My friend Patti asked me recently, don’t you have any healthy recipes on your blog? Well, yes I do, and although I do make predominantly healthy meals, the things I really enjoy blogging about are the indulgences. Which leads to:
A few days ago, my daughter and some friends were here for dinner, and Alya brought ice cream from Sweet Cow (https://www.sweetcowicecream.com/ ), where she works. If you haven’t been there, you should go, because both Outside Online and USA Today (not to mention all of your neighbors) have declared Sweet Cow top-notch nationwide. My personal favorite flavor there is the Honey Mint, but Alya brought one of their top sellers: Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Gone in a flash. Therefore, I was inspired to make my own batch, adapted from David Leibovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.
Coffee Heath Bar Crunch
- 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 (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)
Infuse: Combine the milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of cream. Warm in a medium saucepan until steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for an hour.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Reheat the coffee mixture, and *slowly* pour into the egg yolks, whisking constantly and from the get-go so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape this mixture back into the saucepan. This is your “custard base.”
Stir the custard mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the remaining cup of cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then compost the beans (if you’re in Boulder; otherwise, discarding is fine). Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool (ideally, over an ice bath).
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you don’t already own an ice cream maker, a popular and affordable choice is the Cuisinart Cool Creations (https://www.cuisinart.com/shopping/appliances/ice_cream/ice-70 ), which Cook’s Illustrated (my go-to for product recommendations) has tested and endorses as the winner. It’s easy to assemble and clean, and the resulting ice cream is produced quickly, with a smooth and creamy texture. Because it is recommended that you freeze the canister for 24 hours prior to using, I just keep mine in the freezer (because you never know when you’ll have an ice cream emergency). When ready to store, consider the Sumo container (https://www.amazon.com/SUMO-Ice-Cream-Containers-Dishwasher/dp/B079HVKY5B?th=1 )to keep the ice cream fresh (assuming you don’t inhale it immediately) — plus, they’re cute!