Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Miracles in a basement; or, Coffee Almond Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

So last week, a few days before my exam, I went to study at a local coffee shop. I couldn't keep studying at work-- I'd get distracted and want to run experiments-- and I couldn't keep studying at home-- I'd just panic about how cluttered my house was and go on a massive, cathartic cleaning spree. So... it was coffee shop time.

There are two Dunn Brothers shops near where I live. One is particularly quiet and peaceful-- perfect for studying.

However, twenty minutes into studying, just when I had settled down with an evil blueberry muffin and a tall glass of iced coffee, a blond woman wearing a Bumpit (you know what I'm talking about) walked in. She sat over twenty feet away from me, ordered nothing, and just smacked her gum.

Yes. Over seven yards away, and I could hear her gum smacking. With my headphones on.

I had just come from yoga, so feeling zen and whatever, I turned up my music. No dice. I could still hear the gum.

And then, she answered her cell phone. And the conversation (at least from her side) went something like this:

Big Haired Lady: [in a Southern drawl] Yeah, I know. If it weren't for Jesus' help, I wouldn't have been able to clean my basement out and reorganize... [SMACK!] Yeah, He really helped me find all sorts of missing things, like my tennis racket... [SMACK!] I think Jesus is going to help me figure out how to redecorate it now that it's refinished... [SMACK!] 

Now, I'm all for freedom of religion and everything, but this was a bit too much. I never realized that Jesus was an interior designer... I mean, carpenter, yes... It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. I rushed to pack up my computer and books before I peed my pants and left.

I forgot to take my coffee, though. So, naturally, I made coffee ice cream, and threw in a few accessories. Because that's what any good interior designer would do, right?

Oh, and I ate it. In complete silence. A blessing.

Coffee Almond Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones

1 3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground coffee
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until light in color. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat milk and sugar until just at boiling point. Slowly pour half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Again whisking constantly, pour egg mixture back into saucepan.  Add coffee grounds and steep. Cook mixture until it holds a line across the back of a wooden spoon (~8-10 minutes).

Pour custard into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of coffee grounds and any eggy bits. Chill mixture for 2-12 hours.

Prepare ice cream in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. Add in chocolate chips and almonds towards the end. Transfer to a storage container, and place in the freezer to firm up. Serve in coffee cups!

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