Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Basic Sweet Cream Recipe (see earlier post)
+2 TBSP extra sugar
+5-6 tsp cold-brewed coffee concentrate (or more to taste)

Add the extra sugar at the same time as the other sugar and the coffee at the same time as the milk and cream.

This recipe makes for a very subtle coffee flavor - it reminds me of Stony Field Farm's Decaf Coffee ice cream. You could make a concentrate using traditional hot brewing, but I think the cold-brew flavor is better for ice cream and iced drinks.

Here's my recipe for coffee concentrate, adapted from here:

Put a rounded 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (apparently fine grind doesn't work as well - use medium course grind) in a non-reactive container (mason jar, stainless steal bowl), and add 1 1/2 c of water. Stir so all the coffee gets wet, and leave soaking for ~12 hours. Note that I use a higher concentration then the link suggests.

When the soaking is done, poor through a fine strainer, cheese cloth or coffee filter. I used a strainer on top of a coffee filter sitting in a funnel - the strainer keeps the filter from getting clogged, and the funnel holds a lot of liquid which forces the coffee through the filter more quickly.

Toddy makes a pitcher/filter combo that looks like it will make the process easier, but if you're just making ice cream or iced coffee occasionally, it's probably not worth the 30 bucks.

Basic Chocolate Recipe

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 pinch salt
1 c sugar

1. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water.
Gradually whisk in milk and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove
from the heat and let cool.

2. Whisk eggs in mixing bowl until light and fluffy (1-2 min). Whisk in sugar,
little at a time, whisk until blended. Add cream, vanilla, and salt and whisk
to blend.

3. Pour choco mix into the cream mix and blend. Cover and refrigerate until
cold, about 1 to 3 hours, depending on your refrigerator.

4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker etc

I had some trouble getting the chocolate to melt again completely during step 1 after I added the milk. So I'd recommend adding the milk and the hard chocolate together, and melting them both down in a double boiler. We ended up having more of a chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, which was tasty, but it lacked completely smooth creaminess.

Basic Sweet Cream Recipe

Courtesy my brother:

2 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 c heavy cream
1 c milk

Whisk eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a
little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1
minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.

Makes 1 quart.

If you want extras (cookies and cream, for example), add the crumbled oreos, chips, whatever, at the very end, churn until mixed, and freeze. Don't add too much, though, because the mixture can overflow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

So easy a monkey could do it

Recently my fiancee bought a Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker. We figured it was a sound purchase because I consume ice cream at least once daily during the summer, and because this particular model got great reviews on Amazon. No ice or salt involved, just freeze the metal canister for 24 hours (it has some magical freezing liquid inside its walls), mix up a batch of fatty dairy products and sugar with your choice of flavoring, and churn for 30 minutes. So easy a monkey could do it.

Except that we couldn't. Our first batch stayed liquid. Our second batch also stayed liquid. Our third batch was a custard base and remained custard (although it was the most delicious rich creamy chocolate custard I've ever had, it wasn't ice cream). At this point we were desperate. The maker itself is so simple that it couldn't possibly be defective. The only explanation was user error. Apparently we aren't as smart as monkeys.

After several trials and more errors, as well as internet blog searching and consultations with my brother, who owns an Ice-25, we think we figured out what was wrong:

1. The canister must be frozen for at least 24 hours. Even if you shake it and don't hear any liquid sloshing around in there, it's not frozen all the way until it's been in the freezer for a day and a night.

2. The liquid ice cream mixture must be as cold as you can get it. If the recipe calls for a custard base or involves heating the liquid in any way, cool it down in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

3. Add extras (chips, nuts, shavings, etc.) at the very very end, when you can already tell that the ice cream is done. Churn just until mix. Then freeze.