|Balsamic strawberry, you are my new kryptonite - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Mixing up a summery delight from scratch - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|The secret of a good ice cream swirl - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
My renewed love of strawberry ice cream goes hand-in-hand with an appreciation for coffee ice cream. I always compare other coffee ice creams against my gold standards, which are Lappert's Kona coffee or Roselani's coffee ice cream. They're both Hawaii-based ice cream companies, I'm pretty sure they don't ship outside of the islands, with the exception of a small Lapperts at the California Hotel in Las Vegas, but one of the reasons I consider their coffee ice creams so good is they keep it simple. They don't fall into the frappucino-whipped-caramel sauced-sprinkle of chocolate mess that is most so-called coffee beverages and ice creams. The lily isn't just gilded when it comes to a lot of mainstream coffee ice creams, it's freakin' bedazzled and clothed in a purple crushed velvet track suit with gold stitching. That's some fussy ice cream, yo. How about just enjoying the coffee flavor, with the sweetness of milk?
I like my basic vanilla ice cream recipe as a starter -- you can peek at it on this older post. And while the milk, sugar and vanilla is simmering, I throw in about a quarter cup of fresh-ground coffee. It steeps and releases its pure java flavor. I let it all simmer until it's got the perfect blend of coffee and vanilla, add the eggs, and then strain the mix through a fine metal sieve. It will get all the large chunks of beans out, but a little will remain, and that's fine. When it's time to churn the chilled mixture, I'll add in some super finely chopped bittersweet chocolate -- run it through the food processor to get it really small and grainy. It's more as a textural element, since the chill keeps the chocolate's flavor from really permeating the ice cream. I like the little crunchy bits of chocolate as I eat the ice cream, it makes me feel like I'm having a chocolate covered espresso bean. I could leave the ground coffee in, but I think they might be too bitter, and the chocolate just adds a nice surprise of sweetness with the coffee.
I hope these little ice creamery tips are helpful as you wade through the summer heat. Ice cream maker or not, there are some nice ways to jazz up a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream!
|The joy of ice cream, down to the last bite - Photos by Wasabi Prime|