Be prepared to see a lot of ice cream posts on my blog! I have had some health issues the past year and a half or so, and my doctor suspects Celiac Disease or at least gluten intolerance. So, I will be trying a gluten-free diet for a while at least to see how it works. Since the majority of things I bake are for others, I will still bake regular goodies and participate in Tuesdays with Dorie, but I will be experimenting with gluten-free recipes for treats that I can enjoy 🙂 Since the majority of ice cream is gluten free, I decided that I will be trying all David Lebovitz’s ice cream recipes from The Perfect Scoop that I can. I’ve had this book for a while now, but I guess this is the push I need to start using it!
My father-in-law has a love for the Heath Bar Blizzard at Dairy Queen. While traveling with him over Christmas, we enjoyed some tasty Blizzards, and that was my inspiration for this first recipe. I love Heath bars and anything with toffee in it, and I thought it would go well with coffee ice cream. The result was fabulous! I added in lots of toffee, which was just the way I wanted it. I loved having tons of toffee in every bite. This was also my first custard ice cream. I remember when I first started making custards and how they scared we because I was afraid of scrambling the eggs (which I have done a few times), but I feel very comfortable with it now. The only bad part about making ice cream is that it can take a while, since you have to first freeze the bowl, then chill the mixture, then wait for it to freeze. It was hard to wait for this! The toffee was also easy to make, and I will make it again and again. It’s great on its own as a snack and I am planning to use it as a mix-in in more ice creams. I will be careful to add the mix-ins a little bit sooner next time, since the ice cream can get hard pretty quickly. Other than that, this was a great ice cream. The flavors went very well together. The coffee ice cream would have been great on its own, but it was even better with the toffee. I can’t wait to make my next ice cream!
Coffee Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
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)
Warm the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and ½ cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Rewarm the coffee-infused milk mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible, then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and the finely ground coffee and stir until cool 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.
1 cup almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark brown)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips, or 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Using half of the chopped almonds, form an 8inch circle in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
Fit a small, heavy-duty saucepan with a candy thermometer, then add the water, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, mixing them together. Have the baking soda and vanilla measured and ready.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring as little as possible. When the mixture reaches 300 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Mix just until combined; don’t overstir.
Right away, pour the hot toffee mixture over the circle of almonds on the baking sheet. Using as little movement as possible, spread the toffee to cover the circle.
Scatter the chocolate pieces over the toffee and wait 2 minutes to allow them to melt. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer, then scatter the remaining chopped almonds on top, pressing them into the chocolate. Cool completely, until the chocolate is firm. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may need to cool it in the refrigerator. Remove it once the chocolate has hardened.
Mixing it in: Chop the Buttercrunch Toffee into coarse chunks, then fold the pieces into 1 quart of ice cream as you remove it from the machine.
Storage: Buttercrunch Toffee can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the freezer or at room temperature.
Variation: Feel free to substitute toasted hazelnuts or pecans for the almonds. You may also want to add a few grains of salt over the chocolate before adding the nuts. You can substitute milk chocolate for the dark chocolate as well.