I love how thick and rich Vietnamese coffee is, and I’ve been wanting to make an ice cream version of it for the longest time. I finally got the chance this weekend. My friend Daniel was in town and brought over these beans he’d been raving about for the past couple months. It’s roasted in Houston, and did not disappoint. The aroma was pretty delicious, especially compared to my can of Cafe Du Monde chickory.
I had originally thought I’d need a Vietnamese coffee pot to make the ice cream. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I should’ve checked some recipes before asking Jeff to buy me one of those pots from the Asian grocery store, because they all tell you to steep the coffee in the cream base (as opposed to brewing a cup and adding it to the cream base). Oh well.
For my Vietnamese coffee ice cream, I used this recipe from Saveur. It turned out great. The coffee taste is deep, the ice cream rich, and the hint of cardamom adds another level of flavor.
Enjoy! (but maybe not too late at night, if you’re sensitive to caffeine!)
Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup coarsely ground dark roast coffee beans
½ tsp. salt
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1. Combine cream, coffee, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Strain cream mixture into saucepan and return to medium-high heat until heated through (It’s helpful to line your strainer with several layers of cheese cloth before pouring your ice cream base through, so you can catch the super-fine grounds of coffee). Beat sweetened condensed milk and yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk in hot cream mixture until smooth; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the custard. Chill custard completely.
2. Pour custard into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions until churned and thick. Transfer to an airtight storage container; freeze until set, at least 4 hours.