Cappuccino Coffee Almond Chip Ice Cream

For lovers of the sweeter side of coffee, an ice cream that is as flavorsome as it is different and unique and here's the recipe so you can try it yourself!

I found myself watching television the other day as I was drawn into a short program regarding Barbie dolls. The host took viewers through a myriad of "antique" dolls in order to show the significant changes of our favorite All-American Girl over the years. First, she had Cleopatra eyes and a tight ponytail. Next, the raging Sixties took hold and her hair came down while her skirt went up.

The New Faces of Coffee

No matter what the program attempted to discuss, one apparent point came across. Barbie has indeed changed with the times. Now, the same can be said about coffee. Like Barbie, coffee has truly transformed from its early beginnings.

In the 20th century, coffee took hold of Americans like never before and a new culture was born. In the Fifties and Sixties, during the height of coffee drinking in America, the traditional way to see coffee was carefully served from a percolator in a tidy house to friendly neighbors. It may have been poured in mugs or cups and saucers, but it was at home and it was hot.

The nature of coffee was to drink, simply and in an approachable manner; no fuss. As time went on and people began to take their lives outside of the house and into bars, health clubs, yoga centers, and shopping malls. Coffee went along, changing with the new scenes. In order to meet the "On-The-Road" culture's needs, coffee found its way into all sorts of venues.

By the Eighties, coffee had also found a home of its own; the European coffeehouse. Now, we have all been to or at least walked past a coffeehouse--the neighborhood shop with huge walls laden with every form of specialty drink imaginable and an angry young person behind the counter ready to make your day. But, has anyone noticed that they are, well...everywhere?

Saturation Point?

There are three coffee shops in my neighborhood, two at the mall, two stations at work, a slew of them on the way downtown. They are in bookstores, laundromats, movie theatres and clothing boutiques.

Coffee has followed us to the YMCA, our hairdressers, furniture stores, the local health food store and even to our high schools, where students can sometimes be seen sipping on lattes in order to keep awake through Trigonometry. In fact, I can think of no major venue where coffee is not considered if not directly catered to.

The coffee drinker has a great amount of available joe to drink, and yet we can't seem to get enough. The McDonald's Corporation has more than 300 successful McCafes, McDonald coffeehouses dotting the globe from Europe to Asia. And what plans do they have in store, that's right, to open a hundred or so more McCafes in the United States with hopes that the overseas market will transfer well in this country.

It seems that no matter where we go or what we do, we should never worry about a shortage of coffee. Coffee will always be a big part of American culture, especially since it conquers so many of our daily ailments (exhaustion, cold, hot, tipsy and boredom). Yet, one must ask when enough is enough.

My husband brews a huge pot of coffee, pours it into a travel mug, leaves for work where he will re-fill his now empty travel mug, and then stops at a convenience store for a quick cup before coming home. He has fallen victim to accessible coffee, so much so that he is skeptical about the locale of decent coffee whenever we travel (he usually opts to bring at least one carafe worth just in case).

Are we afraid of missing out on coffee, or are we just unable to live without it, nearby and freshly brewed? Is it a need or a desire? That is a question I will have to ponder, right after I get back from La Blah, my local coffeehouse, for what else but an afternoon pickup!

Cappuccino Coffee Almond Chip Ice Cream

Here is a recipe that is just made for the coffeehouse in all of us. This recipe makes one quart ice-cream base (recipe follows).

Ingredients

Method

Prepare the Ice-Cream base. Add 2 Tbsp of coffee (reserving the last Tablespoon for the end of recipe) and cinnamon and blend well. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.

As the ice cream stiffens (about 2-3 minutes before it's done) add the remaining coffee, chips, and almonds. Continue to process until ice cream is ready. Allow to freeze until stiff, about 2 hours in freezer.

Ice Cream Base

Ingredients

Method

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan whisk the cream, milk, vanilla bean, and 1/2 Cup sugar over medium heat until simmering. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the eggs and 1/2 Cup sugar until pale and fluffy. As the cream mixture comes to heat, add 1/3 Cup of mixture to eggs and quickly whisk to incorporate.

Now, slowly add the eggs to the cream mixture over medium heat and whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and scrape all of the vanilla bean caviar into the base. Discard beans. Allow to chill through, at least 2 hours, in fridge.

Base is now ready for ice-cream maker.