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Cappuccino-Toffee Crunch Ice Cream

Cappuccino-Toffee Crunch Ice Cream
For heightened flavor and crunch, sprinkle additional nut crunch over scoops of the ice cream before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 Tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches long, broken
     in half
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 oz. European bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum
  • 3/4 cup nut crunch made with almonds

Directions:

Pour 2 cups of the half-and-half into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa and espresso powder and whisk to blend. Add the cinnamon stick and remove from the heat.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and all of the sugar until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving.

Gradually pour the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the same saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spatula, until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of the spatula when a finger is drawn across it, about 5 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a clean heatproof bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the Kahlúa, rum and the remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half. Refrigerate the custard until cold, about 1 hour.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the nut crunch during the final minute of freezing. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups; serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Ice Creams & Sorbets, by Sarah Tenaglia (Time-Life Books, 1996).