Let’s not mention the little fact that it’s been, uh, exactly three weeks and two days since my last post, okay? Sorry guys! First I had that broken lens situation, and then I came home (!!!!!), and all of that adds up to no blog posts for you. (See here and here if you’re unfamiliar with how this has looked in the past.)
I’ll try to make up for it by sharing [what I think is some of] the best coffee ice cream ever.
The recipe is from where else but Bi-Rite Creamery? They make it so good. The coffee flavor is deep and pronounced, and the almond toffee pieces throughout are delightful. Far from a break-your-teeth sort of toffee, this stuff just crumbles into the loveliest texture when you bite into it. It’s also über addicting. Be sure to measure and separate what you’ll need for the ice cream before you take even one taste. It’s kind of hard to stop “tasting” it after that first piece.
Full disclosure… I didn’t actually mix the toffee in to the batch you see photographed here. My family has mixed views on the acceptableness of ice cream mix-ins, so to avoid conflict I left it out and sprinkled the toffee over my scoops. It achieves the same affect without upsetting anyone. But I definitely recommend mixing it in if you have no problems with that. And if you’re looking for a plain coffee ice cream, well, skip the toffee altogether and you have yourself a winner.
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
¾ cups 2% milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup (¾ ounce) finely ground coffee beans
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, ground coffee, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the coffee to steep in the cream and milk for about 10 minutes. For a stronger coffee taste, steep longer.
While the coffee is steeping, place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
Place the saucepan back over medium heat until the mixture is hot again. Scoop ½ cup of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, dribbling it in slowly and whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Repeat with another ½ cup of the cream.
Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for about 2-3 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of the spatula and hold a defined line when you run your finger through it.
Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a clean bowl set in an ice-bath. Stir occasionally until cooled, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the almond toffee. Pour the ice cream into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic, and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. (Sometimes when I need the ice cream to freeze faster, I like to put it in a 9×9-inch cake pan and then into the freezer. The thinner layer freezes much faster.)
recipe adapted from sweet cream and sugar cones
1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup tapioca or corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (TJ’s is probably the cheapest/easiest place to find these!)
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, syrup, water, and sea salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and place over medium heat. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the mixture registers 300 degrees and is dark amber in color. Stir frequently.
Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the almonds. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the hot toffee into a ¼-inch-thick layer with a spatula.
Allow the toffee to cool for about one hour before chopping or breaking into chunks.
Store any leftover toffee in a jar or other airtight container.