Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream

Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream with black cardamom pods by

Unfortunately, instant coffee doesn’t equal instant coffee ice cream.

Making ice cream at home is still a tedious process, but you tend to forget the effort involved when the churning finishes and you are eating ultra creamy ice cream right from the machine.

freshly churned smooth coffee ice cream by

Continuing with my three part series on Masala Coffee Ice Cream – Espresso, Instant Coffee, and Coffee Beans – I’m sharing the ‘quickest’ recipe today in Part 2.

Some may scoff at the idea of instant coffee in ice cream, preferring to use only gourmet coffee beans, but why not make ice cream with your favorite coffee? And for many of us, that’s instant.

Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream with black cardamom by

While not an instant spice blend, this recipe does feature the easiest of the three. And in keeping with my belief that the rich, smoky aroma of black cardamom is the perfect match with coffee, I upped the quantity of the spice, left the other spices out, and added in a vanilla bean to create a Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream.

Nowhere near a standard spice blend for what you would find in a masala tea/coffee, but that’s the magic of masala – try out any spice blend you like. And any coffee!

Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream by Season with Spice
Makes about 3/4 liter

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
3 black cardamom pods
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
3 tbsp instant coffee
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 tsp gelatin (or equivalent)

1. Crack open the black cardamom pods, and put the empty pods into a small pot, and the seeds into a mortar. Grind the seeds into a fine powder and transfer it to the small pot.

2. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrap out the seeds with the dull side of the knife. Add the seeds and the pod into the small pot.

3. Next add the cream, milk, and instant coffee into the small pot. 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. (If using vanilla extract, add into the bowl with the mixture)

7. Stir mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cool (should take about 10 minutes), transfer mixture into a plastic airtight container, and place in refrigerator overnight. For a stronger vanilla taste, add the vanilla bean into the container overnight.

8. On the following day, take the vanilla bean out and pour the mixture into the 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. You may need to increase or decrease the quantity of instant coffee depending on the type you use. In this recipe, I used ‘Mocca’ instant coffee (Yemen coffee).
2. The vanilla bean can be rinsed, dried, and used again. Try adding it to a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar.
3. This ice cream is the perfect complement to the light, eggless, chocolate cake from Joy of Baking. I particularly like this cake recipe because I can add in lemon or lime zest, or a shot of rum, or extra chocolate, and it always turns out delicious (I always reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup and cut the salt from the cake ingredients.  And I skip the frosting).