Thursday, January 7, 2010

Espresso Ice Cream

When I was staying with my mother over the holidays, she asked me when I was going to make ice cream for her. I asked her to tell me what kind of ice cream she wanted, and she said she wanted one with coffee in it. Well, even though I had placed the ice cream bowl in the freezer and made my own chocolate-covered espresso beans because we couldn't find any in Small Town, Arkansas, I never got around to making the ice cream for her. Sorry, mom!

She wanted to try out this espresso ice cream, and I finally made home...far away from my mom. For the espresso beans, I just dipped them in melted chocolate. I didn't temper the chocolate since looks were not an issue because the beans were just add-ins. I then flashed froze the beans and transferred them to a Ziploc bag for later use. In my opinion, the beans distract you from the delectable ice cream base. However, if you still want to include them, I suggest grinding them finer than I did. Even other commenters who tried this recipe said the same thing. I thought I had ground them fine enough, but I guess I didn't. Alternatively, you could grind up some chocolate chips or chocolate bars.

I will be making this again with different add-ins. It is fantastic and has a smooth mouthfeel. Enjoy! For you non-drinkers out there (like me), mix espresso with hot water to substitute for the coffee liqueur.

Espresso Ice Cream

3 cups half-and-half
6 extra-large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee beans, decaffeinated or regular
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (recommended: Kahlua) (I used 1 tsp espresso with 2 tsp hot water)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (1/2 cup) chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped

Heat the half-and-half until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until mixed. Slowly add the hot half-and-half until combined. Wipe out the pan and pour the mixture back into the clean pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes (if your mixture is already thick from the beginning like it was for me, only cook the mixture for about 2 minutes), until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of the spoon.

Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the ground espresso beans, coffee liqueur (or espresso/coffee mixture), and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Mix in the chopped espresso beans, spoon into a container, and allow to freeze for a few hours. Soften slightly before serving.


  1. I love a good coffee ice cream, even more than I love a good cup of coffee. And that's saying a lot! ;)

    I'm sure your Mom is going to love your version of it, too.

  2. You will have it perfected for next time at your Mom's house! Looks good though.

  3. Memoria, you continue to amaze me with these fantastic recipes and amazing photos. You are seriously an inspiration! This ice cream looks scrumptious!

  4. Memoria this is the most beautiful espresso ice-cream! I can't stop myself from drooling. My gosh, and those shots. How in the world did you get such perfect non-melted shots?


  5. Thanks, everyone for the nice comments!

    Laura - I don't know how I do it haha. Well, the only thing I do is that as soon as I scoop the ice cream, I place the dish back in the freezer for a few minutes. I set up the photo area, take the dish out, and start shooting. For this post, I kept one dish in the freezer while the other one was in the photo area. I don't really do anything else special. You can see in the first shot on here, that the ice cream started melting in the glass.

  6. This photo of the ice cream that got away! I cannot believe that I was "this" close to tasting these delicious looking expresso ice cream :o) I can still remember going to the store with you and picking out all of the ingredients :o)

    I am not going to dwell on what I missed, but I can tell you that I am truly looking forward to getting down with your beautiful creation! The shots of the ice cream scoops are ravishingly lovely, and I love the lone expresso bean on the last photo. Well done, sweetheart!

  7. Memoria, you take beautiful shots with ice creams! Mine, so shameful.... Perfecto on every pic and taste definitely!

  8. This ice cream sounds so good and the photos definitely do it justice.

  9. My husband and I LOVE espresso and I've wanted to make him this ice cream for a long time but the chocolate covered beans have always deterred me. I guess I could always leave them out, but they're so pretty.

    I tried making my own version, using a vanilla base but it took so much instant espresso and the flavor never really came through since one you freeze it the espresso or coffee loses it's flavor.

    I really need to just give in and try this recipe!

  10. Ηello, i find this recipe delightfull, but recently i saw the same recipe with the exact photos in the following link :
    I believe that you should do something about this because it isn't at all right!!!

  11. Memoria! Congratulations on your wonderful recipe. I can't wait to try it out in Brazil's hot summer, which has already started.
    How do you know Portuguese?


    1. Muito obrigada pelo comentário, Kathleen! Eu espero que você goste do sorvete! Deixe outro comentário quando você provar ele!

      Eu aprendi o português na universidade nos EUA mas eu não falo ele muito bem por falta de prática e conversa com outros brasileiros e portugueses.



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