Caffe latte Ice Cream · GF (1 quart)

This summer, I predict it’s hot will become the new hello. We’ve said nothing else to each other at work. Everyone begins the day with an upbeat exclamation, “it’s hot!” but by the time we each head home, it’s turned into a half-whistled moan, “whew. It’s hot.” At the grocery the cashier observes, “It’s hot.” The radio announcers remind us, “it’s hot.” When we go out, when we come home, when we check the mail.

It’s hot.

We can think of nothing else. We snap a photo of our dashboard thermometer to tweet or post on Facebook, as if no one’s ever seen a three digit temperature before.

It’s too hot for coffee. Hell, it’s too hot for an iced latte as far as I’m concerned. Anything not frozen just ain’t cold enough. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up our lattes…

latte ice cream

Getting latte art-esque swirls of milk chocolate ganache on the ice cream’s surface takes a little practice. You have to scoop the ice cream and let it sit for a few moments, until the surface turns glossy (which should only take a few seconds at room temperature, re: it’s hot). Then generously spoon fluid, but not warm, milk chocolate ganache over the top.

And wait.

An instant later, the ganache will start sheeting off the ice cream in waves.

coffee cup of ice cream

Whether or not you master ice cream “art” hardly matters. It’s cold. It’s delicious. It’s caffeinated. And, however briefly, you might just forget it’s hot.

Caffe Latte Ice Cream
8 ounces milk
14 ounces cream
3 ounces whole coffee beans, preferably dark or espresso roast
1 vanilla bean, split, scraped and seeds reserved
5 ounces egg yolks
7 ounces sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces coffee liquor (I used Tia Maria) or other liquor of your choice
milk chocolate ganache to garnish, recipe below

In a medium pot, combine the milk, cream, coffee beans and vanilla bean halves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cool to room temperature and steep for at least 3 hours. I prefer making this crazy banana style and letting it steep in the fridge over night. This extracts the most intense coffee flavor. If you’d like more of an au lait vibe, a shorter steep time is a-okay.

The next day, or whenever you’re ready, return the dairy mixture to a simmer, then strain into a large bowl. Stir the coffee beans in the sieve with a spatula, pressing on them gently to release as much of the dairy as possible. Use the spatula to scrape the heavily flavored cream out from the vanilla bean pods and into the dairy mixture.

Discard the beans* and set the sieve aside for later, no need to rinse.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt and coffee liquor. If for religious or dietary reasons you abstain from alcohol, simply omit. It adds an extra boost of coffee flavor and helps keep the ice cream extra creamy, but you can certainly manage without it.

Begin whisking some of the hot diary into the egg mixture, one ladleful at at time, until the egg mixture is quite warm and fluid. Next, whisk the egg mixture back into the pot of cream.

Turn the heat to medium and stir constantly with a spatula, making sure to scrape all along the bottom of the pot (and corners!) to avoid curdling any of the custard. Continue cooking and stirring until the ice cream base thickens considerably (“coating the back of a wooden spoon” being the popular description of done-ness).

Immediately shut off the heat and strain the custard through a sieve and into a large bowl.

Cool in an ice bath and refrigerate overnight. Process in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions.

Milk Chocolate Ganache
3 ounces cream
3 ounces milk chocolate (I use a 36% milk chocolate), chopped
kosher salt, to taste

In a small pot, bring the cream to a simmer. Shut off the heat, add the milk chocolate, and whisk gently until the chocolate has melted. You can now whisk more vigorously to incorporate, without risk of splashing. Whisk in a generous pinch of salt, then taste the ganache to see if it could use a little more. You don’t want it salty, but a nice dose of salt rounds out the chocolate and highlights its mellow flavor.

Let the ganache cool to room temperature before spooning over the ice cream. For a thicker ganache, refrigerate it until it reaches the texture you’d like, bearing in mind that a certain point it will just solidify.

*If you’re feeling thrifty, you can reuse the beans to make coffee bean brittle. Rinse ‘em two or three times to remove the cream, then dry on a sheet pan in a 300° oven for 15 minutes, give or take. Use them to make a half batch of this recipe. It would make a pretty swanky garnish for coffee ice cream.


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Any questions?

Jul 03, 2012 ·  8:12 AM

I seriously swooned and could actually TASTE this when I saw the pictures.

 · Kasha the FarmGirl ·

Jul 03, 2012 ·  8:40 AM

My heart is pounding, I am so excited to make this! That is the most beautiful ice cream ever. Thanks Stella!

 · saltandserenity · http://www.saltandserenity

Jul 03, 2012 ·  9:18 AM

Oh, how I love some coffee ice cream! I never thought to brew the coffee in the cream – thanks for the tips!

 · meghan ·

Jul 03, 2012 ·  9:27 AM

It’s hot. )))
The headlines for everything. Here in the Philippines we say that too except we add “all the time” to it. XD

 · Krysten · 

Jul 03, 2012 · 10:17 AM

Woops, my computer just left a blank comment. It’s cool here in LA – come visit! This is unbelievable. I was just looking for a coffee ice cream recipe this morning – I did not like the one I made over the weekend. THANK YOU! <3

 · Kathryn · 

Jul 03, 2012 ·  2:52 PM

Stella, your recipes are simply too tempting. Seriously, how can one go through summer in a decent looking swimsuit with so many irresistible sins? I can’t wait to try this one! Thank you

 · Tesei · 

Jul 03, 2012 ·  3:50 PM

I just got a new ice cream maker and this recipe will be first on my list to make this weekend! I wish I could reach through the screen and taste it as I am currently in an unairconditioned room in the middle of NYC.

 · The Culinistas ·!/TheCulinistas

Jul 03, 2012 ·  5:21 PM

It’s not hot where I am today (Seattle) but it will be when I’m back in NYC soon. Either way I want this ice cream. And I wanna learn to do the swirls.

 · fatpiginthemarket ·

Jul 03, 2012 ·  7:03 PM

@Kasha, you 100% have Sarah Jane to thank. It was soooo hot the day we took that photo and the ice cream was melting so fast, but she captured it anyway. She’s amazing.

@saltandserenity, sounds like you’re pre-caffeinated!

@meghan, three or four hours gives a good flavor, but overnight gives you some serious buzz buzz buzz…

@Krysten, haha, that’s awesome! er…hot!

@Kathryn, serendipity! My brother just moved back after 5 years in LA and he was always rubbing the perfect weather in my face (as I suffered in Kentucky). Now you can take over his job and remind me what I’m missing!

@Tesei, full disclosure: I won’t wear a swimsuit.

@Culinistas, on the downside, it’s hot. On the upside: you’re in NYC! I’m jealous. xo

@fatpiginthemarket, admittedly it takes some practice, but that just means you have to eat lots of it too, so it’s a win-win situation.


Jul 05, 2012 ·  3:08 AM

Wow! Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

 · DB-The Foodie Stuntman · http://crazyfoodiestunts.blo​

Jul 05, 2012 ·  7:58 AM

Oh I love it. And today is suppose to be super hot. Perfect!

 · Emily @ Life on Food ·

Jul 05, 2012 ·  6:17 PM

Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Today’s Top 9!

 · CJ at Food Stories ·

Jul 05, 2012 ·  8:12 PM

Thanks everyone!


Jul 05, 2012 ·  9:20 PM

The custard is in the fridge and I am in Texas so of course it is still hot as usual. Counting down the hours until I can put it in the ice cream maker. The only part of this recipe I do not like is the waiting game. Can’t wait to try it!

 · Jixel · 

Jul 06, 2012 ·  9:35 PM

how appropriate that you made the top 9 on foodBUZZ with a coffee recipe!

and thank you for not shunning milk chocolate.

 · mallowsota · 

Jul 08, 2012 ·  2:44 PM

@Jixel, I hope you enjoyed it!!

@mallowsota, I feel like when people say they don’t like milk chocolate, it’s because they’ve only had cheap milk chocolate. The good stuff is the good stuff. xoxox forever!


Jul 09, 2012 · 10:55 AM

Wow wow wow. I can imagine this being spectacular with a salted caramel sauce, too. If coffee shops carried this I’d be there every day.

 · Evan Thomas ·

Jul 09, 2012 ·  4:39 PM

@Evan, oh yeah! Salty caramel would work amazingly with this, almost like a frozen Cuban coffee.


Jul 09, 2012 ·  8:46 PM

I think you just made my day, no make that month. LOVE coffee flavored ice creams. I’ve made a few but just can’t get the flavor to be what I’m after. This sounds fabulous. Can’t wait to try it. Printing now…

 · Decor Girl ·

Jul 12, 2012 ·  3:03 PM

Hey Stella! Question: would it be okay to steep the milk-cream-vanilla-coffee mixture longer than 24 hours? I recently made your vanilla bean ice cream, and I let it steep in the fridge for, like, 4 days. It was awesome, but, would doing so in this recipe make the coffee flavor too bitter? I know that the longer you steep tea, the more bitter the result – is coffee the same way?

Oh, by the way, I made your vanilla bean ice cream into Spculoos ice cream by stirring in speculoos (Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter) and it was astoundingly amazing. I made it for a dinner party, and everyone was blown away. Then, a few days later, I added cocoa nibs to the ice cream and it made it even better – the nibs offset the sweetness with their slightly-bitter crunchiness. Seriously awesome.

Thanks for all of your awesome recipes! I’m going to make this recipe ASAP, since down in Tampa, Florida, it’s way too hot, too!

 · Kat · 

Jul 12, 2012 ·  8:40 PM

@Kat, I’ve let it steep over the weekend before, so I can come into work on Monday morning and start cracking eggs and finishing it up. It had a good coffee flavor, but I didn’t think it had gotten out of control. Between the cold and maybe the limited surface area of whole beans, it seems after 24 hours the extraction time doesn’t change the flavor much one way or the other. So if it’s convenient, let it go as long as you like, there are no negative consequences at any rate.

And I loooove that you were playing around and making speculoos ice cream (and nibby style too!). You must be a goddess to your friends generating so much amazing ice cream during this miserable heat.

Thanks for sharing!


Jul 16, 2012 ·  7:19 AM

I made it over the weekend w/out the ganache and this is decadent and immensely flavorful. I used e 3 whole eggs rather than all yolks. This has such a wonderfully intense flavor, you don’t require a big bowl. Love steeping the beans. I was afraid my beans we too old since they never softened but no worries. Great recipie – thanks again.

 · Decor Girl ·

Jul 16, 2012 ·  7:26 PM

@Decor Girl, oh, I’m so happy to hear of your success! It really is a serious delivery of coffee flavor. Curious though, what do you mean that your beans never softened…?


Jul 12, 2013 ·  6:36 PM

Wow!! That looks so yummy. I have to try this recipes.

 · Nonny ·

Jul 16, 2013 ·  9:54 PM

Hope you enjoy, Nonny!


Jul 18, 2013 ·  8:24 AM

Perfect! Its getting hotter and hotter so this will be great to make Thanks Stella

 · Kotta · 

Jul 19, 2013 ·  3:47 PM

You’re welcome, Kotta! Hope you enjoy!


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