coffee toffee ice cream

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful plate Let’s not mention the little fact that it’s been, uh, exactly three weeks and two days since my last post, okay? Sorry guys! First I had that broken lens situation, and then I came home (!!!!!), and all of that adds up to no blog posts for you. (See here and here if you’re unfamiliar with how this has looked in the past.)

I’ll try to make up for it by sharing [what I think is some of] the best coffee ice cream ever.

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful plateThe recipe is from where else but Bi-Rite Creamery? They make it so good. The coffee flavor is deep and pronounced, and the almond toffee pieces throughout are delightful. Far from a break-your-teeth sort of toffee, this stuff just crumbles into the loveliest texture when you bite into it. It’s also über addicting. Be sure to measure and separate what you’ll need for the ice cream before you take even one taste. It’s kind of hard to stop “tasting” it after that first piece.

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful plateFull disclosure… I didn’t actually mix the toffee in to the batch you see photographed here. My family has mixed views on the acceptableness of ice cream mix-ins, so to avoid conflict I left it out and sprinkled the toffee over my scoops. It achieves the same affect without upsetting anyone. But I definitely recommend mixing it in if you have no problems with that. And if you’re looking for a plain coffee ice cream, well, skip the toffee altogether and you have yourself a winner.

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful plateHappy Monday, folks! Go forth into this new week and make some ice cream.

coffee toffee ice cream | the thoughtful platecoffee toffee ice cream | print recipe
recipe adapted from sweet cream and sugar cones

1 ¾ cups heavy cream
¾ cups 2% milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup (¾ ounce) finely ground coffee beans
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, ground coffee, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the coffee to steep in the cream and milk for about 10 minutes. For a stronger coffee taste, steep longer.

While the coffee is steeping, place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine.

Place the saucepan back over medium heat until the mixture is hot again. Scoop ½ cup of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, dribbling it in slowly and whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Repeat with another ½ cup of the cream.

Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for about 2-3 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of the spatula and hold a defined line when you run your finger through it.

Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a clean bowl set in an ice-bath. Stir occasionally until cooled, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the almond toffee. Pour the ice cream into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic, and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. (Sometimes when I need the ice cream to freeze faster, I like to put it in a 9×9-inch cake pan and then into the freezer. The thinner layer freezes much faster.)

almond toffee
recipe adapted from sweet cream and sugar cones

1 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup tapioca or corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (TJ’s is probably the cheapest/easiest place to find these!)

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, syrup, water, and sea salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and place over medium heat. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the mixture registers 300 degrees and is dark amber in color. Stir frequently.

Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the almonds. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the hot toffee into a ¼-inch-thick layer with a spatula.

Allow the toffee to cool for about one hour before chopping or breaking into chunks.

Store any leftover toffee in a jar or other airtight container.

chocolate things

chocolate things | the thoughtful platePosting this recipe for Chocolate Things was not part of my plan. I made them on a whim last Friday for my family and myself, because some days I just need something bread-y and I need to make something from the Cheese Board’s book. Thus, that afternoon was spent kneading doughs and shaping said doughs into knots and rolls.

They came out of the oven while there was still just enough light outside to snap a few photos, so I did. Not great photos, and definitely not photos intended for the blog, but photos for documentation nonetheless.

The next day, while at the art museum, my beloved camera lens sustained a small fall and separated into two pieces. It was tragic. I probably shed a tear or two. I don’t know if anyone was watching or not, and I don’t care. The lens that I use almost everyday and can’t blog without died. Continue reading

what i cooked | march

strawberriesHappy last day of March, friends!

Are you ready to talk about what we made this month? Below is a list of what I made, and I’d like to know what you made too. Comment with your favorite thing you cooked or baked (or didn’t cook/bake, since… ICE CREAM) in March, and leave a link to the recipe if possible :)

Also, is there anything that you’re dying to make next month? Do tell!


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basil italian soda

basil italian soda | the thoughtful plateIt’s finally that time of year where I want to drink cold, bright, fizzy drinks in the afternoon (preferably outside, in the sun) instead of hot chocolate or coffee. Rejoice! :)

Watermelon lemonade will always be a favorite. Also cherry limeade. Iced coffee is great too, even if it isn’t fizzy. I’m looking forward to exploring even more fun flavors this spring/summer. Continue reading

what i cooked | february

what i cooked | februaryFebruary was so cold, guys. I stayed in most days, constantly reminded of one of the main reasons why I dislike these states in the middle of the US (no offense to the residents… I’m [a reluctant] one myself).

If January was all about ice cream, February was all about bread. I made a lot of bread. Cinnamon rolls, scones, waffles, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

There was some ice cream too, of course.


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hot chocolate for snowy days

hot chocolate | the thoughtful plateI don’t know if you’re aware of this, but a fairly decent portion of the US is covered in white right now. And white = snow = cold.

Enter: hot chocolate. While it can’t do anything about the snow, it certainly helps with the cold. Continue reading

strawberry almond lemon thumbprint cookies

strawberry almond lemon thumbprint cookies | the thoughtful plateThese cookies were baked 11 days ago, on the same day that I photographed crêpes. The edited photos have just been sitting pretty in Lightroom for 9 days, while I try to overcome a case of writers’ block. Since I actually don’t consider myself a writer in the person-who-lives-to-put-words-to-paper sense, I’m not sure I can even claim that particular condition. Continue reading

ricotta crêpes with bananas + chocolate + almond butter

ricotta crêpes with bananas + chocolate + almond butter | the thoughtful plateAs far as I’m concerned, the only way to even think about serving crêpes to more people than just yourself is to make them well in advance. Follow this advice and you will enjoy a peaceful existence. Disregard it and suffer. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but seriously. Have you ever tried to make crêpes in real time? It’s stressful!

Here’s the proper approach: Continue reading