When I was a little girl growing up in Michigan my favorite ice cream was available only at the Melting Moments ice cream shop in downtown East Lansing on the MSU campus. They were the one place in town where I could get my teeny little hands on a yellow cone filled with the best ice cream flavor of all time (this may be somewhat subjective,) Chips Kahlua.
Chips Kahlua had it all-it was creamy, rich, coffee-with-kahlua flavored ice cream filled with bits of luscious dark chocolate. Heaven. I realize you may be thinking, "Liquor flavored ice cream for a CHILD!? What!?" And yes, I do realize now that it was a slightly unusual choice for a kid of five years old to love, but what can I say, I was precocious. I've loved the taste of coffee for as long as I can remember. Apparently, even without trying it on its own until college, I also loved its sweetened, alcoholic cousin, Kahlua. Good stuff.
Every single taste of ice cream since those Melting Moments days is an attempt to recreate the taste of Chips Kahlua. To me it is the Platonic Form of ice cream of which all other coffee ice creams are mere shadows and reflections. Melting Moments no longer has Chips Kahlua in their regular offerings...in fact, I'm not even sure if they have a physical store anymore, but that will not stop my quest to find it. Or if I cannot find it, recreate it.
Professor Hubs and I received a Kitchenaid mixer as a wedding gift. I think I use it nearly every day-it's one of my 2 favorite kitchen appliances (the other being my cuisinart food processor.) One of the fancy schmancy attachments for my Kitchenaid mixer is the Ice Cream Attachment...
You see where I'm going here?
I decided to try my hand at making my own Chips Kahlua ice cream. Here's what I discovered:
a. One can easily make ice cream without eggs that is delicious. It takes like five minutes.
b. One cannot easily make ice cream without fat that is still delicious-it's ok, but not delicious.
c. Fat makes ice cream delicious.
d. Kahlua is the most delicious stuff on earth.
e. I love ice cream.
So if you find yourself having a hankering for a delicious, coffee-flavored ice cream treat, and you happen to have some kind of an ice cream maker, try out my Chips Kahlua ice cream. The stuff is good. ESPECIALLY if you make the full-fatty mcfatstein stuff. I will have to settle for the skim milk version for now, which is good, but not really the same as the Melting Moments flavor of my youth...
The Desperate Housediva's Chips Kahlua Ice Cream
(heavily improvised upon a recipe by Mark Bittman)
2 cups of Milk or Cream (any fat percentage, any combination will do...the more fatty the tastier)
1/4 cup sugar (very low in sugar, oddly enough!)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brewed coffee (I personally use decaf)
1/2 cup Kahlua (mmmm....)
3 large Tbsps Cornstarch
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped (regular sized chips are too large, trust me.)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1.5 cups of the Milk/Cream, the sugar, the coffee, salt, and Kahlua. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to steam.
In a separate bowl, combine the other 1/2 cup milk/cream with the cornstarch until well blended.
Add to the mixture on the stove and stir until the mixture has thickened slightly and one or two bubbles threaten to boil. Remove from heat and chill the mixture until cool.
Once cooled, add to ice cream machine according to manufacturers directions. Halfway through the mixing process, add the chips.
Enjoy the flavors of my childhood!