“Espresso is to Italy what Champagne is to France.” ~ Charles-Maurice De Talleyrand-Perigord, French Diplomat 18th century
Coffee ice cream is my favorite. The other night I decided I needed coffee ice cream, as in, how could I possibly live without it. I took matters into my own hands and whipped up a fresh batch of coffee ice cream. It dawned on me that stracciatella would really make this ice cream off the charts. So, a few minutes before it was done, I melted semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled it into the ice cream. It was, for lack of a better word, insane.
A word about stracciatella. Originating from Italy, stracciatella is the quintessential Italian chocolate “chip” ice cream. It results from a technique in which one pours warm, melted chocolate into cold ice cream. Upon hitting the cold ice cream, the flow of chocolate immediately hardens into streaks, which get shredded (stracciato) into chips as the ice cream is stirred.
David Lebovitz. the guru of all ice cream gurus, notes that the trick to stracciatella is to pour it into your ice cream maker in a very thin stream during the last possible moment of churning. He’s right. I followed his lead, and these chocolate “chips” came out perfectly.
Back at 365scoops, just as the ice cream was churning The Hubby and his friend (who we shall call The Horse) came home after a sweaty game of basketball. To put it lightly, they smelled like holy hell. I wanted them to shower, stat. But no, not when fresh ice cream is churning! Perched over the machine like little puppies, the two of them proceeded to sweat and drool for 10 minutes until it was done. I transferred the ice cream into a container and placed it gently in front of them. A few minutes later I turned around and it was nearly gone. That’s right, almost completely polished off. I may be slightly guilty myself too… but the good news is that they loved it.
After eating the ice cream, the Husband told me that he had an” ice cream boner”. I was debating whether to put this on the blog. Afterall, ice cream is pretty much the most pure, unadulterated, child-like treat. And ruining this blog with profanities seemed unprofessional. Then I thought about it – and really his description is the best way to describe this treat. And so, my friends, it remains!
Coffee Stracciatella Ice Cream
3 cups half-and-half
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbs instant decaf coffee
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (not chocolate chips)
What I love most about this ice cream is the simplicity of the recipe. One of the best things about home-made ice cream is that unlike conventional, store-bought, factory-processed ice cream, ours contains very few ingredients. This means less preservatives, and more nutrients. This means less sugar and fat and more quality tastes. In sum, home-made ice cream is so radically different from other ice cream that it shouldn’t even be compared. This flavor is a perfect example of how few ingredients can yield such a robust flavor.
First, heat the half-in-half in a medium sauce pan until small bubbles form around the edges. Stir in the instant coffee and whisk until blended. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk together the three egg yolks, slowly pouring in the sugar until the mixture is creamy, thick and pale yellow.
Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring until the two mixtures are well combined. Pour back into the sauce pan and heat until the temperature reaches 165/170 degrees, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and let cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once fully chilled, pour into the base of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes). While the mixture is churning melt the the 5 oz of semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave. Begin by heating for 30 seconds, mix, and repeat in 20 second increments until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
At the last possible minute (let’s say 2 minutes before the mixture is done churning) slowly pour in the melted semi sweet chocolate in a very thin drizzle. As soon as it hits the cold ice cream, the chocolate will harden and form little “chips”. When the ice cream is done churning transfer to a freezer safe container and let harden (or in our case, consume immediately) until you’re ready to serve it. And there you have it, coffee stracciatella ice cream! Enjoy
The Verdict: If The Hubby’s description above isn’t enough of a sell, this ice cream is supremely creamy and utterly delicious. If you’re feeling a little bit sassy, scoop a heaping spoonful on top of a cup of coffee, and there you have it, a coffee stracciatella affogato. Need I say more?