i know it may seem a bit odd to some of you that i’m posting a new ice cream recipe after labor day but, allow me to remind you that i am a new england girl. and new englanders <3 ice cream.
whether you rely on questionable “data” about ice cream consumption per capita or just keep a lookout as you drive around, it’s not hard to find evidence to support the claim that there’s a lot of love for ice cream up in this corner of the country.
in fact, sometimes i forget and just take the prevalence of local, independent ice cream shops and stands for granted. uuunntil i’m traveling outside new england and an ice cream craving hits. that’s when i look around and realize that my only choice is some big chain that i don’t really like in a strip mall a few miles away. blech.
in comparison, several years ago, i was out with a friend in davis square (a college student heavy neighborhood just outside boston where all of the cheap food places are open late…by massachusetts standards anyway) and wanted ice cream. as it was not quite 10 pm on a friday night and i knew the local ice cream place didn’t close until 11 pm, i started mentally picking out what flavor i would get. i was shocked and dismayed when we arrived at the door and found it locked. what?!?
small detail i may have intentionally withheld forgotten to mention: there were already several inches of snow on the ground, with snow continuing to fall, and more on the way. still. no reason for the ice cream store to close over an hour early, if you ask me…
so, yeah. ice cream. all the time. especially when it’s this good. this recipe for kahlua chocolate chip ice cream was inspired by a visit to one of those charming, line up outdoors, only open in the summer, picnic tables surrounding the place types of cute new england ice cream stands that my husband and i visited earlier this summer.
what made this place especially good, in my opinion, besides the actual quality of the ice cream, was the fact that they had several coffee-based flavor variations, including one with kahlua. coffee is usually my favorite starting point for ice cream flavors and their kahlua chocolate chip ice cream did not disappoint.
once i started playing around in my kitchen, i realized that it was no small feat to get the strength of the coffee flavor right, especially when trying to leave room for the kahlua to shine. oh, and have the stuff *actually* stay frozen for more than a hot second, given that it has alcohol in it.
several half batches and trials later, i’ve found a winner! (note: that’s why the loaf pan isn’t very full; it’s a half batch in there. don’t worry: the recipe below is for a full batch.) one of the nice things about this recipe is that you can taste it as you go along and stop steeping the coffee beans once you reach optimal coffee flavor. i’ve had ice creams with really weak coffee flavor and ice creams that were way too strong so there’s definitely an element of personal preference but the recipe below gives you a solid foundation to start from and a tip for finding your perfect balance.
so once you make a batch of this, you too can enjoy ice cream whenever you want, even if your local ice cream shop is closed for the night.
pps – other ice creams and frozen treats you may enjoy:
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