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Long before I learned to love coffee, I loved coffee ice cream. After reading the coffee chapter of Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine, I wanted to try cold brewing in cream. Myhrvold recommends it as the method of choice when making coffee based desserts with dairy.
How to cold brew in cream
The set-up is pretty similar to normal cold brew. Myrhvold recommended more of a crushed coffee bean rather than ground (i.e. bigger chunks) or even using whole beans. I opted for crushed. To do this I put my roasted coffee beans in a freezer baggie and wrapped it in a towel. Then I used my meat tenderizer to give it several blows until the coffee was in chunks.
The next step is to place your coffee in a clean jar or container and add cream (or milk, whatever you are using). Put a lid on it and brew in the refrigerator for 20-24 hours.
The next day, you can strain out the coffee and use the cream or milk in your recipe. I used a mesh strainer and the fine bits of coffee bean in my ice cream were a nice addition.
As you can see, the 2 main differences to brewing in water are using whole or crushed coffee beans, and you must brew in the fridge for food safety.
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar
vanilla bean* or extract (optional)
1 cup whole roasted coffee beans
- Crush the coffee beans as directed above. Place in a jar and cover with the cream. Put a lid on and place in the fridge to steep for 20-24 hours. This will be thick–try to stir or swirl the mixture a few times during the steeping process so coffee and cream is thoroughly combined.
- Strain the cream from the coffee through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside in the fridge.
- Place milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a simmer.
- Whisk eggs and sugar together in a separate heat proof bowl.
- Gradually add the heated milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Tip: Add your milk very slowly at first to prevent scrambling the eggs. Once the eggs are warmed by the milk, you can add the milk a little faster.
- Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. This takes 10-15 minutes. You can add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract at this point if desired.
- Let the milk mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the coffee infused cream.
- Let the ice cream mixture chill in the fridge until cold.
- Process the mixture in your ice cream maker per your manufacturer’s directions.
Yield: About 1 quart
*if you would like to use a vanilla bean, slice a bean open and steep with the milk in step 3. Remove the bean before proceeding.