When I was a kid, we had relatives that lived in the Middle East. Every time they came home it would be with bagfuls of chocolates and treats of the kind that were not available to us at home in India. Some of these tastes I have never forgotten. For example, I love Werther's butterscotch caramels, or the taste of tinned Kraft cheese (blush!). There was another candy that my uncle used to bring us. The name has been long lost among dusty memories (I think it may be Kopika, but I am really not sure), but the taste has not been forgotten. It tasted of coffee and chocolate. Just that. Coffee and chocolate, each easily identifiable, but melding together in a distinctive taste.
I have never had cause to think of those chocolates for a long time, but for a concoction I came up with this evening. I was browsing Mangocheeks' Allotment to Kitchen blog, and she mentioned entering the 'We Should Cocoa' blog event, which is being hosted by The Chocolate Teapot. The theme for this month was 'Surplus Stock or Leftovers', and obviously one of the ingredients had to be chocolate or cocoa products.
What a splendid idea, I thought. I had a cup of half and half, and another of whipping cream that I had left over from my last ice cream making endeavour (maple icecream with pecan praline, if interested) I also had a bar of milk chocolate that I had carefully hidden from both Kay and Aditi. Trust me, if you knew those two, you would hide any chocolate you had too along with anything else that may be remotely connected to sweets.
Well... to be honest... actually I had forgotten that I had hidden that chocolate bar, I found it while looking for my sieve, which had disappeared among the dark recesses that comprise my kitchen cupboards :-)
Anyway, I thought, since I found the chcolate, why not enter the event? As most of you probably already know, I am a big fan of David Lebovitz and his book 'The Perfect Scoop'. I had a quick browse through his recipes, and settled on the chocolate ice cream, Philadelphia style (without the egg custard). But you know me. I can't resist tinkering, and so I thought, hey, why not add coffee to the chocolate, wonder what that would taste like? I mean, mocha tastes pretty good, and chocolate and coffee are already pretty good mates anyway.
Well, I had my answer, it tasted pretty good. Just like that long lost taste of coffee candy, each flavour was distinctive in the icecream, yet they didn't fight each other. I used decaf instant for this recipe (for the child's sake), but you can use full caff coffee or even espresso, if you feel like it. I also used milk chocolate, as I am not really a huge fan of dark chocolate (except when its cooked into a brownie or my father-in-law's great aunt Nell's chocolate cake, mmm)
So here I am, sitting in a comfy chair in my bay window, lost in old memories of chocolate, candy and cheese. Well, mostly that tinned cheese, but let's not dwell too much on that 'kay :-)
Adapted from 'The Perfect Scoop' by David Lebovitz
1 cup half and half (single cream + whole milk) (250 ml)
1 cup whipping or heavy cream (250 ml)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp instant coffee powder (I used decaf)
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml)
100g milk chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
In a saucepan, heat the whipping cream with the sugar, salt and cocoa till it boils, and the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture is boiling, add the coffee and whisk till it dissolves.
Take off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring well until it melts.
Add the half and half and whisk together well, until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, then churn in an ice cream maker until creamy!
Note - This recipe will only make about half a quart of icecream, as I used leftover cream. To make more, double the recipe.