One of the many cooking-related gifts I received for Christmas was the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. I am in love with this book. It's truly phenomenal, from its recipes to its tips, equipment reviews and more. I loved the book so much I borrowed the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook from my library. I've enjoyed looking through this book just as much. In fact, I've probably spent more time with this book than the baking one since I have to return it to the library soon.
One recipe I found that I really wanted to try was coffee ice cream. Quick fact about me.....I don't drink coffee. At all. I do, however, really enjoy coffee ice cream. I don't have it very much though because I generally pick something a little more adventurous if I get ice cream when we're out. I've been wanting to make coffee ice cream since I got my ice cream maker but most of the recipes I've seen require coffee beans and (obviously) I don't have any and I didn't really want to purchase any. This recipe, however, uses instant espresso powder, which I do happen to have on hand since a number of chocolate recipes use it to enhance the chocolate flavor. I whipped this up yesterday and loved it! It's better than any coffee ice cream I've ever had and the texture is wonderful. Some of the ice creams I've made haven't had the best texture (they've either been a little too hard or too soft) but this one is perfect.
Coffee Ice Cream
from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set a fine mesh-strainer over a medium bowl and set the bowl in a large container of ice water. Heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and the espresso powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until steam appears and the milk is hot (175 F), about 5 minutes.
While the milk mixture is heating up, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar together until smooth. When the milk mixture is hot, slowly whisk about 1 cup of it into the egg yolks to temper. Then, slowly whisk the tempered egg yolks back into the remaining hot milk. Continue to cook the custard over medium heat until it is very hot but not simmering (180 to 185 F).
Strain the custard into the bowl, set in the ice bath and add the vanilla extract and then let cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Remove the custard bowl from the ice bath, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 3 hours.
When chilled, stir the custard thoroughly and then churn in your ice cream machine per the manufacturer's instructions.