It’s not a secret that I love coffee. And ice cream. It was only a matter of time before I made a batch of coffee ice cream. Rich, bold whole coffee beans steeped in cream and sugar and churned until frozen. It’s about all I can do to not eat it morning, noon and night, which isn’t all that surprising given those are the hours that I drink coffee. (Note: I thought I would try a kitchen experiment and rinse and dry the coffee beans after they steeped and brew them in a pot of coffee. Result: something akin to swamp water. I figured it at least meant that all that coffee essence was trapped in my ice cream.) I announced my intentions for this ice cream last weekend on Twitter, giving a shout-out to David Lebovitz (@davidlebovitz) whose recipe I was following.
To which he replied:
Enjoy the coffee ice cream – don’t forget the chocolate sauce! : )
The power of the internet and social networking sites. It astounds me that we live in an age where somebody like me, a purple-haired fungal biologist can interact with world-class pastry chef. I figured I had better heed his advice – this man literally wrote the book on ice cream. But, because of my long standing coffee obsession, I made mocha sauce instead. David Lebovitz did not steer me wrong – coffee and chocolate go hand in hand.
I sometimes forget that this blog is in a public space. I understand that when I hit the Publish button that my words, my thoughts and my food appear on the internet, for anybody to to view and read. But it’s all in a very abstract sense. It astonishes me when somebody decides to reach across cyberspace and write to me about what I’ve presented here. It’s a technological hug. And it’s lovely.
I am a lot of things. And my relationships with the people who read this blog vary tremendously. I am family; daughter, sister, niece, cousin. I am a friend; from grade school, high school, college and grad school. I am a co-worker; from the dental office and from the lab and the larger scientific community. I am a former dancer. I’ve made friends with the family and friends of the people closest in my life. And I am a stranger to some. All of these people are welcome to participate in these slices of my life that I decide to put on the internet.
I forget how wide of a net life casts. It’s an easy thing to brush off, to slide past, but it really is astonishing how many intersections there are. Like my obsession with coffee and ice cream, it’s no secret that this time in my life has been difficult. It’s oddly comforting, and simultaneously very scary, knowing that so many people have access to many of my innermost thoughts and emotions. It gives me the opportunity to share without actually having to speak the words aloud. It gives my readers the opportunity, whether in a public comment or a private message, to give me a hug. And it makes me feel not quite as lonely.
Thank you for the hugs.
(Have some coffee ice cream and mocha sauce).Coffee Ice Cream and Mocha Sauce from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz ********** Coffee Ice Cream 1 1/2 cups whole milk 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans pinch of salt 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 5 large egg yolks 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee Mocha Sauce 1 cup strongly brewed coffee 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces **********
For the ice cream:
Warm the milk, sugar whole coffee beans, salt and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Once warm, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for at least an hour (or longer if you have to deal with your towed car…). Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large batter bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Rewarm the coffee-milk mixture. Slowly pour the warm coffee-milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Cook custard until thick, stirring constantly. Pour through the mesh strainer and stir into the cream. Mix in the vanilla and the ground coffee. Chill thoroughly. Churn in your ice cream maker.
For the mocha sauce:
Whisk brewed coffee, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Let the sauce stand for at least an hour (it will thicken slightly).