ice cream

Coffee Ice Cream with Hawaij Spices


Shavuot is the “dairy holiday” right?

So that means ….. ice cream!

Here’s a new flavor for you: Hawaij-infused coffee ice cream. It’s like an ultra-rich, coffee-lover’s version of plain old coffee ice cream except that it has a splash of spice. Hawaij spice blend to be specific. A few months ago Pereg sent me some samples of their new Hawaij spice combos.

I used the savory blend for an absolutely fabulous chicken curry (plus several other recipes that I’ll post about some other day).

But the coffee blend (which includes inger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) I figured would be useful beyond simply spicing up my afternoon cuppa.

So I used it to make ice cream.

Oh my is all I can say.

If you love coffee ice cream, this one’s for you.

Coffee Ice Cream with Hawaij Spices

  • 1 cup coffee beans

  • 2 cups half and half

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Pereg Hawaij coffee spice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place the coffee beans in a paper or plastic bag and gently tap with a rolling pin or meat mallet to break the beans coarsely. Not all of the beans need to be broken. Place the beans in a saucepan and pour in the half and half. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for at least one hour. Strain the liquid, discard the beans and set the liquid aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, salt, egg yolks and Hawaij together at medium speed for 4-5 minutes or until thick and pale. Pour in the strained, steeped cream. Beat the ingredients, starting at low speed and gradually to medium speed, for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is well blended and a uniform color. Pour the mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the heavy cream. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to cool completely. Stir in the vanilla extract. Freeze in an ice cream maker until thick and cold. Spoon into a container and freeze until firm.

Makes about 5 cups

Vanilla Ice Cream

Anyone who thinks vanilla is boring, should read this column that appeared in the Guardian (U.K.) last week (I heard about this article from Sprinklefingers).

The author, Oliver Thring rightly concludes that if you say that vanilla is boring, you probably haven’t tasted the real thing.

The real thing is a long, slender, pliable brown pod filled with teeny seeds. It has a bright, distinctive taste, but it never tramples your taste buds. Split the pod and plop it, or part of it, into custard and taste how it transforms the flavor into something sweet and floral but subtle. Use it for ice cream or to flavor a canister full of sugar. Use real vanilla in cake batter. Or to infuse vinegar, rum or vodka. 

I could go on and on. I’ve always loved vanilla, even back in the old days when my cousin Leslie told me that the little specks in the ice cream I was eating were dirt.

She always chose chocolate.

But as any vanilla aficionado knows, anything made with chocolate is nowhere unless it contains some vanilla to give it a boost. Hot chocolate, for example — make it without a bit of vanilla and you’ll notice it’s missing. Ditto brownies and chocolate cake.

For those who know the truth — and those who want to understand what the vanilla thing is all about — try this recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy or whipping cream

one vanilla bean, split open

2 1-inch strips lemon peel

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

Place the milk, cream, vanilla bean and lemon peel in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid is hot and bubbles have formed around the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together with an electric mixer set at medium speed until the mixture is thick and pale (4-5 minutes). Gradually add the milk mixture to the egg mixture, stirring to blend ingredients to a uniform color. Remove the vanilla bean (you can wipe it off and use it to flavor sugar, vinegar, rum or vodka). Heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it has thickened, but do not let the mixture come to a boil. Let the mixture cool, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1-quart+