Caffeine is my savior. And my nemesis. It depends on the time of day.
First thing in the morning, caffeine is my friend. My addiction, really. I can’t function until the first drops of it are running through my veins. I set up my coffee machine before I go to bed, knowing I can’t possibly manage to measure out the coffee and the water (not to mention getting the water into the pot) first thing in the morning. Two, three, sometimes four large mugs later, I’m a fully functioning human being.
But when the clock strikes noon, I cut myself off. Completely. Because the same caffeine that allows me to function in the morning also has the power to keep me awake all night. So no Diet Coke to get me through a 3 o’clock slump. No hot tea to power me through a sluggish afternoon. No chocolate-covered espresso beans to…well, just because.
No after-dinner cappuccino. No Java Chip Frappuccino. No coffee Oreo ice cream. No tiramisu.
Yes, there’s decaf. But I’ve stopped ordering decaf in restaurants. I’ve been burned one time too many, tossing and turn at 3 am, cursing the waiter who assured me he was pouring me a cup of the non-caffeinated stuff. And have you ever seen caffeine-free tiramisu on a dessert menu? Me either.
That’s why I’ve taken matters into my own hands. I made this mocha chip ice cream with decaf instant coffee. Not to mention good-quality cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. The result was creamy, mochalicious goodness -- that didn’t keep me up all night.
Gather your ingredients.
Heat the milk and cream over low heat. Add sugar.
Add instant coffee.
Add cocoa powder.
Gently heat and whisk the ingredients together until the sugar, coffee and cocoa powder dissolve. Turn off the heat and add vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. I like pouring it into a large measuring cup so it's easier to pour into the ice cream maker. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.
Finely chop good quality chocolate (or use chocolate chips). The important thing is to refrigerate them overnight. All of the ingredients should be cold when they go into the ice cream maker.
Pour ingredients into the ice cream maker and let it rip. After about 25 minutes, it should look like this.
Add chopped chocolate or chips to the machine about five minutes before the ice cream is ready.
If you like a soft serve consistency, eat the ice cream right away.
Otherwise transfer it to a container and let it firm up.
Mocha Chip Ice Cream
Recipe by The Garlic Press
1 cup whole milk, well chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp decaf instant coffee granules (or use regular if the caffeine doesn't bother you)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
semisweet chocolate chips or finely chopped, good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate bar, to taste
1. Gently heat milk and cream in saucepan. Add sugar, cocoa powder and coffee. Heat gently until sugar, coffee and cocoa are dissolved, but before the mixture comes to a simmer.
2. Off the heat, add vanilla extract.
3. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. Refrigerate mixture overnight.
4. Finely chop chocolate. Refrigerate chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.
5. Make ice cream according to the directions on your ice cream maker. Add chocolate chips 5 minutes before the ice cream is ready.
Makes ten ½ cup servings.