Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coffee ice cream. And things I learnt over the weekend


Expecto Patronum © Cookaroo
 This weekend was quite a challenge for me, and I learnt three things over 48 hours

1. If you lock your keys in the car, remember to keep the spare somewhere you can find it
2. Never use a blender to grind frozen coconut
3. And I am too old for tequila.

Too. Frikkin. Old. So old, that I can't deal with the hangover without copious amounts of water and a couple of Darts (asprins), first thing in the morning. So old, that the thought of food makes me giddy. So old, that an afternoon siesta is the only thing that can rev my engines.

Tequila - it truly spells death for me. I don't know how people go around singing about tequila sunrise - I can't open my eyes the day after downing some tequila, let alone see a sunrise.  To be fair I should have known this before succumbing to the temptations of Long Island Iced Teas. I mean it does have tequila. Plus I remember the last time I had some margaritas - I couldn't get out of bed for the whole day.

But there's an exception to the rule - coffee tequila! This divine dark-brown molten drink that feels like silk. So when my friend NC gave us a bottle of his favourite drink, I couldn't help but make something from it, despite the fear of a sleepless hangover.

As much as I don't like and drink coffee, I love coffee ice cream. I've loved since I tasted for the first time in the late eighties in a small shop in Chennai. My father was addicted to it. And every day of the summer vacation, he'd drive us to the shop where we could pick our flavours and he'd just have the coffee ice cream.   Even after the flavour went defunct, and the shop closed down, my father figured out ways to eat coffee ice cream.

So much was his love for the flavour that he'd even mix lots of instant coffee to vanilla ice cream, put it back in the freezer and then eat his bowl full of 'coffee ice cream' half an hour later. The strange thing is, I can't remember a day, I didn't so the same thing. I'd often add Kahlua and some instant coffee to my ice cream (and then stay up the whole night thanks to the caffeine) since I was like 14.

When I moved to Delhi, Nirula's had just introduced some new coffee flavours - Cappuccino and Coffee chocolate fudge  (Of the two, the former was better).  But they weren't as good as I remembered what I'd eaten in Chennai.

Of course, Gymkhana still does a great coffee ice cream - I think it's a Mother Diary ice cream and Kent's in Defence Colony makes a mean coffee shake with the same ice cream. Over the last six months, between my friend N and I, we must have consumed at least 60 coffee shakes.

Anyhoo, making coffee ice cream was extremely therapeutic, the smells in the air reminded me of home and the flavour was spot on - since I added some south Indian filter coffee to it.

The funny thing was despite mixing up the coffees - I used Starbucks, this Mexican coffee tequila and south Indian filter coffee, the flavours reminded me of my childhood - I had no trouble sleeping at night. :)

Caffeine overload © Cookaroo

Coffee Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, available in India, US and UK


Ingredients
·         1 1/2 cups whole milk
·         3/4 cup sugar
·         1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (I used star bucks)
·         Pinch of salt
·         1 1/2 cups heavy cream
·         5 large egg yolks
·         1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
          2 tsps coffee tequila
·         1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (I used south Indian filter coffee)

Special equipment: Ice Cream maker

 Method
1 Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

2 Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

3 Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4 Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed 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 can take about 10 minutes.

5 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 finely ground coffee, and stir until cool. Stir in the tequila.

6 Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Beans beans, they are good for your heart © Cookaroo


I'm also sending this for Patricia's event The Weekly Story at the Colours Dekor  and I hope she likes it.


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