Author : Chef Caitlin Howington
Have a steaming mug of dark roast coffee. Hold it in front of your face, letting the coffee aroma fill your lungs. Take a sip. Savor the bitter flavor as it washes over your tongue. And just there on the table in front of you, there is a plate of donuts that glisten with a light sugary glaze. As you take your first bite, you taste the fried dough that’s immediately followed by the fragrance of yeast. Turned on yet?
Ok ok, maybe that went too far. But surely – does it get much better than those two things together? Donuts have always been one of my favorite confections to eat and make since I first started culinary school. The donut tattoo brandished on my arm broadcasts it to the world every day.
For these ice cream sandwiches, please: treat yourself to some quality donuts. Not that Dunkin Donuts bullshit that just tastes like sweet on top of sweet and has no character to it. Go to a bakery. Taste. Smell. Make your own if you’re so inclined. You deserve a superior donut.
I’ve been listening to blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins for years now, and “Coffeehouse Blues” is a treasured tune. “Mama got mad at Papa ‘cause he didn’t bring no coffee home,” he sings. Finally, something I can relate to. Crank the Lightnin’ Hopkins and let his deep, drawling voice and fingerpicking guitar carry you away.
Coffee and Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches
Coffee Ice Cream
-3 tablespoons of your favorite dark roast ground coffee
-3 cups cream
-1 cup whole milk
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar unpacked
-6 egg yolks
-1/2 tsp salt
-8 donuts, sliced in half
In a medium saucepot, bring the cream, milk, ground coffee, and half the sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow it to steep for 15 minutes. Return the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and temper with remaining sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth. Cool and then chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. Spin in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
To build the ice cream sandwiches:
Have all of your donuts sliced in half. Working quickly, scoop about 1/2 cup of the ice cream onto one half of a donut.* Place the other half on top, smoosh lightly, and place in the freezer. Work through until all the ice cream has been used. If your ice cream is rock hard, stick it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s easier to work with. And if it’s too soft and runny, stick it in the freezer till it firms up.
*This is a good time to think about ratio, which will vary based on the size of your donut. It’s ideal to get an equal amount of ice cream and donut in every bite – if you have a large or thick donut, consider putting more ice cream on each half.