Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream
It’s August, so I’m writing about ice cream! Don’t even try to stop me.
(I know, I know… you would never stop me, but the weather here is another story!)
The thing is, this summer Santa Barbara has been decidedly un-summery. Every morning it’s been overcast and chilly—a case of our Central California “June Gloom” going rogue and sneaking into July and now August. Around noon it clears up and gets sunny, but there’s still a little nip in the air.
It’s especially cold in the office where I sit and attempt to work on my dissertation every afternoon, wearing a hoodie and drinking cups of hot hojicha. Can you imagine that—needing hot tea to warm your hands in August? Are you feeling cooler already just thinking about it?
Last night we slept with our windows open and this morning I couldn’t set foot on my kitchen floor without running to grab some slippers first. Slippers! In summer!
At least this weather is just right for taking photos of barely-melting ice cream, even if it’s not ideal for eating it.
This ice cream may or may not have been an attempt to will the weather into behaving more seasonally.
Also, do you ever really need a reason to make ice cream? No, you do not.
I improvised a coffee ice cream recipe for my parents when they were visiting back in the spring. My mom’s favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, and I have to agree with her there; it is also absolutely one of my (twenty or so) favorite flavors.
Unsure whether I was using far too much coffee or far too little, I decided to preventively solve either issue by also adding chocolate (the solution to so many things in life, don’t you think?).
So I made coffee ice cream with chocolate stracciatella, a stream of melted chocolate, frozen in action as it’s drizzled and swirled into the spinning, churning ice cream. (An absolutely genius use of an ice cream maker and an idea I first came across on Hannah’s wonderful blog BitterSweet.)
The ice cream was irresistible; the caffeine didn’t keep me awake until 3am (like coffee sometimes does); and my parents assured me the strength of the coffee flavor was perfect—just shy of intense.
This recipe is the same coffee stracciatella ice cream, taken to the next level with the heat of cinnamon.
Paula has a weakness for cinnamon in most edibles (and drinkables) and coffee is no exception. We regularly buy cinnamon coffee from a local company, and when we run out of that—and get to use my favorite coffee—then Paula still gives the ground coffee a generous shake of ground cinnamon before starting to brew it.
I’ve grown to love this combination, too. If you’ve never tried it, you might be surprised how welcome the heady aroma of cinnamon is in a strong cup of coffee.
And against the milky backdrop of a subtly nutty and sweet coffee ice cream, cinnamon brings just a hint of warmth and spice, giving the frozen treat overtones of a iced coffee-laced horchata.
If that doesn’t lure out the summer sunshine, I’m not sure what will.
Bonus: this ice cream has no eggs so it’s even easier to throw together—no thermometer necessary.
Note: I used straight up melted chocolate chips for my first stracciatella attempt, but found them slightly uncooperative in the drizzling department, so I ended up with larger chunks of chocolate than I wanted (rather than thin ribbons), though they were still endearingly irregular. This time I thought about melting butter into the chocolate to smooth it out, as I recently did with my raspberry chocolate tart, but I couldn’t get over the idea of butter working its way into my ice cream (though I suppose it is done!) so I used coconut oil instead. It turned out to be perfectly drizzleable and ideal; the ice cream was evenly distributed with thin streams of chocolate (unless you prefer fighting over who gets that one massive chunk of chocolate in their ice cream scoop!).
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream with Stracciatella
(Adapted from “Nibby Ice Cream” in the book Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich.)
(Makes just a little over 1 quart)
~ 1¼ cup whole milk
~ 1½ cup heavy cream
~ ½ cup strong-brewed coffee
~ ½ tsp. coarse-ground coffee (if desired and/or if you have a fine mesh strainer)
~ 1 cinnamon stick
~ ½-1 tsp. ground cinnamon (depending on preference)
~ ½ cup sugar
~ ⅛ tsp. salt
~ ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
~ 2 tsp. coconut oil
How to make it:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, brewed coffee, ground coffee, cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Slowly heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl (this will catch most but not all of the coffee grounds if you’re using coarse-ground coffee, as you’d use in a French press; you could also leave the ground coffee in and simply discard the cinnamon stick). Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight, until cold.
3. After chilling the mixture overnight: Assemble the ingredients for the stracciatella in a small saucepan and set aside.
4. Once cold, pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker. Allow it to churn for a total of 15 or 20 minutes. While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate chips together with the coconut oil over low heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula until smooth. Once the ice cream starts to solidify (after 5-10 minutes of churning), gradually drizzle the melted chocolate into the spinning ice cream maker; it should solidify into crunchy stripes of chocolate.
5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours until the ice cream is firm enough to scoop (or enjoy it sooner, though it will be softer and meltier, resembling gelato). Before serving, let it stand for a few minutes or run the ice cream scoop under hot water to make it easier to scoop.
Print this recipe! (PDF)
Related recipe posts:
|Black Sesame Coconut Milk Ice Cream||Thai Iced Tea Popsicles||Almond Cinnamon Baklava||Mango Coconut Popsicles|