You've heard of breakfast for dinner, but have you heard of dessert for breakfast? I think this might just have to become a thing. A scoop of Gluten Free Coffee & Donuts Ice Cream is the perfect summer breakfast and I think you should definitely work it into your morning routine. Right after that early morning run, alright?
This recipe is-- like many of my ice cream recipes-- a riff on a Jeni Britton Bauer recipe. When I came up with the idea, I got so excited that I couldn't even wait to bake up my own gluten free donuts. Instead, I threw in some store-bought Gluten Free Vanilla Glazed Kinnikinnick donuts. Do I think it'd be better with homemade donuts? Yes, of course. Homemade is always better. Buuuut, sometimes, you just don't have that much time... and that's ok.
You should, however, take the time to buy some decent coffee beans for this recipe. This is not the time for Folger's. I splurged on some good full-bodied, dark-roast Stumptown beans. Stumptown is a dangerous habit, so do not feel like you have to go down that road... but do make sure you don't cheap out too much on the coffee beans. They are, after all, providing the most flavor for your ice cream.
Finally, one note about actually eating this ice cream. I did find that the flavor of the donuts came through more in each bite if you let the ice cream warm up just a tad before eating. I was so eager to taste a frozen version of the best breakfast ever (ie, coffee & donuts) that I dug right in and nearly broke a tooth. The donut chunks can be a little hard straight out of the freezer. So, give it a minute or two and the donuts will be softer, more tasty and deliciously steeped with creamy coffee ice cream.
Gluten Free Coffee & Donuts Ice Cream, (a pint and a little bit)
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 1 TBSP plus 2 tsps cornstarch
- 1.5 oz or 3 TBSPs cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 TBSPs light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans, freshly ground
- 3-4 gluten-free donuts, (if using store-bought vanilla glazed, chip off glaze or else it will add too much sweetness to the ice cream)
If you are using store-bought frozen gluten free donuts, take donuts out of freezer to thaw while you make your ice cream. Once they have thawed a bit, cut them into nibble-sized pieces and pick off the donut's glaze. I don't like my coffee very sweet, so I removed the glaze, but if you like super sweet coffee (why?), leave the glaze on. It's your ice cream. But, do be sure to cut the donuts up into smaller chunks.
Mix 2 TBSP of milk with cornstarch in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together cream cheese and salt. (This is the way all Jeni's ice cream's begin.)
On the stovetop, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in freshly ground coffee and a small handful of beans. Let grinds and beans steep in the milk mixture for at least 25 minutes.
Using a fine mesh strainer-- the chinois is perfect for this-- pour milky coffee mixture into a large measuring cup. Really press as much milky mixture out of the coffee grinds as possible. If you don't have a chinois, you can use cheesecloth and really squeeze and wring out every last drop of milky coffee. Discard grinds and beans.
Quickly rinse out pot to clean out any remaining grinds and then return the milky coffee mixture to the stovetop. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir until ice cream base is thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in cream cheese-salt mixture until fully-combined. Pour ice cream base into a ziplock bag and place in an ice bath for at least 30 minutes.
Once the ice cream base is fully-cooled, add base to your ice cream maker and mix according to your ice cream maker's directions. Fold and layer donut chunks into ice cream base as you fill your ice cream container. Place ice cream in the back of your freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.