Monday, August 18, 2008

Espresso ice cream

And introducing my favorite apron. I've had this little beaute since I was in college, and I used to love wearing it to work during my four+ years as a barista.

Oh, man, I was a good barista. I hate to admit it now, but I used to love to look down my nose at people who ordered abominations of the brew. A hazelnut mocha, or worse, a fucking sugar-free vanilla, decaf breve with whipped cream(?) was met with contempt thicker than treacle. I brought that same pride and "if you can't do it awesome, then why the fuck do it at all" work ethic to the machine every day. I adjusted my grind for changes in barometric pressure and humidity. Anything less than a quarter-inch of crema went down the drain (or into a mocha, which is a 13-year-old coffee drinker's teething ring and not what Real Coffee Drinkers drink). One time I even had an Italian man come in (a real-life Italian!), order a doppio, and he did that kissing his fingertips thing and said "bellisima!" upon tasting the delicate perfection of my shots. Swoon!

I still drink my espresso straight, with just a hit of sugar and maybe a little splash of cream. For cooking, though, I use instant espresso. Oh, if I had the Cadillac of espresso machines - a La Pavoni - well sure, I'd pour a couple shots. But this is just ice cream, folks. Just be sure and use a good instant espresso (I like Medaglia D'Oro) for the best flavor.

I tweaked a basic ice cream recipe (I call it a "blank", because you can use this recipe for probably any ice cream and it's rich and delicious) as follows: 2.5 cups heavy whipping cream, 0.5 cups water, 6 egg yolks, 0.5-0.75 cups sugar. Heat the cream, sugar and water until just to a boil, add 3 or 4 (or 6) tablespoons of powdered espresso, a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla.

Pull the cream off the heat and temper the eggs (this means slowly and deliberately incorporate the egg yolks and cream, while avoiding the terrible mistake of turning your dessert into an omelette). I'd advise you watch a video of this being done a few times, and maybe practice on a crème brûlée once or twice if you're nervous. Return the cream/yolk mixture to the heat and gently (I mean GENTLY!) heat the custard until it's thick and coats the back of a spoon. Seriously, you've come this far, why would you go and fuck it up by aggressively heating this up? It's your newborn baby. You wouldn't boil your newborn baby, would you?

If you're very fussy like me, you'll pass this newborn custard through a fine-mesh sieve or some cheesecloth before you chill it. Follow your ice cream maker's instructions to get it from custard to ice cream (usually some type of "chill for at least three hours in the fridge, run it through the machine until it's like soft-serve, then harden off in the freezer for a few hours or until you cannot possibly stand it any more"). Your patience will be rewarded.

Gilding the (Voodoo)lily is spooning warm dulce de leche over the top. Now that's a toe-curl, darlings. I bet this would also make a pretty righteous brown cow with some Manhattan Special, if you can get it, or just in a float with some cream soda.

31 comments:

Manggy said...

brown cow with some Manhattan Special, if you can get it, or just in a float with some cream soda
As a former soda fountain man, I am appalled by these abominations of the "brew!" Ha ha ha. I'm kidding-- I've never worked behind a counter before (well, at least not a counter for food or drink ;) I'm not a coffee drinker at all-- that's like not riding a bicycle at all, following your training wheels analogy!

*But* I do make an exception for coffee desserts. And this ice cream looks like something I'd savor out of the machine! (By the way, is a stovetop Bialetti not much better than using instant espresso?)

Peter G said...

Great ice cream...couldn't you use a stovetop espresso instead of the instant? On another note and I don't mean this offensively, I'm so glad you brought up the whole "Starfucks coffee phenomenon". Thats not even coffee they serve! It's great to hear you served a mean espresso Heather...great stuff!

Emiline said...

I like a good mocha. Hope you don't hate me. :)
But I also like espresso with cream and sugar in it. I love all coffee, I guess. I don't order frapps, or really intricate flavored drinks though. Those days are gone.

Your ice cream looks delicious. I'd be all over that.
I like your apron too.

Heather said...

Mark - Are you saying that you were never a soda jerk? :D

Petah - I do not have a stovetop espresso machine, it's sad. This instant kind is really decent, though.

Em - I ain't mad atcha. I used to drink orange mochas. The ice cream is reeeallly rich.

Alex Rushmer said...

I am such a coffee snob so it is wonderful to hear that someone else feels the same way. My habit got so bad that I bought a Pavoni a few years back...

kittie said...

I don't drink too much coffee (once every day or two) so get quite fussy with it! I had my first cup of instant coffee in almost a year last week and almost cried... It just ain't the same drink...

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Yummmm. That would make such a great breakfast this morning!!! I wouldn't even share it with anyone else here. They all slept last night!!!

Brittany said...

I have never had coffee before in mylife. I need to learn how to like it so I can eat this kind of stuff.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love making homemade ice cream. Yummy yummy and nice and simple. I love the idea of dulce de leche on top of espresso ice cream.

I'm glad you were never my barista though. You'd hate me. I'm totally down with mixing my coffee with hazelnut and vanilla flavors, but often have trouble acceptin coffee as a standalone beverage.

Don't hate me.

Ben said...

Hmm espresso ice cream... what I wanna try is some Mexican chocolate ice cream or a tres leches ice cream. Oh that's an idea. That's why I love coming here, you always give me new ideas ;)

peter said...

I bought myself a La Pavoni for a wedding present. Thoughtful, no?

And I couldn't agree more with your tirade against the sweet, flavored, ghastly franken-drinks that people line up to pay $5 for. They're desserts- not coffee- and they make you FAT.

Btw, can I get a double-shot vanilla/hazelnut pumpkin frappucino with extra whipped cream, caramel, nuts and a freaking cherry on top when you have a minute?

Bellini Valli said...

I'm with Manggy and don't do coffee except frozen in ice cream and frappe. Perhaps I have never found my perfect blend of coffee to savour:D

Syd said...

My mouth is watering. I can almost taste the creaminess.

Have you ever done a post about what a real coffee drinker should order? Or maybe a list of DOs and DON'T you fucking dare as related to coffee?

I would be interested. Just sayin'

Heather said...

Alex - You're a better man than I, with your $5000 espresso machine! Not to say I can't save my ducats...

Kittie - When I have to work out of town, I just end up drinking those little cans of espresso with cream, because I get very stabby if someone fucks up my morning coffee.

Judy - Oh, you poor thing. Why you up all night, hunny?

Brittany - I can't believe you drink anything other than black coffee and whiskey, with a mouth like yours.

Rachel - If you had my coffee you'd like it by itself. ;)

Ben - Tres leches sounds pretty damn good, my friend. Do eet!

Jube - These types of Starbucks bullshit "coffee beverages" pack half the calories someone my build needs in a whole day. If your espresso is high quality and expertly brewed, you don't need to cover it with whipped cream and syrup. Btw, I hear Stumptown is coming your way - they're putting a roaster in Brooklyn. You're in for a treat.

Valli - I can't believe you live in the Pacific Northwest and haven't had a good cup of coffee!

Syd - I think too many people just don't actually like coffee, and try to fake it by ordering a bunch of candy and donuts on top.

Brittany said...

Nice! You are a true NW coffee bitch!

awesome looking ice cream- I'm thinking roasted figs on top along with the dulce de leche.

I'm making that ASAP

We Are Never Full said...

man, i give you credit on this one! DELICIOSO! I was just imagining that "real" Italian talking. HA! One day, when I am rich (in my dreams), I will purchase one of those industrial espresso machines and I'll make so many perfect espresso's I'll be buzzed all the time. love the apron, too!

glamah16 said...

You need your own cage with your homemade ice cream. It will be the hootest spot in Portland.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

That looks truly heavenly. Or sinful. Or something that might turn someone religious. (Or the opposite).

cook eat FRET said...

i love you
totally love you
in that culinary kinda way

now go bake up some bacon candy and crumble it on top.

no really...

Leif erik Sundstrom said...

I like your work ethic. It sounds quite like what I grew up learning. My mom put it a different way though, which I've lived by ever since. She said "No ass is better than half-ass." wise words

Leif

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

Yeah, girl--do the damn thing! I was a barista for four years, too. I learned on the old El Marzocco machines back in the day. I quit that shit in May because I couldn't stand all of the standardization going on. I'm in love with espresso too.

As far as ice cream goes, you're right on top with sieving it before chilling it. No matter how careful you are, a piece of egg always manages to get cooked.

glamah16 said...

I realized I wrote cage instead of cafe! Sorry.

Heather said...

Brittany - Roasty figs, eh? Okay, I can see that. Sounds preeettty good.

Amy - Wouldn't an extra $5K lying around be nice?

Courtney - Why a cage? For dancing? You so crazy.

Jen - The ice cream goes from angel to devil pretty quickly with the addition of dulce de leche. ;)

Claudia - Candied bacon? With coffee? I guess then it'd be breakfast.

Leif - My mom used to say "anything worth doing, is worth doing right". Your mom sounds like a sassy lady. :)

Nikki - Even just the odd globs of fat are a little startling. Sieve is a must.

Heather said...

Coco (^o^) I was wondering!

Alex Rushmer said...

Five grand? I wish. It's just a Europiccola machine. But still makes a good espresso

Lo said...

Oh, dear. I log on today (at work, no less) and find this?!

Love espresso cream!
And oooh... the bacon idea could be a good one. Thinking on that!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I can totally see you as a great barista. I always wanted to be one - maybe I still can someday... that ice cream looks awesome! I love me some coffee! Belissimo!

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

I dare you to give this to small children. At night. On a Wednesday.

Foodycat said...

With a shot of grappa and a shot of espresso to take it to beyond affogatto...

Chad said...

I'm so glad I happened upon your blog. You're a portlander, no less!

Yesterday I took a batch of homemade vanilla to the Stumptown Annex cupping room. Dude brewed up five different espressos (it was actually a moka pot, but he stopped the extraction early) from different beans and put each shot into a different cup of vanilla. Their Guatemala Finca won the taste test by a mile. I'm about to whip up some coffee ice cream using those beans. Cannot wait until tomorrow to churn it.

Why the water in the recipe? why not skim or whole milk? What if I added grounds to the scalding milk?

Keep up the great work.

Heather said...

Hi, Chad - I used water instead of milk because I was using more than the normal amount of heavy whipping cream, and I didn't want it to be too heavy (also, I didn't have any milk). :) If you steep the grounds in the milk/cream before it scalds, you'll reduce the risk of burning the coffee. Good luck! Now start a blog!