This just might be a perfect summer dessert: a chocolate cookie crust, no-churn (and so easy!) coffee ice cream, with a topping of caramel whipped cream and candied cacao nibs. The crust and ice cream base can be put together a day or two in advance, which also comes in handy. If you aren’t into the candied cacao nibs, crushed chocolate covered espresso beans would also be delicious here.
A few things:
*The Coffee-Caramel combination on my ice cream cake is inspired by this Ice Box Cake over on ZoeBakes.
*My summer reading has been fluctuating between Wodehouse (the Jeeves series) and the French Revolution, which has been an odd but interesting combination. I’m currently in the middle of the Twelve Who Ruled, which is a fascinating look at the Committee of Public Safety and their role in the Reign of Terror.
*We recently splurged on an outdoor projector (this one here), so we could take our family movie nights outside this summer. We’ve just been projecting it onto our garage door, which works just fine! We’ve been showing our kids a bunch of our favorite movies from the late 80’s/early 90’s, and we’ve made it through Goonies, UHF, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride, What About Bob, and Napoleon Dynamite. So if you have any other suggestions for movies, I’d love to hear them.
*I saw Amazing Grace, the film of Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert, and it is incredible: moving and beautiful. I highly recommend seeing it if it is playing near you. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack all week.
A few notes: Your pie pan needs to be deep, with at least 2 inch [5cm] sides, to accommodate all the cookie crust and ice cream (I used this pan here). If you don’t have a pan that size, you could just use part of the amount (just fill the pie pie pan until full), and freeze the rest of the ice cream in a separate container. I didn’t have any trouble getting the pie pieces out of my pan – it cut nicely and didn’t stick to the bottom. But you could line the pan with parchment or foil if you are worried about getting the pie out.
200g chocolate wafer cookies
4 tablespoons [57g] unsalted butter
Coffee No-Churn Ice Cream
One 14 ounce can [396g] sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso grounds (optional)
2 ounces [57g] cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups [240g] heavy cream
Caramel Whipped Cream
2 cups [240g] heavy cream
1/2 cup [170g] caramel, room temperature
Candied Cacao Nibs
4 tablespoons [48g] granulated sugar
1 cup [90g] cacao nibs
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
For the crust
Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C].
Place the cookies in the bowl of a food processor and process until broken down into fine crumbs. Move the crumbs to a medium bowl, and pour the melted butter over the top. Use a spatula to stir together until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a deep (with at least 2 in [5cm] sides) 9 1/2 or 10 in [24 to 25cm] pie plate and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely.
For the coffee ice cream
In a large bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, coffee, salt, vanilla, and espresso grounds until completely combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and add the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream, mixing until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add half the whipped cream mixture to the sweetened condensed milk mixture and whisk until completely combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream mixture until no streaks remain. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and freeze until firm, 6 hours, or covered, up to 4 days. When ready to serve, top with the caramel whipped cream and sprinkle with candied cacao nibs or crushed espresso beans.
For the caramel whipped cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, stir together the heavy cream and the caramel. Whisk on low for 30 to 45 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat 30 to 45 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until the cream is smooth, thick, and nearly double in volume, 30 to 60 seconds. The whipped cream can be made 2 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
For the candied cacao nibs
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, warm the sugar for a minute, without stirring. Scatter the cacao nibs over the sugar, and leave the pan undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt in spots. With a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, quickly stir the cacao nibs into the liquid sugar, incorporating any unmelted sugar as you go. Once most of the sugar has coated the nibs, remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the butter. Immediately scrape the cacao nibs onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing them into an even layer with the back of the spoon or spatula. Allow to cool.
Break the cacao nibs into tiny clusters by hand. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.