Friday, May 14, 2010
Turkish Coffee Ice Cream
I love coffee flavored desserts and coffee ice cream is right up there among the best. Some people would walk a mile for a really great cup of coffee, one that is steaming hot and brimming with robust flavor and aromas. Coffee ice cream is just another extension of the desire for a great cup of that same coffee bean flavor au lait. It seems so sophisticated and so satisfying, just like a good cup of coffee always does.
I put this ice cream together from a sense memory I have of tasting a super delicious Turkish coffee anglaise prepared by a chef I once worked with years ago. It was one element of a complex dessert that included lots of other flavors and components but I thought about that sauce for years. I finally realized I just needed to make this ice cream to get it out of my system and I’m glad I did. The flavor is of delicious robust coffee with a backnote of cardamom, which only sneaks up on you at the end.
This is a simple preparation of some good coffee steeped in milk and cream along with orange zest and cardamom pods. Once it’s cooked to a custard, I add an extra shot of espresso just to keep things lively. I think this will hit the spot for those of you who love coffee ice cream and are looking for a slight twist.
We so often savor the ritual of tea and coffee with friends and family. I’ll add this to the list of coffee rituals in our world of pastry and desserts.
- I used 15 cardamom pods. You can start with 10 and taste after steeping to see if you want to add more. It may seem like a lot, but remember that the coffee flavor is fairly overpowering.
- You don’t want to boil the custard, so the stirring is necessary to keep the custard moving, preventing it from heating too fast and turning into scrambled eggs. I use a wooden spoon in the shape of a spatula when I’m cooking ice cream bases. It’s perfect for making sure you're scraping the bottom of the pan continuously.
- Salt is really important in this mix. It makes the flavor pop. Keep adding a few sprinkles until you get it right. You’ll know as soon as it happens.
- I resist the temptation to garnish this ice cream with anything else for fear of losing the subtle spice that is fairly delicate.
- Fresh ice cream will keep over time but it may become quite solid due to the fact that it doesn’t contain any artificial stabilizers or emulsifiers. Let your homemade ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes to enjoy the full flavor and texture.
Turkish Coffee Ice Cream
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 1/2 C whole milk
3/4 C sugar
1 C whole coffee beans
10 - 15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
zest of 1 large orange or 2 small oranges
4 egg yolks
1 t instant espresso powder
salt, to taste
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, coffee beans, cardamom pods and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer over low heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 1 hour. After about a half hour, taste the mixture to be sure you have the right level of cardamom. Add more if you prefer, reheat gently for just a minute or so, remove from heat and continue to steep.
After steeping to the desired strength, strain the coffee cream mixture into a clean saucepan and warm gently.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly add the warm coffee cream mixture, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and medium heat. Cook, stirring and constantly scraping the bottom of the pan until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through a strainer into a clean container, pressing the beans to be sure you get all the liquid.
Place the instant espresso powder in a small bowl and stir in some of the cream to dissolve. Add the espresso and whisk thoroughly. Add a good pinch of salt to taste. Chill the ice cream base overnight.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to instructions. Pour into a clean airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.