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Coffee ice cream

Back to the grind

by Katie Smith Friday, October 30, 2015

Häagen-Dazs has now launched its original coffee ice cream in the UK. We take a look at why the flavour has taken so long to reach our shores and offer up some inspirational ice cream recipe ideas.

Katie is an avid home baker, passionate about using seasonal produce and hedgerow ingredients. As part of the editorial team at Great British Chefs, she pursues her dual loves of food and writing.

When Häagen-Dazs was first launched by founder Reuben Mattus in 1960s America, he did so with three key flavours: chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Now the time has finally come – Häagen-Dazs has just released its long-awaited coffee ice cream to supermarkets across the UK. But why has it taken so long for this iconic flavour to reach our shores? Britain has a long and illustrious history with coffee, using the rich, bitter flavours in all manner of cakes and desserts as well as now boasting a thriving café culture.

Despite being an established country of coffee-lovers, the UK has only relatively recently opened its eyes to the world of artisan coffee, evidenced by the new wave of independent coffee shops and craft coffee roasters to have taken Britain by storm in the last five years. Our new, more discerning palates have prompted us as a nation to go on the search for the best coffee available, made from only the highest quality beans. Perhaps it is this new-found interest and dedication to top grade speciality coffee that has induced Häagen-Dazs to bring their coffee ice cream to the UK – at last!

Häagen-Dazs is known for its commitment to only using expertly selected real dairy ingredients to create their quality ice creams. Their coffee ice cream is no exception. The coffee beans are carefully chosen from selected growers in Brazil, then lightly roasted and blended with high quality cream, milk, eggs and sugar to make the final ice cream. Whilst an ideal dessert on its own, or simply served in a cone, its a versatile ingredient which can also be elevated to new culinary heights in a range of delicious desserts.

Affogato is a classic example – an Italian dessert of vanilla ice cream drowning in coffee and occasionally spiked with a little amaretto liqueur. A lesser known favourite of southern Italy is brioche con gelato – a sweet brioche bun stuffed with a sizeable scoop of ice cream. This contrast in texture has been recreated by Rosana McPhee in her Coffee ice cream roulade recipe which uses a light almond and vanilla scented sponge to encase the smooth and creamy ice cream.

 
 

The US has taken the brioche con gelato one step further, sandwiching ice cream between two squidgy, chocolatey cookies. This hand-held treat has been taken up a notch with the addition of crunchy, salty peanut butter in Rukmini Iyer’s recipe for Chocolate, peanut butter and coffee ice cream sandwiches. The sweet yet bitter coffee flavour is the perfect filling for the dense, rich, peanut-laced cocoa biscuits.

Chocolate and coffee is a classic combination. In fact, both flavours can be enhanced when blended with a variety of spices and other aromatics. The zesty, sweet citrus notes of orange have been combined with the spicy, warm kick of cardamom in Danny (Food Urchin)’s gorgeously gooey Cardamom and orange brownies with candied orange recipe. For an added bit of luxury, Danny pairs his brownies with a quenelle of coffee ice cream as a fantastic final flourish to the dessert.

Whether you prefer a showstopping ice cream roulade or a big scoop of ice cream with your square of chocolate brownie, we hope we've inspired you to take another look at coffee ice cream, and perhaps give it a try with your next dessert.

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