Coffee-Cardamom Ice Cream Bliss | May 11, 2017

Sometimes my brain gets stuck on a flavor combination.  I imagine all the different ways I can use it – in cakes, cookies, cocktails, etc. Ever since I made Sarah Kieffer’s Cardamom Cake with coffee frosting, I have been obsessed with those two aromatic ingredients. I decided to make homemade ice cream this week because the sun is shining (like that determines when I eat ice cream – HA!) and the flowers are blooming.  Ice cream takes these flavors to a whole new dimension.

Making ice cream is pretty straightforward.  You need milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, and whatever flavorings you want to use to create a great tasting ice cream.  My best advice is, don’t skimp on the type of milk or cream you use.  If you have dairy items in the grocery store that are local, use them for ice cream.  If you can go one step further and use organic, grass-fed dairy -it does make a difference.  It isn’t an extreme difference but I really think the texture is better.  The other advice I can give is to get everything out ahead of time.  Basically, you are going to make custard and with custards, you have to pay attention to your timing so if you already have a Tovolo Beat Whisk, a fine mesh sieve, a thermometer, and your eggs separated when you start, the process will go much smoother.

In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, lightly toast your cardamom pods.  Spices over heat release their natural oils and will give you an improved flavor.  This is important in this recipe because coffee will try to take over and be the bolder flavor.  Cardamom is the perfect spice to stand up to coffee and make sure that the ice cream is balanced.

This ice cream base is made with egg yolks.  The egg yolks give the ice cream a really rich taste.  There are recipes you can use without eggs if that’s more comfortable but the eggs will be cooked through if you make sure your custard comes up to 170F.    After you make the custard base, you need to make sure it is cooled all the way before transferring it to the pre-frozen ice cream maker bowl.  Otherwise, the ice cream will never quite be cold enough in the ice cream maker and will not be that smooth, creamy, perfect ice cream texture.  If you can leave the custard in the fridge overnight – do it.  Then use your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s directions.  After churning, scoop the soft-serve consistency ice cream into your Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop and place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Making ice cream might not be the quickest process but it is TOTALLY worth the effort!

I served this with homemade hot fudge – that’s me.  This would be fine plain.  You could dress it up with caramel sauce or on a piece of pound cake.  This ice cream would also be amazing in a boozy milkshake with a little vodka or Kahlua mixed in.  As I always say, you need to take these recipes and put your own signature on them.  We love feedback though so let us know how it goes or if you jazzed the recipe to the next level!


YIELDS 20 oz.  |  PREP TIME  3 hour  |  PRINT PDF


1 ½ cups of whole milk, preferably organic and grass-fed
1 ½ cups of heavy cream, preferably organic and grass-fed
5- 7 cardamom pods, toasted until aromatic
2 tbsp finely ground coffee
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt


In a heavy saucepan, simmer the milk and cream together. You want bubbles around the edge and surface but not to a full boil. Turn off heat and add the toasted cardamom pods. Use the Tovolo Beat Whisk to stir and let steep for 30 minutes. This will smell like heaven!
*To toast the cardamom pods, add the pods to a dry skillet over medium heat and toast until you can smell them. Make sure to shake the skillet as they are toasting to prevent the pods from burning. This should take less than a minute. Transfer the pods to a cutting board and crack open with the flat side of your knife.

Separate your eggs. Place the whites back in the refrigerator if you will use them. In another heavy saucepan, add the coffee grounds, sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Whisk together with the Tovolo Beat Whisk. After well incorporated, pour the milk and cardamom mixture over the egg mixture and whisk to incorporate. Place back over medium-low heat and continue to whisk until the whole mixture thickens and come up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This is custard or ice cream base. Another way to see if it is ready to use is to take a spoon and if you can run your finger down the back of the spoon and make a line that stays, your custard is thick enough.
Strain the custard into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer. This will catch any of the pods, bits of cooked egg, and most of the coffee grounds. The super small coffee grounds that make it through will add little specks in your ice cream but not enough to add a sandy texture. Chill until cold – about 2 hours.

Once chilled, follow manufacturer’s direction on your ice cream maker. Then transfer to a Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop and let freeze for not less than 4 hours but preferably overnight. When ready to serve, use the Tovolo Ice Cream Scoop to scoop beautiful creamy orbs and pair with hot fudge or caramel sauce.