My mother is not a great ice cream lover, but one ice cream flavour she would never say no to is coffee. She likes her coffee dark and strong, with just the tip of a spoonful of sugar. I decided to make her her ideal coffee ice cream, an ultra strong coffee base with a ripple of coffee infused caramel streaked through the middle for that hint of sweetness.
When making the ice cream at the weekend, I didn’t have a lot of time to spare and so decided to do a slight cheat by using a tub of premade custard rather than making my own custard base. This way there was no extra custard chilling time required. Freezing foods can lessen their flavour, so I made sure to make the ice cream base extra strong to ensure the flavour shone through. It actually ended up being too strong for my liking, not to mention caffeine packed (one spoonful and I was buzzing for hours!) but my mum adored it and that’s what mattered.
To add a little sweet relief from the intense bitter coffee flavour, I concocted a coffee caramel which I drizzled in at the end to create a ripple effect. I wasn’t sure this would work but it tasted great, sweet and intense all at the same time. I bet it would be fantastic drizzled over a slice of cake. I added it right at the last moment during freezing, as I wanted the ripple effect to remain. Well that was the idea, but it didn’t really work that well.
My caramel was still a little warm when I added it, meaning the ice cream started to melt and ended up being softer than I would have liked (hence the rather melted appearance in the photos) but it still tasted gorgeous!
There was no mistaking the flavour of this ice cream. It was rich and intense. Quite bitter with the odd contrasting streak of sweet sticky caramel. The ice cream itself was wonderfully smooth and creamy.
Mere spoonfuls are all that’s required to achieve an instant caffeine buzz. On a hot day I think it would make a great end to a meal served in small espresso cups rather than cups of actual hot coffee. Just make sure it’s for adults only unless you want the children bouncing off the walls for three days straight! It really packs a coffee kick!
Coffee Caramel Ripple
70g caster sugar
10g instant coffee or espresso powder
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp milk
Method – Ice cream
Heat 100ml of the double cream in a small bowl in the microwave. Add the coffee and stir until dissolved, followed by the sugar.
Mix the custard, remaining cream and coffee mixture together and place in the fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the caramel.
To make the espresso caramel, warm the milk in the microwave and stir in the coffee. Leave to rent and dissolve completely.
Meanwhile, mix the sugar and water together in a small pan. Heat gently, until the sugar has dissolved into a clear liquid. Swirl the pan a couple of times if needed, but do not stir it.
Once you have a syrup, increase the heat slightly and allow the syrup to bubble slightly and turn golden brown in colour. When it has reached your desired colour, remove from the heat, add the milky coffee mixture. Be careful as it will spit and splutter slightly.
Stir together and leave to cool into a thick caramel while you churn the ice cream.
Churn the coffee ice cream until very thick, before drizzling in the caramel at the last moment in order to create a ripple effect (my caramel was still a little warm and melted the ice cream at bit).
Serve at once or transfer to a container and freeze until required.