My dad is the inspiration behind this ice cream creation. I have been telling him about all of the ice creams I’ve made through the summer and I think he was starting to get jealous because he hasn’t been able to try one! He doesn’t live in the same city as me so don’t go saying “oh jess you’re a bad daughter- not sharing with your father” lol. I want to share! So I wanted to make something that I thought he’d really like and I’m going to try transporting it his place this coming labor day weekend (stay posted to see how this went and if the ice cream arrived in a solid state or as a melted mess, haha, as it will be making a 2 hour car ride with me in 80 degree temperatures. I plan to pack it with ice packs, surrounded by bubble wrap in an insulated casserole carrier).
In passing he mentioned this ice cream called “Deer Tracks” to me. I know I have mentioned that he hates the combination of peanut butter and chocolate and therefore he doesn’t like “panda paws” or “moose tracks”- which are ice creams with chocolate and peanut butter cups mixed in. Deer Tracks is the version for him apparently. So I looked it up and it sounded wonderful. The major “brand” of this ice creams is Gifford’s and they describe it:
“As delightful as sunrise at a cabin on the lake: full-bodied espresso ice cream laced with crunchy, chocolate-coated, English toffee and swirled with thick, rich chocolate fudge.”
Sounds good, right? I wish I could have tried the real thing before concocting my own version so I would know what I was aspiring towards but I guess this description served me well enough because it turned out pretty darn delicious, if i do say so myself!
I understand the basis of making a base for a good creamy ice cream at this point but still did some searching on “espresso ice cream recipe” to see what I would find. I ended up finding a recipe by Ina Garten that I adapted for the base for my ice cream. I used a recipe called “Fudge Ripple” (found on epicurious.com) for the chocolate that gets swirled in at the end. This fudge ripple is like a thin fudge and tastes like an intense “Hershey syrup”. The idea is for it to be very strong in flavor so that you will actually taste it against the ice cream. You can also use it as a topping if you wish. If that is your plan for it, I would suggest stirring in a few tablespoons of heavy cream after cooking to give it a thicker body without taking away too much of the intense chocolate flavor. It is quite dark in color and uses dark cocoa powder as the main ingredient. Below is the recipe for the espresso ice cream and following that, the recipe for the fudge ripple so that you may easily reference or print it for other creations as well! (I plan to).
Espresso Ice Cream
- 3 cups half and half
- 6 extra-large egg yolks
- 2/3 cups superfine sugar
- Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
- 3 tablespoon espresso powder (I used King Arthur’s)
- 1 tbsp coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua Hazelnut)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped
- ½ cup chocolate-covered toffee chopped (I used Heath bars)
- ½ cup of “Fudge Ripple”
- Heat the half-and-half until it forms bubbled around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar and salt until mixed
- Slowly add the hot half-and-half to the sugar mixture with the mixer on low speed. Do this very slowly at first to “temper” the eggs- you don’t want to scramble them
- Add the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 5-10 minutes, until it’s thickened and the cream coats the back of the spoon
- Take off the heat and whisk in the espresso powder, coffee liqueur and vanilla extract
- Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a medium bowl (you will store it in the refrigerator in this bowl)
- Chill at least 4 hours. Overnight is better.
- Pour the espresso-cream into the bowl of an ice-cream maker and process according to your manufacturer’s directions
- Add in the coffee beans and chopped toffee 5 minutes before the ice cream is done churning
- Next you want to add the fudge ripple and you can do this one of two ways (make sure the fudge ripple is fully chilled): 1) pour half the soft ice cream into your storage container. Drizzle ¼ cup of the fudge over the ice cream and gently swirl into the ice cream with a knife. Pour the remaining ice cream over the fudge and carefully smooth out. Repeat the drizzling and swirling with the remaining fudge ripple. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving. 2) Pour 1/3 of the fudge in the bottom of your storage container. Layer 1/3 the ice cream over the top of it. Layer 1/3 of the fudge followed by 1/3 ice cream followed by the remaining fudge followed by the remaining ice cream. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water (or strong brewed coffee for mocha fudge ripple)
- ½ tsp. espresso powder
- Pinch kosher salt
- 6 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process dark cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, espresso powder, salt and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan
- Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges
- Continue to whisk until the mixture just comes to a boil
- Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
- Allow to cool and chill thoroughly in refrigerator for ease of use (it will thicken a bit)