Season with Spice featured on Rasa Malaysia

masala coffee in an ice cream cone
A few weeks ago, Reese & I were enjoying masala tea at a restaurant in Penang’s Little India. The warm aroma of green cardamom, and other spices, biting and tickling our taste buds with each sip. It was quiet, so we chatted with the waiter – a guy about our age, originally from Tamil Nadu – about his home and family, about the Tamil language as we struggled to pronounce a few words. And we asked him about the spices in the tea, and about the Indian dishes we had ordered.

masala coffee ice cream on season with spice

That simple experience carried to the following day, when I had masala tea swirling around in my mind. With that thought – mixed with my craving for ice cream that never goes away, and watching Reese add sugar to her coffee – I had my new recipe.

It’s well into Summer Season with Spice, so it’s time to enjoy a scoop of Masala Coffee Ice Cream!

Find the recipe below or on the homepage of one of the top Asian food blogs in the world – Rasa Malaysia.  Along with an introduction to Season with Spice, Bee of Rasa Malaysia is featuring our Masala Coffee (Espresso) Ice Cream recipe.  

For masala coffee ice cream using instant coffee or coffee beans, visit Season with Spice again as I share these two additional recipes, each with a different spice blend.  Because the best coffee ice cream is the one made with the coffee you are familiar with and enjoy drinking.

Happy Summer Season with Spice!

Masala Espresso Coffee Ice Cream by Season with Spice
Makes about 1 liter

1 3/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup of espresso (cooled)
1 (or 2) black cardamom
3 green cardamoms
Pieces of Ceylon cinnamon bark (equal to 1 tsp of powder after grounding)
6 black peppercorns
2 clove
Dash of nutmeg
2 tsp of espresso grounds
1/2 cup of raw sugar (white or brown work fine too)
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon of gelatin powder (or equivalent)

1. With a mortar and pestle, grind the pieces of Ceylon cinnamon bark until you have about a teaspoon of fine powder.

2. Crack open the black and green cardamoms and put the seeds into the mortar with the cinnamon, and set the shells to the side.  Add into the mortar – black peppercorns, clove, nutmeg, and espresso grounds – and grind up everything into a fine powder.

3. In a small pot, add the spice blend you just created, with the cream, cardamom shells and espresso (make sure the espresso has cooled to room temperature).  Using a heat resistant plastic spatula, stir frequently over medium-low heat until small bubbles appear along the edges (but don’t let it boil). Should be about 10 minutes. Then turn heat off, cover, and let sit while you complete the next step.

4. In a bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and gelatin. Add a quarter of the mixture from the pot into the bowl, while constantly whisking (to prevent the eggs from cooking). Then repeat with another quarter of the mix. Finally, pour everything in the bowl back into the pot, while stirring with the plastic spatula.

5. Return the pot to the stove and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Without allowing it to boil, heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (or if you have a cooking thermometer – when it reaches 160F to pasteurize the eggs). Should take about 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Layer the bottom of a large bowl with ice cubes, and set a small metal bowl inside. Pour mixture through a strainer into the small, metal bowl.

7. Stir mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cool (should take about 15 minutes), transfer mixture into a plastic airtight container and place in refrigerator overnight.

8. On the following day, pour mixture into ice cream machine and churn.

9. Transfer the ice cream into a plastic container, lay plastic wrap directly on top of ice cream and press down gently (to prevent ice crystals from forming on top of the ice cream), and seal with airtight cover. Set freezer temperature to the coldest setting, so the ice cream freezes faster.

1. The key to this spice blend is black cardamom, which is generally an ingredient in savory dishes.  However, the rich, smoky aroma of this spice adds a new dimension to coffee ice cream.
2. You can substitute cassia (‘ground cinnamon’ from the grocery store) for Ceylon cinnamon, but best to cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon since cassia has a much more pungent flavor.
3. You can use your normal drip coffee, but make it extra strong.
4. If you’re new to making ice cream, please see my “Tips on Making Ice Cream at Home