Kahlua and Coffee Ice Cream

If I was absolutely forced to name a favourite flavour of ice cream (crikey, it would be hard) it would be coffee (or it might be chocolate, or coconut, no it is coffee, although rum and raisin is nice too…). Anyway, I do love coffee ice cream and I have made plenty of chocolate, and plenty of strawberry and plenty of vanilla but I have never made coffee ice cream.  So last Sunday I dug out the ice cream maker from its winter hiding place at the back of the cupboard and made half chocolate (for the girls) and half Kahlua and coffee ice cream from a batch of custard using six eggs.

The Kahlua was bought for the gathering of friends a few weeks back when I made Nigella’s Espresso Martinis (oh my goodness they are good and worth the purchase of Nigella’s Christmas book all on their own I should think). This bottle of Kahlua was winking at me from the sideboard just begging to be used to flavour ice cream. It was a good call, this is a very good ice cream. It will be made again and soon.

The recipe below gives a 3 egg custard enough for about 5-6 servings of ice cream, but you can easily double it to make more.

3 egg yolks
300ml double cream
1 tsp cornflour
25g caster sugar
50ml Kahlua
25ml very strong coffee


Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat until just below simmering point.  Mix the egg yolks with the cornflour and sugar in a bowl.  Now whisking the eggs all the time, pour the hot cream over.  When well combined pour the mixture back into the saucepan and  continue to stir with a wooden spoon over a gentle heat.  The mixture will begin to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon.  Take the custard off the heat and stir for a minute or so until it has begun to cool.  Add the Kahlua and the coffee and mix in well. Allow the mixture to cool completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and following the manufacturer’s instructions or pouring into a large freezer proof container and placing into the freezer.  If you don’t have an ice cream maker you will have to remove the ice cream every hour and beat well with a fork to combine the ice crystals with the custard until the ice cream is smooth and frozen.  You will need to remove it from the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to eat it so that it becomes soft enough to spoon out of the container.

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Mocha Hazelnut Cake

I have times when I crave a coffee cake.  I usually turn to the classic coffee and walnut in such times of need.  But I have also been coveting the notion of an Italian Hazelnut Cake.  I think it was Rachel’s blog where I first saw this, or it may have been Michele’s, or even Tracy’s.  That is the trouble when you read so many wonderful blogs, it can cause no end of trouble when you try to find a recipe that you loved.

Fortunately for me Rachel Allen does an Italian Hazelnut Cake in her book, Bake, and so with a bit of tweaking I had the perfect Coffee and Hazelnut Cake, and because it’s me I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate and turning it into a Mocha Hazelnut Cake.

I urge you to try this, it manages to be incredibly light and incredibly moist at the same time.  The coffee shines through but doesn’t diminish the wonderful hazelnut flavour and the chocolate adds a wonderful depth.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

As I have added both coffee and hazelnuts to the original recipe, it can’t really be called an Italian Hazelnut Cake, but it can be called a Shropshire Mocha Hazelnut Cake.

200g hazelnuts, with their skins still on preferably
50g good quality chocolate
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp instant coffee powder, mixed with 2 tsp of hot water
100g softened butter
5 eggs, separated
175g caster sugar
pinch of salt


Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Place the hazelnuts, chocolate and baking powder in a food processor and whizz into fine crumbs.  Add the butter and whizz again until just mixed.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until the mixture has the texture of a mousse and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out.

Add the coffee and the hazelnut mixture and beat until combined.

In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and the pinch of salt together until stiff. Then add one-third of the egg whites to the other ingredients and stir well to combine and lighten the mixture.  Add the remaining egg whites in two batches, folding in carefully to retain as much air in the mixture as possible.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170°c, gas mark 3, or with the oven rack on the lowest set of runners in the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm on top and a skewer will come out clean when it is inserted into the cake.

Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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Chocolate and coffee cake

It was my husband’s birthday yesterday and the girls wanted to make him a cat themed birthday cake.  They are both a bit obsessed with cats it has to be said.  So this is it.  The cake is Nigel Slater’s Chocolate Espresso Cake (from Real Food), which always works wonderfully and is popular with everyone who tries it. It is rich and fudgy and very moreish.  The cat is a whipped ganache and complements the cake very well.

For the cake:

180g 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
3 tbsp espresso (very strong coffee)
140g butter, cut into small pieces
5 eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
90g plain flour

100ml double cream
50g 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces

Method for the cake

You will need a 20cm springform tin, lined with baking parchment.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water.  Be careful that the steam does not make contact with the chocolate and make sure the water doesn’t boil.  Too much heat will seize the chocolate. When the chocolate begins to melt add the warm espresso and leave to continue to melt.  Add the diced butter, (the smaller the better), and stir gently until it is all melted and combined.

Whilst this is happening beat the 5 egg whites in a very clean bowl until stiff and then fold the sugar in as gently as possible.

Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the 5 egg yolks, then slowly fold this into the egg whites, trying to be as careful as possible to retain as much air as you can.

Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder together into the mixture and fold in until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180° c (gas mark 4) for about 30 minutes, until it is springy to the touch.  Leave it in the tin to cool completely.  It can be served like this, dusted with cocoa powder.  It is lovely with double cream poured over it. However if you want to recreate the topping read on.

For the topping, beat the cream until it’s aerated but still soft, (adding the chocolate will thicken it up quite a bit so you don’t want it to be thick at this stage). Melt the chocolate gently over a pan of barely simmering water.  Add the chocolate to the cream and stir to combine. Spread onto the cake and if you want it to look like  a cat then use jelly tots and spaghetti to decorate.

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