it in The Silver Spoon.

We were having some friends to lunch and, due to a hectic work/life schedule, we needed to choose a menu that could be prepared as much in advance as possible. As it was going to be warm, and our main course was going to be substantial, ice cream sounded like the perfect dessert.

I’m not sure how we decided on coffee ice cream but … decision made The Silver Spoon offered up a simple recipe so I borrowed the ice cream maker from mum and set about it.

Since my family discovered ice cream makers, almost 20 years ago, I haven’t bought commercial ice cream so I can’t be too sure on this point … but I’m willing to bet that a coffee ice cream from the shop will have a lot more than 6 ingredients.

The recipe says this will serve 6 people – in our case, it managed a lot more serves than 6, but in case you have voracious ice cream eaters to hand, let me tell you that it makes about 1L of the finished product.

Begin by scalding* 200mL milk (full fat, of course!) with the seeds that have been scraped from a vanilla pod. Or, if you have a pod left over from last time, just use the pod. Don’t be using vanilla extract/essence or the vanilla bean paste stuff. This is one time where you have to use the real deal.

Allow the milk to cool.

Beat 2 whole eggs with 150g of caster sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy and has expanded. You’re best off doing this with a stand mixer with the whisking attachment – it’ll be quicker and your arm won’t get tired! While beating, add 175mL of cooled extra strong coffee, followed by 200mL of cream (make sure you use pure cream, not the ‘thickened’ stuff) and finally the vanilla milk.

Ensure that everything is well combined and then pour into an ice cream maker and follow the machine’s instructions.

This ice cream doesn’t set super hard which is great because there is no stuffing around when you want to eat some. You can, literally, eat it straight from the container, straight from the freezer (er, we only did that when finishing it off … I promise!). I was a little unsure as to whether or not it was too sweet but everyone else assured me it was fine as it was. And indeed, there is a lovely balance between the bitterness of the coffee, the creaminess of the ice cream and the sweetness.

There are many different ways to put together an ice cream and what impressed me most about this recipe was the speed at which it can be made (I scalded the milk the morning and made the ice cream in the afternoon) and the fact that you’re not making a traditional custard, so you don’t have to worry about anything splitting. If you’ve ever thought about making your own ice cream and been scared for whatever reason: try this recipe!

* Bring the milk to the boil and remove from the heat immediately.

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