Roasted Coffee Bean Chocolate Ice Cream

Roasted Coffee Bean Chocolate Ice Cream by Season with Spice

Penang is a coffee culture.  A sit around for hours at the Kopitiam (coffee shop), reading newspapers, chatting with friends, holding business meetings or escaping them, kind of coffee culture.  A culture of cheap, but rich coffee.  A strong, black brew that can only be tamed with copious amounts of sugar and condensed milk.

kun kee white coffee in unesco world heritage site of georgetown penang on hong kong street

koon kee traditional penang white coffee factory in penang

The secret of Penang coffee is not in the Sumatran coffee beans, but in how the beans are roasted.  At Kun Kee (previously known as Koon Kee Tea & Coffee Powder Factory)  – located in a row of historic shophouses in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town – the coffee beans are combined with sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and butter, and roasted over a wood fire, causing smoke to billow up from the back of the shophouse, and creating such an intense, thick aroma that anyone within blocks will suddenly be reminded of stopping at a kopitiam for a coffee break.

Kun Kee Coffee roasts the beans using this traditional method to make a full-bodied coffee bean with a smoky, slightly bitter flavor that suits the local tastes of Malaysians and Singaporeans.  Walk into any kopitiam in Penang, and you will invariably taste Kun Kee Coffee, served in a cup just like this:

penang coffee cup and saucer with green flower motif

To complete my three part series on coffee ice cream (Part 1Masala Coffee Ice Cream, Part 2Smoky Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream), I decided to use Penang roasted coffee beans, steeped slowly in milk and cream to extract the rich, buttery, smoky flavor.  And combined with cocoa to create a delectable chocolate-coffee ice cream to cool anyone on those hot Penang days, sitting for hours in the Kopitiam.

ice cream with spices coffee bean and cocoa

Roasted Coffee Bean Chocolate Ice Cream by Season with Spice

Roasted Coffee Bean Ice Cream recipe by Season with Spice
Makes about 1 liter

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup of your favorite coffee beans (I used Kun Kee's The Salute Brand 海军牌 coffee beans)
1/4 cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 tsp gelatin
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)

1. Add the cream, milk, and coffee beans into a small pot. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally with a heat resistant plastic spatula, 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 for 30-60 minutes, depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor.

2. Heat up the mixture in the small pot for a few minutes until warm again. Then 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.* Stir in vanilla paste or extract.

5. Stir mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cool (should take about 10-15 minutes), transfer mixture into a plastic airtight container, and place in refrigerator overnight.

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

* The used coffee beans can be rinsed clean and kept for many different purposes.  For example, place the beans in a bowl and keep it in the refrigerator to get rid of any odors.  Or grind the beans up and add to the compost pile for your garden (high levels of nitrogen in the beans will help enrich the soil)

how to make homemade coffee chocolate ice cream recipe