Quick as caffeine: Coffee latte ice cream


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“I love coffee, I love tea. I love the java jive and it loves me.”

Thank you, I say, to Milton Drake and Ben Oakland as I play that tune on my ukulele. Their 1940s song is my anthem.

I love coffee in all its forms -- hot, cold or frozen. This summer, I’ve been polishing off cartons of Oikos-brand cafe latte Greek frozen yogurt. Good, but like so many frozen desserts, not deeply flavored enough.

Guessing I’d have to make my own custom blend if I wanted any kick at all, I searched the cookbooks. And there it was: Nigella Lawson’s One-step No-churn Coffee-Latte Ice Cream. A winner with only four ingredients, no cooking and, except for a brief spin with a hand-held electric mixer, no mechanics or churning involved. If the phone doesn’t ring, prep time is 60 seconds. Here’s how to make it:

Whip together four ingredients -- heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, instant espresso powder and Kahlua. When the mixture is fluffy, it’s done. Turn it into an airtight container and freeze for six hours or overnight. That’s it. The ice cream is smooth and creamy, airy and intensely flavored. Serve plain, with chocolate syrup, a few jimmies or toffee bits.

Riffing off that success, I made Coffee-Heath Bar Ice Cream Pie: This tastes like, but is better than, a Klondike Heath Bar. You hardly need a recipe, so here’s the idea. To a recipe of One-step No-churn Coffee-Latte Ice Cream (or a pint of slightly softened store-bought coffee ice cream), add toffee bits to taste. Turn the mixture into a prepared crumb crust and freeze. Bingo. Top with chocolate-flavored whipped cream. Find toffee bits with the chocolate chips of most grocery stores.

Ice Cream Sandwich: This is a time-honored custom in Italy, especially in Sicily. Split open a small brioche bun and pave it with ice cream. La Gourmandine on Butler Street in Larenceville has buns just the right size. Best breakfast on the planet. Again, got leftovers? Split the buns and slather with whipped cream.

Vietnamese Coffee: What to do with the leftover sweetened condensed milk? Stir it into your morning coffee or tea. Better yet, make glasses of Vietnamese coffee. The sweetened condensed milk transforms cold, strong coffee into something like a silky milkshake minus the foam.

For the iced version, pour two or three tablespoons into a small glass or glass coffee cup, add cold strong coffee, then ice. Stir or not. The sweetness tempers the coffee. For hot coffee, add the sweetened condensed milk to a heat-proof glass and, using a one-cup cone filter, let coffee drip right into the mug. 

So strong, so sweet, just like I like my husband.

One-Step No-Churn Coffee-Latte Ice Cream

PG tested

1¼ cups heavy cream, chilled

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons instant espresso granules

2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the mixture just until the beaters leave trails and make soft peaks in the bowl. The airy mixture will be coffee-latte colored and fluffy.

Transfer to an airtight pint container, and freeze for 6 hours or overnight. Serve straight from the freezer. The mixture is very “scoop-able.” Makes a pint.

-- “Nigellisima” by Nigella Lawson (Clarkson Potter, 2013)

Coffee-Heath Bar Ice Cream Pie

PG tested

1 pint coffee ice cream, somewhat softened

1½ cups toffee bits (8-ounce bag)

1 prepared crumb crust

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon espresso crystals

Combine the ice cream and toffee bits in a large mixing bowl and lightly mash the ice cream with the back of a wooden spoon until the toffee bits and ice cream are well combined.

Turn the ice cream mixture into the prepared crust and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Place the pie in the freezer while you continue with the recipe.

Make the topping. Combine the heavy cream, sugar, cocoa powder and espresso crystals in a medium-size mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it olds soft peaks. Remove the pie from the freezer and spread the whipped cream over the top with a rubber spatula. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and freeze it until the filling is completely set, at least 3 hours and up to 1 week. Makes 6 to 8 servings (1 9-inch pie).

-- “Icebox Pies” by Lauren Chattman (Harvard Common, 2002)


Marlene Parrish: marleneparrish@icloud.com or 412-481-1620.

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