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Coffee Caramel Ice Cream

So a very big decision was before me: What should my first attempt at making ice cream be? I pondered for weeks without sleeping at night, like a zombie I scrolled through hundreds of websites and Pinterest articles to find the answer. Then, at night, it came to me . . .

The people who know me should realise that this is a heap of cow manure. I suppose I should not speak about cow manure in a food article. Okay, let’s be more hygienic.

I must acknowledge that I was not really in the mood to make a custard and attempt the ice cream the old-fashioned way. In my attempts at tiramisu I quickly realised that you very often end up with a very mild or even weak-tasting end product. I definitely did not want that. I wanted distinctive, powerful-tasting ingredients, to the point where it complement or even clash in your mouth. I wanted an ice cream experience.

My angel has a very easy way of making ice cream: one can of condensed milk, one can of evaporated milk, and one cup of cream. You need to get the evaporated milk chilled, I mean really cold. Then beat it until it has thickened. If you are not sure, beat it a bit more. It won’t get spoiled. The volume will increase and it will become light and fluffy. Then beat the cream. It will thicken until peaks form when you lift up the mixer. Be careful not to beat it too much, as it turns to butter. After some thought, I decided that the main ingredient for the ice cream should be coffee. Who could possibly have guessed that, coming from a coffee addict?

I then pondered on the other ingredients. What could possibly be the perfect combination of complementing and clashing with the taste of the coffee? A type of love-hate relationship in your mouth.

Then it came to me in the night: Sorry, I’m only kidding. But I realised that caramel could possibly be my answer. My angel would not allow me to use a can of Caramel Treat from the shop, so I had to fire up the pressure cooker and boil my own can of caramel. It takes about 45 minutes of steaming with enough water to cover the can of condensed milk, and Voila! You have caramel! Don’t tell her, but I agree there is a difference in the taste when you make it yourself and don’t use the store-bought version. The last element I incorporated was a tub of mascarpone. I stole that idea from my trials with tiramisu. I mixed the mascarpone with a cup of strong, cold filter coffee, then combined all the ingredients. I chose to add some instant coffee, which finally gave me the strong taste I desired.

This mixture was poured into a stainless steel pan and placed in the freezer. Every two hours we stirred it to prevent crystals from forming. This process was repeated until the ice cream had frozen solid. Then I decided to spread the caramel on top of the ice cream. We cut circles in three different sizes and stacked them onto one another for presentation. A very good alternative could be to add the caramel when you stir the ice cream mixture for the last time. You would have a very rich and sweet caramel swirling like small streams through the ice cream: Amazing!

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