When you bring the best ingredients to your kitchen, you will be rewarded at your table. The truth about cooking is that it is not the technique that makes one a star, but the decision one makes long before the food hits your kitchen door. Where possible, buy the best quality ingredients you can put your hands on. Note, we did not say ‘afford’ becaue there is a false notion that anything epicurean must be expensive. In fact, many gourmet retailers exploit that notion, overcharging to make their products/produce look “more elite.” This is a sad fact, so prudent shoppers will shop around to get the best deal. Some items have seasons and in fact are actually cheaper to buy in their season as nature supplies them in bounty. However, some staple pantry items are indeed expensive and stay so-year round. We suggest that you splurge on those things that make your life taste just a little better and balance the budget by shopping for produce in their season.
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is one of those premium items that never go on sale. It is just in too much demand and has a finite supply. While there is no shortage in Jamaica, it is very expensive, but worth every penny. We wanted a creamy, accessible homemade ice-cream recipe to showcase this famous product of our beloved homeland. While Chef Lij often makes ice cream in highly expensive commercial ice cream machines, there is no such gadget in our home. At home, we use a KitchenAid stand mixer with an ice cream attachment. We figure that you do too or at least some other home machine so this recipe will work well in whatever equipment you have.
We know one of the sons of the farm that produces this Coffee Traders coffee. Run by the Sharp brothers, it has blossomed with the opening of their boutique coffee shop brand Cafe Blue, with our favourite branch perched on the hills of the Blue Mountains themselves. Jason is a fun organizer of the Red Stripe mound at Sabina Park cricket matches in Kingston and their Blue Mountain coffee takes us back to the sweetness of Jamaica, Land We Love. Blue Mountain coffee is regulated in Jamaica the same way that cheese and ham are in Europe. There is also high mountain coffee, which is still fabulous but not equal to the Blue Mountain variety. We take our coffee seriously.
With all this pride in our cool beans, we had to find a recipe that did them justice. We loved that this one actually uses whole beans. We took the recipe for this ice cream from Elise of Simply Recipes, who was guided by David Leibowitz, author of “The Perfect Scoop.” We did a few things differently, but not enough to call it our own.
- We used Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
- We infused the coffee in the cream for 3x longer, warming up and cooling off (but only till warm).
- We topped our ice cream with tempered 75% dark chocolate ganache for added texture and an even more intense coffee flavour.
- So go to Elise for the recipe here.
CHEF’S NOTE: To make this dinner party compatible, serve a single small scoop with a small square of a chocolate cake, or drizzle with a cherry sauce for a compatible flavour profile. I do not advise that serve non-decaf coffee ice cream to children because I will not be responsible for them breaking your things and dancing on the ceiling all night.