The ice cream maker! And while ice cream is a year-round food group to my boyfriend and me, I don't usually start cranking out the churner until spring officially arrives. Once it does, though, homemade ice cream pours out of our freezer for the next six months like there is no tomorrow.
I have lots of favorite flavors — Nutella gelato and fresh Georgia peach come to mind — but this coffee ice cream recipe just never gets old. It's also a great way to use up that extra cup of coffee we always seem to have leftover. One day I decided to pair it with my boyfriend's family's hot fudge sauce, and our lives were changed forever. Talk about a match made in heaven. Mind you, this isn't a super creamy fudge sauce, but instead gets hard and crackly as soon as it hits the cold. Soooo good.
So good in fact that I'll be serving it tonight for dinner with friends. I can't think of a better way to finish off a big meal of chicken parmesan and fresh fettuccine than with this simple dessert. Trust me, homemade ice cream never ceases to impress.
P.S. If you don't have an ice cream maker, get yourself to the store pronto. My little Cuisinart has been one of my most loved kitchen purchases to date — it's inexpensive and easy-to-use. So what are you waiting for? You can thank me later.
For the ice cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup strong brewed coffee (or more to taste, depending on strength)
For the chocolate sauce
2 squares unsweetened chocolate squares (preferably Baker's)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
For the ice cream, heat milk and heavy cream in a sauce pot over medium heat until just scalded.
Meanwhile beat the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer). Slowly add scalded milk mixture until well combined.
Pour the milk mixture back into the sauce pot. Cook over medium-low heat until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 12 - 15 minutes (stirring occasionally at first, then constantly towards the end, watching carefully to make sure the eggs don't scramble).
Remove the ice cream mixture from the heat and stir in the coffee. Allow to cool to room temperature, then freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
For the chocolate sauce, melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low to medium-low heat. Add milk and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until completely melted.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)