Thursday, September 25, 2014

La Dolce Vita: Italian cafe ice cream treat

                                                                                                Venice Photos CPaul2013
While it would be delightful to spend those early mild days of Fall savoring coffee laced treats at an elegant Italian cafe, limited time and budget means instead I'll make do enjoying a sweet, caffeinated confection here at home. (insert sigh)
Luckily I recently stumbled upon a deliciously creamy and impossibly simple (no machine needed) espresso ice cream recipe from Nigella Lawson. While perfect on its own, I thought I'd add a few easy touches to create a treat echoing the classic Italian dessert tiramisu. 

Easy Espresso Ice Cream

I was delighted by the smooth creamy texture of this ice cream and had expected a more grainy result which sometimes occurs when freezing other dairy recipes. A friend mentioned the  alchohol in the liquor might be credited with the smooth finish. I don't know but it certainly tastes wonderful.
You'll Need
1 1/4 cups Heavy cream
2/3 Condensed milk
2 tbsp. Instant Espresso powder 
( I found it at Wegman's supermarket)*
2 tbsp Favorite Coffee liquor 
(I used espresso flavored vodka I had gotten as a gift)
*dark instant coffee can be substituted for espresso powder but the amount might need to be increased for a similar flavor
Whisk ingredients thoroughly until blended and mixture is a light coffee color (I had lugged out the kitchenaid mixer but found using a simple kitchen whisk by hand worked in no time at all)
Cover and freeze 6 hours or overnight

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
I found many tempting recipes online with varying amounts of ingredients but liked the simplicity of this one from delightful blog chewing the fat., using heavy cream, mascarpone, vanilla and sugar. I halved the amounts for smaller servings.
You can Scoop the ice cream into elegant glasses or for a fun twist, I put a snack size scoop in mini espresso cups. 
Top with marscapone cream and sprinkle with a dusting of cocoa and chopped nuts if desired. Serve with lady fingers or biscotti. (My store was out of both so Stella D'Oro subbed in)

Props and souvenirs add a bit of Venetian romance

relax and enjoy

A painting inspired by Venetian Cats in my etsy shop le beau chaton