Cold Brewed Coffee: Vanilla Iced

[Welcome to this month’s Cold Brewed Coffee Series! If you missed the first post on making your own cold brew concentrate, you can find it here.]

Cold Brew: Iced {{Baking Bytes}}

Although I typically enjoy my cold brew as a hot beverage, sometimes an iced coffee just feels right: usually after long, hot runs or on particularly toasty afternoons. On those occasions having my own cold brew concentrate ready to go is not only more delicious and convenient, but also much cheaper than going to a coffee shop.

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It is excellent plain, of course, but since I’m usually in the mood for a treat anyway I like to doctor mine with a little vanilla and creamer. Vanilla is always a welcome addition to coffee beverages, and the creamer makes it an extra delicious summer treat. Half and half is my mixer of choice (or cream, for extra decadence), but you can substitute your own favorite. A dash of cinnamon (or heap, in my case) adds a little spice. Although I rarely sweeten mine, a bit of simple syrup, maple syrup, or regular ole sugar is definitely an option if you like your coffee sweet. Use an infused simple syrup for additional flavor options.

Cold Brew: Iced {{Baking Bytes}}

The next time you’re in the mood for an iced coffee, give this one a try. You may have to play with the proportions a bit to find your perfect ratios, but I promise the practice will be worth it.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Vanilla Iced

Makes 12-16 oz

Ingredients

6-12 oz cold brew concentrate
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon (optional, but encouraged)
sweetener, to taste (optional; simple syrup blends the easiest)

~1 cup ice
cold water

1-2 Tbsp half and half or cream

Directions

  1. In the bottom of a glass, add cold brew concentrate and vanilla. Stir in sweetener and/or cinnamon, if desired.
  2. Carefully add ice cubes (should be around 2/3 full), then top with cold water.
  3.  Stir in creamer of choice, and enjoy!

Notes

As with the hot version, this will depend on how strong you like your coffee and how strong you brewed your concentrate. For mine, I do about 2 parts coffee to 1 part water, but you may not need to dilute yours at all or you may need closer to 50:50 so play around with it till you find what works!

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Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream

Despite not being much of a whiskey consumer in beverage form, I often love whiskey-infused dishes. Whiskey can really amp up the flavor profile of a recipe, and works in everything from caramel sauce to pork chops. Having experimented with numerous other alcoholic ice cream concoctions, I wanted to play with a new liquor this year.

 

One of the few whiskey beverages I do enjoy (other than the delightful whisky liqueur I got while I was in Scotland nearly a decade ago) is a whiskey ginger. This is actually a bit odd since I don’t always love a prominent ginger flavor, and I rarely drink soda, but somehow it all comes together in a refreshing beverage perfect for a hot summer day. Accordingly, this seemed like an appropriate thing to ice creamify.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Having zero experience with whiskey, I turned to my friend the whiskey connoisseur for advice. After asking a few questions about my goals, he ultimately recommended 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey as one to put in my ice cream. This turned out to be a delightful recommendation, not only because it tastes awesome as an ice cream, but also because  as well.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

With whiskey in hand (or rather, on the counter) I set out to create my whiskey ginger ice cream. I opted to flavor with honey rather than sugar since the cocktail itself often incorporates honey rather than a simple syrup, and it seemed like a delicious flavor match. The ginger aspect was easy enough, since infusing anything with freshly grated ginger root is both easy and delicious, but as I wanted the whiskey flavor to be prominent, and adding liquor to ice cream drastically lowers its freezing point, I knew this particular recipe could pose a scientific challenge.

Round one had good flavor but was extremely soft – it never frozen beyond soft serve texture even in our coldest meat freezer. This was not quite what I was looking for, mostly because I’m not a huge soft-serve ice cream fan but also because it makes it extremely challenging to photograph and as a food blogger that’s actually quite important.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Round two I used a bit less whiskey and a bit less ginger. It turned out firmer, which was ideal, but me and my taste testers agreed it lacked the punch that a cocktail ice cream truly deserves. Not to say it wasn’t delicious, but just was not quite there yet.

Round three was the ultimate winner. With the knowledge that cooked eggs are how you make a proper custard, I decided to try adding the egg substitute during the heating step rather than after. As I’d hoped, this minor change allowed me to add a proper amount of whiskey while maintaining at least a passably firm texture once completely frozen. Mixing in plenty of ginger resulted in a definitively cocktail-like but still creamy mouthful.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

This ice cream is definitely still one of the softer recipes I have on my blog, and you will want to serve it quick, even using chilled bowls if you can. It packs quite a punch of flavor and there should be no mistaking either component if you’re using the higher end of the whiskey range. If you prefer a mellower profile, use a lesser amount; as a bonus, your ice cream will freeze a bit firmer too.

A small scoop of this ice cream is a perfect summer treat, and for any real whiskey lovers you can serve it affogato style with a splash of extra whiskey on top. If you’re into it, a sprinkle of candied ginger would also be a fun addition and would give a small clue to what’s in store for your guests.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re looking for a new way to pare down the liquor cabinet , look no further than this whiskey ginger ice cream.

Whiskey Ginger Ice Cream

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
6 oz honey
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger1

1/4 – 1/2 cup whiskey (I used 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey)2

Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring all ingredients except whiskey to a light simmer, stirring regularly.
  2. Continue to simmer at least 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture should be quite thick – this is imperative for the final ice cream to freeze hard enough.
  3. Remove from heat to cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, or overnight. (Put a lidded bowl in the freezer to get nice and cold at this time.)
  4. Stir in 2 Tbsp whiskey to thin the thick custard slightly, then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the ginger pieces. Use a whisk in the sieve to get as much of the creamy goodness as possible, then press the remnants with the back of a spoon to extract just a little bit more.
  5. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions, adding the remainder of your desired amount of whiskey during the last couple minutes of churning time. (See note!)
  6. Scrape ice cream into your frozen bowl, then put in the freezer to finish firming. Due to the alcohol this recipe will always be somewhat soft (especially if you use the maximum whiskey amount) so putting it in the coldest spot of your coldest freezer is your best bet.
  7. Enjoy plain or “affogato” style with an additional splash of whiskey on top. I recommend using chilled bowls for serving!

Notes

If you prefer a milder ginger taste, you can use one tablespoon instead.

For a stronger whiskey flavor use up to but no more than 1/2 cup of total liquor; for a milder taste use just 1/4 cup. Please note the more alcohol you add the softer the ice cream will be! I used the full amount and the ice cream is permanently in about soft-serve consistency, even in our -11*F meat freezer.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Served Hot

[Welcome to this month’s Cold Brewed Coffee Series! If you missed the first post on making your own cold brew concentrate, you can find it here.]

I feel a bit silly even posting this as a recipe because it’s so easy and so short, but as something I make almost every day I definitely want to share it with all of you. For me, I love starting the day with a hot beverage and even in the heat of summer I nearly always have a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

Because of this, the main reason it took me so long to board the cold brew train is because I am much less inclined to drink cold coffee, especially first thing in the morning. Realistically it’s all about the ritual; I could likely start with a plain cup of hot water and be almost as happy. Almost.

One benefit to drinking my own cold brew is that it’s one of the few times I prefer coffee black. I managed to wean myself off of sweetened coffee quite awhile ago, but ditching the splash of cream has proven more challenging. I still like it in most drip coffee (especially at restaurants), but at home I enjoy this cold brewed coffee in it’s unadorned state.

So since coffee is delicious and cold brewed coffee is even better, here’s how I make my concentrate into a piping hot beverage each morning. Hope you enjoy it!

PS – I also use this for my bulletproof coffee2 on running days, simply add a bulletproof pod, blend it up, and you’re all set! Optionally add a scoop of protein powder for a nice boost for those tough morning workouts.

Cold Brewed Coffee: Served Hot

Makes 10-12 oz

Ingredients

2-3 oz cold brew concentrate
7-10 oz boiling water1

Directions

  1. Pour cold brew concentrate into a mug, then stream in boiling water.
  2. Optionally supplement with your preferred garnishes (sugar, cream, etc).
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

I nearly always do 2 oz concentrate to 8 oz boiling water, mostly because my favorite mugs are 10 oz, but this will depend on how long you let yours brew and how strong you like your coffee.

For the bulletproof version I like a little stronger coffee so I typically do the following: 1 pod, 3 oz coffee,  and 9 oz boiling water. Blend for 5-10 seconds or until frothy. Sometimes I add 1/2 -1 scoop of protein powder as well if I’m heading out for a longer or tougher workout. (Be careful though, some powders froth more excessively than others and might overwhelm a personal-sized blender cup.)

Chocolate Chili Ice Cream

[Welcome again to July AKA National Ice Cream Month! To celebrate, each Friday I will be posting a new delicious ice cream flavor alongside my regularly scheduled posts. Hope you enjoy the series!]

Each year as I add to my repertoire of ice cream flavors, I get bolder with the non-traditional palates and pairings in my  concoctions. However, I also make a point to include one or two flavors that are more along the lines of “normal” for my less-adventurous fans. This is one of those more common recipes.

Chocolate Chili Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

“Mexican” or “Aztec” ice cream and hot chocolate are fairly common, but typically they are also pretty mild. Heavy on the chocolate with a vague notion of spice in there. As someone with a pretty low spice tolerance, I can only imagine that those with a higher spice preference are even more bored with these flavors. For this one, I was inspired by a fantastic legitimately spicy hot chocolate from Summit Spice & Tea Company my equally fantastic but probably less spicy aunt sent to me for Christmas: dark chocolate and with a kick – it was a beautiful match.

Chocolate Chili Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Modifying the same recipe I used for last year’s Chocolate Merlot adventure, I set off to create an actually spicy ice cream. Given how much I loved the Maple Chipotle from two years prior, I was certain this adventure would be a grand one.

My first attempt was a bit mild for what I was going for (although still delicious) so I heavily exaggerated the spices on my next attempt. Honestly it was a bit much for me (I told you my tolerance is low) but my friends loved it and thought it was perfect. Rich dark chocolate smoothly combined with the slow-burn of ground chilis, it’s one of those flavors where the heat hits you late in the spoonful rather than right away. If you find your batch to be too strong, tone it down with a nice fudgy brownie and/or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. I promise it’ll be amazing.

Chocolate Chili Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Take your next taco Tuesday to a whole new level with the perfect dessert: spicy chocolate ice cream!

Chocolate Chili Ice Cream 

Adapted from Molly Moon
Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp ground aji amarillo pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

6 oz dark (~70%) chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup egg  substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat half and half, whipping cream, and sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is just coming to a simmer.
  3. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and whisk vigorously until there are no chocolate flecks. If you are having trouble getting it completely smooth, an immersion blender works great, or you can pour it into a regular blender after a brief cooling period.
  4. Let cool on the counter about 10 minutes, then whisk in egg substitute and vanilla.
  5. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator completely, or overnight.
  6. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a cold freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight.
  7. Enjoy solo or with a fudgy dark chocolate brownie for an extra decadent dessert.

Notes

1 For reference, 1/2 tsp of each is reasonably mild, 1 tsp of each is a bit much for me but perfect for my spicier-minded friends; adjust to your liking. Feel free to use all cayenne as well (or any other chili pepper)!

 

Cold Brew Coffee 101 (Series!)

Happy July! In addition to my usual series for National Ice Cream Month, I am also bringing to you a simple series on cold brew coffee: how to make it and ways to use it. The recipes will be quick but I hope they will become staples in your future! Check back each Wednesday for a quick coffee endeavor, and follow up on Friday with the latest ice cream adventure. Hope you enjoy!

About two years ago I discovered the glorious world of cold brew coffee. Admittedly, I took forever to board the train for this latest fad largely because I don’t drink a ton of iced coffee and even to this day I always see cold brew served cold, especially in restaurants. If you, too, have been skeptical on the awesomeness of this adventure, I am here to entice you into joining. It feels a bit silly posting something so easy as a 4-part series, but hopefully what I’ve learned along the way makes it that much easier for you to get started.

Cold Brew Coffee 101 {{Baking Bytes}}

For years I have rarely consumed more than one cup of coffee per day, possibly two on some truly exhausting occasions. Since M is not a coffee fan, making standard drip coffee for one started to feel inefficient and wasteful. Resigning to try this fancy shmancy cold brew thing, I gave it a shot.

As it turned out, I *loved* that coffee. No bitterness, extremely smooth, and with the discovery that I could make a super strong concentrate and combine it with boiling water for my usual hot morning beverage, I finally boarded the cold brew coffee train. However, the process was messy, time-consuming, and honestly just kind of exhausting. Coffee filters were too small to use in the quantities I was making, and straining the ground afterwards through paper towels and coffee filters was tedious and slow and not something I wanted to do every couple of weeks.

Cold Brew Coffee 101 {{Baking Bytes}}

After trying a mesh filter for my pitchers with mediocre results1 (it didn’t have great circulation, and I still had to strain out the silty texture), I discovered my new best friend: the CoffeeSock. With stellar reviews and a pretty inexpensive price, I quickly ordered one to try out. Nearly two years later, it’s still a perfect fit.

Easy, reusable, perfectly strained, and consistently delicious results make this one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It takes only a few minutes active time to set a batch brewing, and even less to finish the process a few days later. I love that there’s no disposable waste and that it doesn’t allow a strange texture to seep through the cloth. And, of course, it makes great tasting coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee 101 {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re interested in cold brew I highly recommend this product, and for ease of pouring later these silicon jar lids are fantastic. They make it way easier to pour out of the large jar and keep everything nice and fresh for as long as it lasts in your fridge. For me, this size batch typically lasts about 3 weeks so I can vouch for freshness for at least that long.

Cold Brew Coffee 101 {{Baking Bytes}}

Using cold brew is pretty straightforward but just for fun I’m going to split my favorites out into their own posts. Get a batch brewing in your fridge then check back next Wednesday for my most-used “recipe”!

PS – I don’t get anything if you purchase those products; I just really love them!

Cold Brew Coffee 101

Makes about 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

6 oz ground coffee (about 2 cups, regular drip grind or slight coarser)
Cold water

Suggested Equipment

2-quart CoffeeSock Kit
Brew Armor lid

Directions

  1. Drape a CoffeeSock over the edge of your Mason jar and fill with 6 oz of ground coffee.
  2. Slowly stream cold water through the grounds until the jar is full. Do not try to do this quickly, just let it slowly soak through the coffee.
  3. Tie off the CoffeeSock (or cheesecloth) so the grounds stay contained, then put the lid on the Mason jar.
  4. Place in the fridge for 2-4 days, I like to put a sticky note with the date I started brewing onto the jar. Occasionally flip the jar upside down to better circulate the water inside.
  5. When coffee has reached your desired strength (I usually do around 3 days, sometimes as many as 5 depending on how full life is at the moment), remove the CoffeeSock from the jar and squeeze to get as much of that extra strength coffee back into your jar as you can.
  6. Discard grounds into the trash (or your garden), thoroughly rinse the cloth, and hang to dry.
  7. Return coffee to fridge until ready to enjoy. Recommend a Brew Armor lid or similar for easy pouring!

Notes

Works great for sun tea though!