Sometimes, a girl just needs some chocolate and she doesn’t care where it comes from or in what form. Yesterday was one of those days… Luckily for me, my chocolate wasn’t some run-of-the-mill, bottom of the barrel, barely-passable store brand chocolate chips that I found in the back of the cabinet [we've all been there before, right? ...right?]. Last month I had the opportunity to go to Vancouver, where my chocolate dreams came true-ver [sorry, couldn't resist]. There, I met Coffee Crisp for the first time: a thick wafer cookie filled with creamy layers of coffee frosting, draped in a milk chocolate coating. It was, put simply, a perfect combination of crunch, coffee and cocoa.
I had a few throughout the week [you know, for 'research' purposes], but before I left, I bought myself a bag to take back to Philly. I’ve been shamefully hoarding them ever since. I wanted to save them for something special, knowing that it might be a while before I can bribe my Canadian pals to mail me some [my birthday's in March...hint hint]. So, yesterday, after an afternoon that wiped full sentences and clear thoughts from my brain, I came home, mindlessly moved toward the kitchen and knew it was time to crack open the Coffee Crisp.
Note on improvisational nature of this recipe: I have to confess that I started making this with David Lebovitz’s Philadelphia style [eggless] Chocolate Ice Cream in mind, but as I pulled out my copy of The Perfect Scoop, I realized I barely had enough of any of the ingredients. So, it’s a little improvised, probably lower in fat, but still creamy and delicious.
**additional note: I was not paid to endorse Coffee Crisp or given any for free [womp womp]. I speak solely out of love, admiration and Canadian appreciation for the little morsels of wafery goodness. If you can’t find Coffee Crisp, you *could* use Kit-Kats, but you should just go to Canada. It’s worth the drive.
- ⅓ C whipping cream
- ⅔ C skim milk (of course you can substitute 1%, 2% or whole)
- ⅓ C sugar
- 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ C whole coffee beans
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Coffee Crisp bar, crumbled
- pinch salt
- Combine milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a small sauce pan. Whisk to break up any cocoa clumps that may have formed (alternatively, you can also use a stick blender if you’re lucky enough to own one. I was lazy and just used a whisk). Add the coffee beans. Cook over medium to low heat until just before the mixture begins to simmer (it should be quite warm and steaming). Let steep an hour. Strain beans from mixture.
- Reheat mocha milk mixture by slowly bringing it up to an almost simmer. Remove from heat.
- Temper egg yolks by slowly streaming hot milk mixture into the yolks, stirring quickly and constantly so the eggs get warmed, but don’t scramble.
- Once the yolks and mocha milk are happily married, place the mixture back into the small sauce pan and cook on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, being careful to scrape the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spatula (approximately 8-10 minutes).
- Strain mixture through a strainer into a heat-safe bowl and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
- Before putting your ice cream directly in your mouth, er…into a container like a responsible human being with self control, stir in crumbled Coffee Crisp bar.
- Enjoy immediately as soft serve [there's that whole 'self control' thing again...] or freeze until ice cream hardens.
- Treat. Yo. Self. / Eat. Yo. Feelings.