French Vanilla Dream Ice Cream with an Edible Chocolate Coffee Bowl
Most people associate ice cream with summer, but I actually associate it with spring. I’m from Ohio, and the first warm days of late April or early May would be spent hunting for an open ice cream spot. I am such a HUGE ice cream fan. I like all different flavors and all different types. From classic vanilla ice cream to sherbets and sorbets to the amazing richness of gelato, I love them all!!! For my birthday this year, my husband bought me an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Unfortunately, for us both, I have not stopped making ice cream. It’s been excessive and ridiculous. I have experimented with everything from White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, Peppermint Fudge Avalanche Ice Cream, and Chocolate and Caramel Swirl Ice Cream to Strawberry Sherbet. For my latest venture, I wanted to do something classic, but special, so, I started with my first memories and worked my way out to where my foodie experiences all over the world have led me.
When I think ice cream, I immediately think of Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, OH. For ice cream, there’s no place like it. They raise their cows on site, and have been making ice cream since the 1960’s. Piece by piece, they’ve added a bakery, a dining room, and, even a putt-putt course. My favorite ice cream here is the Cotton Candy. I always get it in shake form whenever I visit the restaurant. There is not an elementary school in our county that didn’t have an end-of-the-year field trip to Young’s. My family didn’t have much money when I was growing up, so we didn’t get many treats. Going to McDonald’s for us was a big deal. During the summer, though, trips to Young’s were a regular occurrence. We could have a full family experience, see people from our community, and enjoy the best homemade ice cream in the mid-west, and for a great price.
Moving on to the rest of my days, I have enjoyed ice creams with candy, herbs and liquors. I have had some amazing gelatos in Italy, some dreamy concoctions in France, and some of the freshest ice cream in Germany. The one I remember most, though, was in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. I went with a good friend of mine, Amy, and her mother. It was the day before Christmas Eve. We walked all around the beautiful little city, and had the best European-made pizza I had in my three years overseas. Our first night there, though, we had some amazing food in this tiny restaurant on the on the bridge over the water. We had this incredibly rude waitress who was bum-fuddled when we said yes to dessert. Incredibly annoyed, she walked back to the kitchen and returned with the dessert special, vanilla ice cream with warm fudge sauce. So good. What I remember is how that vanilla held its own with the fudge syrup. It was a base, as vanilla often is, but it wasn’t the plate. It was an edible vessel that added to the sauce.
All that being said, that is what I finally decided to make. I wanted to make a classic vanilla ice cream that was creamy, the way i remember it in my youth, and one that can stand up to a delicious sauce. I also wanted to create that edible vessel to dress it up and add a little extra something. Well, to keep with my Europe theme, I went with the, also classic, crepe. But, I couldn’t just do a crepe. I had to dress it up a little. So I thought, why not a chocolate coffee crepe. The perfect combination for the end of the meal. Really want to spice things up? Make it a triple threat. Try this vanilla ice cream recipe with the chocolate coffee crepe bowl, and top it with dulce de leche or caramel sauce. With that said, here’s how I made it.
French Vanilla Dream Ice Cream
1 1/4 C Half & Half
1 1/3 C Heavy Cream
1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeded
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 C Sugar
Your favorite ice cream toppings
1. Combine the half & half, heavy cream, and vanilla bean with its seeds in a medium pot. Turn heat to medium and cook until little bubbles form around the edges. Do not let it boil. Once it reaches the bubble stage turn of the heat, remove the split vanilla bean and leave it.
2. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar until they are a light yellow and well combined.
3. Temper the egg mixture, whisking while slowly adding 1/3 of the cream. Once incorporated, pour the egg mixture back into the cream and return to a medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
4. Remove from heat and strain into a freezer proof bowl. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 hours.
5. When time is up, pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the directions.
6. While ice cream is churning, make mixture for crepes.
Edible Chocolate Crepe Bowl
3 TBSP Butter, softened
2 TBSP Sugar
1 C Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 C Flour
1/4 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Instant Coffee
1-2 TBSP oil (for brushing on pan)
7. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.
8. Sift flour, cocoa powder and coffee. Add to wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Mixture should be thin, almost like milk.
9. Heat a nonstick pan. When hot, brush lightly with oil. Take a ladle full of batter, about 3-4 TBSP, and pour into the middle of the pan. Rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly around the pan. Once you see little bubbles forming on the top of the batter, and it’s no longer wet looking, it’s time to flip. Use a spatula to gently flip the crepe. Let it cook for about 5 seconds and slide onto a plate.
10. Pour the next crepe. While its cooking, lay your finished crepe over the cup of a muffin tin. Gently press in the middle and allow the crepe to form to the cup. It will fold on one or more sides. Allow it to fold and hold the shape.
11. Finish shaping the crepes to the muffin tin cups and pop it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. The edges should’ve crisp and the crepe should hold its shape. The inside may be spongy or slightly crisp, depending on your pan. Either is fine.
12. Serve your ice cream straight out of the machine, soft serve style, or freeze it for 2-3 hours until sufficiently frozen. Place a scoop, or two, into the chocolate coffee cup. Top with your favorite homemade or store bought drizzle and garnish.
*I like to topped mine with homemade dulce de leche and a homemade dessert corn chip. Enjoy!!!