Affogato Smoky Almond Ice Cream Blue Bottle Coffee

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers!

Valentine’s Day really is about going the extra mile to show that special someone how much you care. What better way to demonstrate your thoughtfulness than to make ice cream, one of life’s greatest pleasures, from scratch?

This warm, luscious affogato from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan is a perfect way to end your romantic date-night. The slight smokiness in the creamy almond ice cream perfectly compliment the strong aroma and flavor of the espresso.

Affogato with Smoky Almond Ice Cream
from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan (Ten Speed Press, 2012)

Makes 1 quart (945 ml) ice cream, enough for 5 affogatos
Hands-on time: 30 minutes  /  From start to finish: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Substitutions: If you don’t have an espresso machine, pour 1/4 cup strong coffee over each serving of ice cream. Tequila can replace the mezcal; for a smoky flavor, use an añejo or reposado tequila.

Smoky Almond Ice Cream

2 cups (475 ml / 464 g) heavy cream
1 cup (240 ml / 242 g) half-and-half
2/3 cup (4.7 oz / 133 g) sugar
3 tablespoons carob powder
2 tablespoons mezcal
6 egg yolks (3.9 oz / 114 g), at room temperature
1/2 cup (2.8 oz / 80 g) almonds

5 shots (125 to 175 ml) espresso

To make the ice cream, combine the cream, half-and-half, sugar, carob, and mezcal in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until bubbles begin to form at the edges, between 180°F and 190°F (82°C and 88°C).

Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the warm cream mixture and whisk until well blended. Repeat five more times, until 11/2 cups of the cream mixture have been added and the egg yolk mixture is as warm as the remaining cream mixture.

Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.

In a heavy medium skillet, cook the almonds over medium heat, shaking often, until fragrant and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely, then coarsely chop.

Freeze the cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the almonds almost at the end of the churning time. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

To assemble the affogatos, divide the ice cream evenly among five cups or bowls and pour a shot of espresso over each. Serve immediately.

To learn more about Blue Bottle Coffee and see additional recipes, click here.