No Churn Ice Cream is so simple to make, and this chocolate coffee ice cream tastes so much like the custardy ice cream made in an ice cream maker you can truly fool anyone! All you need to make ice cream are TWO basic ingredients, and the flavors as you wish. And of course, we want chocolate and coffee for that classic winning flavor combo.
This is more a chocolate ice cream with a hint of coffee, than the other way around. It's creamy, subtle, and not too sweet. No-churn ice cream is almost always made with heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk.
If you like creamy coffee desserts, I can highly recommend this coffee panna cotta (with a delicious chocolate sauce).
Due to the sweetened condensed milk, some flavors tend to make the ice cream way too sweet. That is the beauty of unsweetened cocoa powder and coffee. There is no added sugar, just the sweetened condensed milk - and that happens to be perfect!
Why do we use sweetened condensed milk?
In regular machine ice cream, you have a thick custardy base that you churn air into. Churning breaks up the ice crystals, making the ice cream smooth and creamy.
Sweetened condensed milk acts as the thick base of your ice cream, while whipped cream acts as the air and lightness. Together they have taken a shortcut to creamy, delicious ice cream.
You can also try to make your own sweetened condensed milk!
Can you make no churn ice cream without sweetened condensed milk?
Yes, you can, but it's not as easy as just opening a can of sweetened condensed milk (or making your own!). Instead of the milk, we can use pasteurized eggs (because we will not cook them). Separate the eggs and whip egg whites with sugar until it's stiff and shiny.
Fold egg yolks into whipped cream and then fold that mixture into the whipped egg whites. You would, however, need about 8 eggs and ⅔ cup sugar to make the same amount of ice cream. And then freeze for 6 hours.
Homemade ice cream melts quickly!
Just as a reminder, and as you may notice in my photos, homemade ice cream melts much quicker than store bought. That is the backside of it all, but on the plus side you don't have any funky additives and preservatives in your ice cream - making it much healthier in that sense!
And anyway, I'm completely fine with drinking my ice cream too. After all, that's just a creamy and yummy milkshake.
No churn ice cream flavor variations
My 2 cents on no churn ice cream? Choose add-ins that doesn't have too much sugar. A little is completely fine - and a lot too, if you like really sweet ice cream.
- Chocolate & coffee like in this recipe - or just one or the other!
- Pistachio ice cream - smooth and mild with no chunks!
- Strawberry - cook down your strawberries so they don't contain so much water
- Any kind of berry really, just cook them down a little
- S'mores - I'm thinking this can be too sweet, but I think it's worth a shot because, hello, it's s'mores.
- Tropical - use 24 hr super cold coconut milk instead of heavy cream to whip + pineapple!
- Peanut butter - mix the peanut butter with a little cream so it doesn't turn rock hard.
- Cherry cheesecake - cream cheese in addition to the two basics.
Some of these recipes are already in development here at Ginger with Spice, and as soon as they're ready and uploaded, I'll link to them here. I'm just giving you a secret little head start! And now I've also got a no-churn lemon sorbet, it is so easy, although it follows a slightly different route than these creamy ice creams.
Perfect toppings for ice cream
The reason why we try to avoid adding extra sweet things into our no churn ice cream is because of the toppings. For chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors, adding more chocolate, coffee and caramel is a safe bet.
For chocolate, peanut butter, coffee or caramel based ice creams:
- Guinness Coffee Salted Caramel Sauce (this is so perfect with this recipe, and it's one of the toppings in the photos)
- Plain chocolate sauce
- Salted Caramel Sauce
- Kahlua or Baileys or simply regular iced coffee for a next level affogato!
- Not exactly a topping (can you call it a bottom?) - but scoop this ice cream on top of Guinness Caramel Brownies or Classic Brownies!
For fruitier ice creams:
- Blackberry syrup
- Maybe pour berry cordial on for a different and really cool affogato
- Cherry liqueur or the cherry sauce in this black forest cake?
Why do we use alcohol in no churn recipes?
Both in no-churn sorbet and ice cream recipes, we often tend to a little alcohol. There is science behind this, as the alcohol reduces the freezing point of the ice cream, making it creamier. You can't add too much either, as it can result in the ice cream not freezing at all. Just 1-2 tablespoon is perfect for this batch of ice cream.
Considering this is such a small amount, I don't think you need to worry about the alcohol content in this recipe. However, if it is a problem, you can omit it, but the consistency won't be 100% the same (but still mega delicious!).
If you don't have Kahlua or any other coffee liqueur, don't worry about it. You can add whatever you have on hand; vodka, bourbon, rum. You won't really taste it.
And if you crave a boozy cockail, you can make them into alcoholic popsicles, just like I have done with these 6 frozen cocktails!
How do we prevent ice crystallization?
You can't mess around with the basics of an ice cream recipe too much because of the water to fat ratio. Too much water and the ice cream becomes crystallized. You don't have to add any more water than what is already in the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, but you can get away with a little bit (I have added ½ cup of water + 1 tablespoon Kahlua to mix the chocolate and coffee and it is 0% crystallized).
Keeping the ice cream completely covered once in the fridge also helps to prevent crystallization. That is why just a lid isn't enough, but you need to press parchment paper or plastic wrapper directly onto the ice cream.
The ice cream should also not fluctuate in temperature, so keep the ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer. That is also why we use cold whipped cream - so it freezes faster. Quickly re-freeze the rest once you've scooped what you need (still covered directly on the ice cream). The best way is to freeze it in smaller containers so you will take out of the freezer exactly what you need for one time.
I have scooped, put it back in the freezer, back out and scooped again with no problems - just make sure you freeze it as quickly as possible!
How to make chocolate coffee ice cream without an ice cream machine
Let's get to the recipe, shall we. Keep your ingredients cold, so the ice cream freezes quickly. Start with boiling water and mix it with instant coffee granules and unsweetened cocoa powder. Let this mixture cool down. You can even make this the day before and just keep in the fridge, although it's not necessary.
Get your freezer container ready. I used a large bread pan, and a 9x5in bread pan will work great here. Once the chocolate mixture is cold, mix it in a large bowl with sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla extract and Kahlua.
In another bowl, whip cold heavy cream until soft peaks. Fold first a little of the mixture into the sweetened condensed milk, for easier incorporation. Then you add the rest in one go and carefully fold it in. Pour it into the pan, put parchment paper or plastic wrapper directly on top to avoid crystallization. Cover with a lid too if you have it, but I didn't and absolutely no crystals here!
Freeze for a minimum of 6 hours, but it keeps well in the freezer for months. Must be in room temperature for about 10 minutes before it's scoopable, but then it quickly melts so eat it fast (which is no problem). Drizzle with Guinness coffee salted caramel sauce or regular salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce!
Don't forget to check out my other no-churn recipe: pistachio ice cream.
Did you like this recipe? Here's more summer treats
- Super Fresh Mojito
- Strawberry Scones
- Healthy Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars
- Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
- Refreshing Hibiscus Tea
- Homemade Jello
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