I had a pretty rough week at work last week. Come Friday afternoon, after a few days of sustained programming time, my brain had been converted to a throbbing blob of jello, and I needed a break and some creative time in the kitchen. So, I took Turbo (the resident greyhound) for a long walk by the lake, and let the soft sounds of the waves drain the stress out of my body. By the time we turned around to head home, my thoughts began to wander back to the cooking plan for the evening.
I knew that we’d toss a couple of steaks on the grill and make a big, green salad for dinner, but that would not fulfill the need for creative time, so my thoughts turned to ice cream. Of course. And what’s more fun than coming home and looking through the cupboards to see what might make a nice custard ice cream base?!
I really loved the tiramisu ice cream I made last week (I’ll have to talk about that recipe some other time, as that quart of ice cream disappeared in record time), but what I loved most was the coffee flavor of the ice cream base. I still had the bottle of Kahlua and some espresso powder, so I made up a plain vanilla custard, and then added the Kahlua after the base had cooled a bit. After the ice cream had been turned, I added a homeade fudge ripple as I spooned the frozen custard into the storage container.
Brown Sugar Kahlua Ice Cream
makes about a quart
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half & half
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
2 T dutched cocoa powder
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 cup kahlua
1 T espresso powder
- Separate the yolks from the egg whites, and place the yolks in cereal bowl, and stir the yolks together. Store the whites in the fridge for later use.
- Place 1 cup of the milk in a small saucepan with the sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk the cocoa powder in, and warm the milk – it doesn’t need to get too hot, just enough to incorporate the cocoa and melt the sugar. Pour the warmed milk into a medium sized bowl, stir in the vanilla, and set aside.
- Return the saucepan to the heat, and pour in the remaining cup of milk and the cup of half & half. Gently warm for a couple of minutes. When the milk is warm, ever so slowly pour the warm milk/cream into the yolks, whisking the entire time. You want to temper the yolks, and avoid scrambling them. When you’ve filled the cereal bowl with the milk, then pour the eggs and milk back into the saucepan and return to the burner over low heat.
- Now you must stir the custard constantly and heat the custard gently. When the custard is just about done, it will thicken all of a sudden and get steamy. When it’s done (at about 170 degrees if you’re using a thermometer), the custard will coat the back of a spoon, and if you wipe your finger through the custard on the spoon, it should stay clean where your finger swiped.
- Cover the large bowl containing the milk with a fine gauge strainer. Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the milk and stir together. Let the mixture cool for a couple minutes, then pour in the kahlua and the espresso powder. Stir until the espresso powder dissolves, then stash in the fridge and chill completely before turning in your ice cream machine.