The Best. Ice Cream. Ever. (Even if You Don’t Like Coffee!) Espresso Mint Chip!

Ice cream here on the islands is expensive. Well, all dairy is, but ice cream especially. It’s also hard to come by. Not in the stores so much, but in shops. Stopping for a milkshake or a cone isn’t an easy task. To my knowledge, there’s only two ice cream shops on the island. For someone who spent two and a half years in Vermont, the Ben & Jerry’s mecca of the world, this is proving very difficult.

One day while the hubster and I were running some errands out and about, I had a hankering for a milkshake. Off we went to the only ice cream shop in town to buy a two scoop, six dollar shake. I’m telling you, it’s an investment for a treat here…it makes it very easy to resist. On this particular day, resistance was futile. As I stood gazing at the various selections, I did something I never do. I asked to try the coffee ice cream.

I’ve said before that I’m not a coffee drinker. I never have been and I probably never will be, but sometimes I like it in small doses in my treats – like in hot cocoa, or cookies, or, in this case, ice cream. This particular ice cream was a little too coffee-y for me, though, so I decided to use my other scoop to cut it with my favorite stand by ice cream, mint chocolate chip. Holy ice cream heaven! I can’t even express how good that milkshake was!

Since that day, I’ve been seriously jonesin’ for another, but I can’t reconcile myself to the high cost. As I often do when I want something I can’t really have, I thought, “I can make that.” And I did! And I’m still shocked out how easy it was, but even more so at how unbelievably delicious it is! Help me, but I’m never gonna be able to stop myself from eating up every last morsel of it!

This ice cream is smooth and creamy, rich with coffee flavor and just the right hint of mint, and speckled throughout with dark chocolate chips. Someone, please! Tell me how to resist that?! You can’t can you? Because you want me to stop yapping already and get to the recipe so you can have some for yourself! Alright, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Todays stellar cast of characters are fresh coffee beans (preferably a darker roast), semi-sweet chocolate chips, heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, instant espresso powder, peppermint extract, vanilla, and sugar, as well as a pinch of salt. I have standard sized chocolate chips pictured here, but I actually prefer to use mini chips in my ice cream.

In a medium saucepan, combine the coffee beans, half of the cream, the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep for one hour.

Once the coffee mixture has steeped, return it to medium high heat. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks together. When the coffee mixture has returned to a simmer, slowly whisk it into the eggs in a steady stream. Adding the hot mixture slowly, whisking constantly, tempers the eggs so that they don’t cook and become scrambled. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, return it to the sauce pan. Heat, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (170 to 175 degrees).

Pour the remaining half of heavy cream into a large bowl. Using a fine mesh sieve set over the bowl of cream, strain the coffee beans out of the coffee/egg mixture.

Press the steeped beans firmly with the bottom of a mug or glass to squeeze out as much cream mixture as possible.

Stir the vanilla and peppermint extracts into the mixture, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight (I prefer to hill overnight, so there’s no denying that it is chilled). When the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and prepare it according to the manufacturer’s instructions (I use the Donvier 1 quart ice cream maker and I highly recommend it). Stir the semi-sweet chocolate chips into the ice cream during the last five minutes of mixing. Serve right away for a softer serve, or freeze for several hours for hard serve.

I think I can sincerely say that this is my new favorite ice cream. I made it on a whim, it turned out wonderful, and I actually like the coffee flavor in it! Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you can’t miss out on this! Enjoy!

Espresso Mint Chip Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini or standard sized

In a medium saucepan, combine the coffee beans, half of the cream, the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 1 hour.

Once the coffee mixture has steeped, return it to medium high heat, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks together. When the coffee mixture has returned to a simmer, slowly whisk it into the eggs in a steady stream to temper the eggs. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, return it to the sauce pan. Heat, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (170 to 175 degrees).

Pour the remaining cup of heavy cream into a large bowl. Using a fine mesh sieve set over the bowl of cream, strain the coffee beans out of the coffee/egg mixture. Press the steeped beans firmly with the bottom of a mug or glass to squeeze out as much cream mixture as possible.

Stir the vanilla and peppermint extracts into the mixture, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight (I prefer to hill overnight, so there’s no denying that it is chilled). When the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and prepare it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir the chocolate chips into the ice cream during the last five minutes of mixing. Serve right away for a softer serve, or freeze for several hours for hard serve.

adapted from the coffee ice cream in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

 

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