This Espresso Ice Cream is a coffee-lover’s dream, combining organic espresso, sweet and spicy cinnamon, and the bright floral notes one of the world’s most valued spices: cardamom.
I’ve always loved innovative ice cream flavors. Flavors like Honey Lavender with Toasted Pine Nuts (which I cover in my Flavor Crash Course), as well as peach blackberry or honey cinnamon. So when I heard about an ice cream social featuring craft beer and local jams, how could I resist?
As soon as the work day closed, I cruised down the highway. I arrived at the venue and parked, just as the last gray-blue hues faded and melted into a black sky.
The air was comfortably dewy with the night time humidity of Florida in December. Even in mid-December, I wore short sleeves comfortably and was looking forward to kicking back with a cold beer and a scoop of ice cream.
As I stepped inside the brewery, I quickly took inventory of the people and sized up the room. My view on attending social functions alone is that they are always a little bit intimidating and a little bit thrilling. You never know how it will go introducing yourself to someone new. Will they be interesting to talk to? Will they be annoyed at your intrusion? Or will they welcome a new face into their circle?
I looked around the room one more time, and my eyes caught on a girl with short honey-brown hair, sitting on a bar stool and laughing with a couple young women with two smiling guys standing awkwardly aside, beers in hand. I walked over.
“Hi,” I said. “What are you drinking?”
She immediately turned my way, smiling broadly, then, without a moment’s hesitation, said, “OH MY GOD, this is delicious. You have to try it!” But before I could take the glass, she pulled it back to herself with a look like a combination of shame and horror. “Oh wait! No! I’ve been sick. You shouldn’t! I’m sorry!”
If there had been any ice, it was completely broken at this point. This rapid-fire interaction was so comical, I couldn’t help but relax.
“No, no, it’s fine,” I told her. “I actually use this essential oil that kills viruses and microbes and stuff like that—”
“I think I have the same one!” She blurted out, catching me off guard. I tried to roll with the punches.
“Really?” I said. “Um, we could see…I have it in my truck.” And then suddenly we were crossing the street to where my truck sat parked. I reached into the truck’s console and pulled out the oil but it wasn’t the same.
“Nope,” she said, somewhat let down. “Oh well. I thought it was probably the same.”
I laughed at her, this quirky, boisterous, impulsive girl. I liked her immediately, as do most people upon meeting Heather for the first time!
We moseyed on back into the brewery, where she belatedly introduced me to her companions as I ordered one scoop of Pretzel Stout Ice Cream with cherry cola jam and one scoop of Farmhouse Ale ice cream blended with homemade marshmallow and topped with ambrosia jam.
“We made the jam,” said Heather. “Do you like it?”
“You made it?” I asked.
Turns out, Heather and her friends were part of the event, working for a local canning company here in St. Pete making all sorts of yummy things from local produce. Can you imagine my excitement? I’d gone to a brewery expecting to just try ice cream and beer then ended up meeting a group of gals who were into organic food and knew how to can, like me!
Moreover one of the women said she was a doula! For those of you who don’t know, I’m also a doula. We immediately launched into a conversation about moms and babies.
I couldn’t have been more blessed with good company if I had tried!
Heather and I hit it off! We’ve remain good friends and still celebrate a love of handcrafted, innovative ice cream flavors.
This past year, we went to a shop that had an espresso ice cream with cinnamon and cardamom. We topped it off with an espresso bomb, which is a shot of espresso poured over the ice cream.
Since then, we’ve dreamed about that ice cream! So this week, when I told Heather I was making homemade espresso ice-cream, she said, “Ooo! Why not do the one from the shop?”
Thus, this recipe for espresso ice cream was born.
Check out more adventures with Heather & Courtney.
Espresso Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cardamom: The Players
- 1-3/4 cups heavy cream (preferably grass fed)
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk (preferably grass fed)
- 2 TBSP ground organic espresso (where to buy espresso)
- 4 large egg yolks (preferably from pastured hens)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp cardamom (where to buy cardamom)
Espresso Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cardamom: The How-To
In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the milk, cream, and espresso on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture is barely below a simmer. Don’t let it boil!
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, until it becomes fluffy and doubles in volume, about 2 minutes.
Using a ladle or measuring cup, remove about 1 cup of liquid from the saucepan then whisk it into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan to combine with the other milk then turn stove to medium-low heat.
Use a wooden spoon to stir slowly until a custard forms and coats the back of the spoon. This should take about 2-5 minutes tops!
Have an ice bath ready in order to stop cooking the custard right away (so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs). Create an ice bath by nesting a small bowl inside a large bowl then surrounding the small bowl with ice.
When the custard is ready, pour through a sieve into the smaller nested bowl to strain out the espresso. Stir for a minute or so to release the heat and help it cool down. When the mixture is cooled down, remove the small bowl then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to 3 days.
To make ice cream, pour cold custard into an ice cream maker (where to buy ice cream maker) and churn until done. Freshly churned ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. To make your ice cream firmer, scoop into a freezer safe container then freeze it for at least 2 hours.