I think about England a lot. Obviously, as you can tell, my blog name says I’d love to go there. More on that here. But, sometimes, I chuckle just thinking about all the things that make America so much different from the ‘ole Mother Country. We drive on the opposite side of the road. Our drivers’ sides are on the opposite side of the car. They have a Queen; we have a president. They traditionally prefer tea, while we have never recovered from the Boston Tea party and have, instead, made coffee the national beverage of choice. Our entire country reflects a nation that had enough and swung its colonial self 180 degrees in the opposite direction. And although maybe we really didn’t need all of those changes, there is one thing that I’m really glad we got into our nation’s buds: coffee.
Ah, beautiful coffee. It is the one morning buddy you can always count on to be there for you . . . the friend you can always summon for help on those long, horrifically tiring nights when your baby seems to think that sleep is a crutch only for the weakest of the species. It is a gift offered as a hand of hospitality to friends and neighbors when they visit, and it extends a gracious smile of thanks to a hostess when packaged as a cute housewarming gift. And guess what else? It makes some killer ice cream, too. A dessert with chocolate, coffee, and ice cream . . . what more do you need to know? 😉
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
No Churn Espresso Chip Ice Cream
(adapted from basic ice cream recipe)
2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until mixture forms soft peaks. Fold in sweetened condensed milk until combined, and then gently fold in espresso powder and chocolate chips. Gently scoop mixture into a loaf pan, cover the pan with foil, and freeze until firm. Say “YUM” multiple times and have several bowls.
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Start screaming, because this recipe is about as easy as they come. Start by getting your heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar going in the mixer, using the whisk attachment. You are basically making whipped cream, at this point, so whip until it looks like . . .
THIS! Yep. Look at that glorious loveliness.
Next, pour in your sweetened condensed milk. You want to use a spatula to fold in the SCM (sweetened condensed milk)– folding just basically means that you scrape the spatula along the sides of the bowl and “I’m bald and I’m covering it with a comb-over” the ingredients over the top. You are wrapping them around themselves, again and again, without deflating or stirring the middle. This technique just makes sure that your cream stays nice and light, which, of course, makes your ICE CREAM nice and light. YUM. (And by “light” I mean texture, rather than calories. But take it however you want when you tell people this is “light.” hehe).
After you have folded in the SCM, and you’re in the zone of folding mode, please come over to my house and fold my laundry. Go ahead. There is plenty for everyone. Seriously. Does that laundry EVER END? (Insert: random funny joke– once my hubby and I visited a sick friend in the hospital, and on the way out he said, “Hospitals are just so sterile. They never feel homey at all.” I asked how he would change it to make it feel more home-like. He said, “I don’t know– maybe put a whole bunch of dirty laundry and junk around?” ha).
Next, we are going to add a magic ingredient . . . espresso powder. Espresso powder is a delicate, super light powder with intense coffee flavor. The odd thing is, it actually works great in any chocolate recipe that you make– just a teaspoon or two of this stuff in a cake recipe or in brownies gives chocolate that Cinderella dress it needed to rock the ball– and just adding a squidge highlights the chocolate, without giving the dessert a coffee flavor. But if you put it into a more bland recipe, like, say, CREAM, then a magical thing happens. That delicate, beautiful powder dissolves into the cream and forms . . . espresso ice cream. Oh my goodness. Yes. And you can make your ice cream as coffee-tasting as you want. This ice cream, as I have it written out, has a nice coffee flavor without being overpowering. But if you like your coffee to get up and box you a few rounds in the morning, then you can feel free to add a bit more espresso powder 😉 Get espresso powder here. I like to keep it in the freezer after opening to preserve freshness and avoid clumping. And once you try it . . . you’ll never go back.
Another thing that sets espresso powder apart from regular instant coffee is that it dissolves much more easily, and it blends its luscious coffee flavor in there like it was born to do it. Use your spatula to fold in the espresso powder until it is combined. You will still see a few specks of it if you look closely, but that’s OK– just make sure there are no clumps. Next, add in your chocolate chips (or CHUNKS! Hey– I like the way you think!) and gently fold the cream to get them incorporated without deflating the whipped loveliness you worked so hard to create.
Gently scrape the cream mixture into a freezer safe pan (I made half a recipe, and 1 loaf pan worked perfectly, so I think for a full recipe you could use either 2 loaf pans or a 9×9 square pan), cover it with foil, and then let it freeze for several hours.
At that point, grab yourself some dishes and spoons and dig in. Look at the loveliness. It’s coffee. It’s chocolate. It’s ice cream that you MADE. Yourself. From scratch.
It smells like coffee, and it tastes like victory.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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