Is there anything better in the world than coffee ice cream? I don't think so. You know that question people sometimes ask you: "If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food, what would it be?" Easy answer for me - it would always be coffee ice cream.
So, when I saw a recipe on Food 52.com for Nigella Lawson's Four Ingredient Coffee Ice Cream, well, I'm sure you can guess that trying it was a must.
The recipe claimed that the ice cream would be smooth and velvety, even without an ice cream machine, and that it could be made in a jiffy. It promised rich coffee flavor, too, another plus - most coffee ice creams could use an additional shot of java, in my view. I was on board in a big way for this recipe!
I was out of Kahlua and haven't had freeze-dried coffee in the house in decades and just the thought of sweetened condensed milk (not to mention the way it slithers out of the can) was nearly a turn-off but, hey - Nigella, baby!
At least the recipe called for real cream.
Literally all you do is dump the four ingredients into your mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment but if you don't have one, a regular handheld electric mixer or a whisk will do), whisk the stuff for only about 5 minutes on medium speed until the coffee granules melt and the whisk leaves pillowy marks in the mixture, pour the mixture into a pint container, and freeze for 6 hours or overnight. What could be easier?
Because the Kahlua has some alcohol in it, the ice cream doesn't freeze hard. It scoops easily and begins melting shortly after scooping. If you like firmer ice cream, you might consider tinkering with the amount of Kahlua but we liked it just fine the way it was, and it does firm up if you can freeze it overnight.
It was easily the creamiest, smoothest, most unctuous ice cream I've ever tasted and the coffee flavor was distinct enough even for me. "Decadent" is a good word for it. True to its promise, there was no crystalizing at all. My Beloved thought that adding something with a little texture or crunch would improve it, perhaps the chocolate cookie part of an Oreo for example, although he certainly enjoyed every drop of the scoop in his bowl.
This is dessert good enough to serve to company, good enough to share with friends, good enough, in fact, to make a batch any time you run out.
I mean, hey - Nigella, baby!
Makes 1 pint
1 1/4 cup (300 milliliters) heavy or double cream, well-chilled
2/3 cup (175 grams) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons espresso liqueur
In a mixing bowl, add all four ingredients and whisk until the coffee granules dissolve into the mixture and turn the color of a strong latte. The whisk should leave little pillowy marks in the mixture, but you don't want to beat it too long for fear of making butter - about five minutes on the low speed of a mixer should be about enough.
Pour into an airtight pint container and freeze for at least six hours, or over night. Scoops easily and melts quickly.