December 07, 2010

To Try Tuesday - Ka'u Coffee Gelato

If you read my post from yesterday you know that I am a big fan of the coffee produced by Coffees of Hawaii.  I have been on a quest to try out their products in my desserts.  Although it is To Try Tuesday this recipe was actually made on Saturday because we were having friends over.  However it is a new recipe that I have not made before so I am deeming it eligible for today's post.

Yesterday was my husbands birthday and he got a Breville Burr Conical Coffee Grinder so that he can grind the Coffees of Hawaii beans just right.  Burr grinders are recommended because they give a more consistent grind by crushing the beans between a fixed surface and a grinding wheel.  Conical burr grinders usually spin slowly and therefore minimize the heat generated via friction, and this keeps the coffee aroma intact.  All of this adds to to even more delicious coffee.

Along with the Coffees of Hawaii Cheesecake I also decided to make Coffee Gelato.  I had come across a recipe for gelato on the Epicurious website.  I did a little internet research and found out that there is a difference between gelato and ice cream.  Gelato is lower in fat because it is usually made with milk rather than cream.  It also tends to be more dense because it is churned at a slower speed so it does not get as much air in it.

I ended up making two batches - one gelato and one ice cream - based on the same recipe.  This is such an easy recipe to pull together.  The custard base does need to chill before you put it in your ice cream maker so plan ahead for this.  Also, in hind sight, I would say to make the ice cream as close as you can to serving it because the consistency when it comes out of the machine is almost perfect.  It really only needs to firm up a little in the freezer.  Mine went in for way too long and it was as hard as a rock, even though I took it out prior serving it.  The flavor was still this wonderfully intense coffee flavor.  It was good on its own but I think it would be great in an ice cream sandwich.  I have some cocoa nibs I want to try so I am thinking that I might try making some cookies with them and using the left over ice cream as the filling.  This recipe by Food Gal looks like it would fit the bill perfectly.

Ka'u Coffee Gelato

  • 5 large egg yolks 
  • 1/2 cup sugar  
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 3/4 milk and 3/4 cream for ice cream)
  • 1/2 cup strongly-brewed Coffees of Hawaii Ka'u coffee (or 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend.
  2. Bring milk to boil in heavy medium saucepan.
  3. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture; then whisk in espresso mixture and vanilla. 
  4. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 8 minutes (do not boil).
  5. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
  6. Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. 
  7. Freeze in covered container.  Recipe can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep frozen. 
  8. Serves 6.


  1. Lovely pictures Felice!! I particularly like that fourth one. We are big fans of coffee ice cream, but I've only actually made it one time. I do like to add a shot of espresso over the top of my vanilla too!

  2. I love coffee ice cream but have never had coffee gelato. When I eventually get an ice cream maker, I'm definitelly making this! It looks soooo good! :)

  3. I don't drink much coffee myself but coffee flavoured things are my favourite! :D

  4. My husband is a HUGE coffee ice cream fan so I'll have to put this on my "to make" list as a special treat for him. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I've never made ice cream before but, this is definitely inspiring me to start!

  6. My husband and I are big coffee fans, so we might try the coffee gelato. I like the fact that it's lower in fat. Your gelato looks amazing:)


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