We have had some really strange weather in the past few weeks, and have set several low temperature records. In many ways, it hasn’t seemed much like spring, but cooler temperatures haven’t kept me from craving ice cream. King Arthur’s website whetted my appetite with a recipe for Mocha Madness Ice Cream. I pretty much became an instant lover of all things mocha when I finally decided to become a coffee drinker several years ago. I eased myself into it by mixing a tablespoon of hot chocolate mix into my coffee, so now, any recipe with coffee and chocolate gets a second look. There was one ingredient in the mocha ice cream recipe that didn’t wow me – a mix-in of Oreo cookies. I set the recipe aside while I considered other mix-in options, and inspiration struck very soon when I saw Texas Toffee Queen Dark Chocolate Espresso toffee at Central Market. Yeah, that would be about a 200% upgrade from Oreos! The package label indicated the toffee needed to be refrigerated and could be frozen, so that sealed the deal.
Of course, taste-testing the toffee was the first order of business. The rich, buttery toffee topped with creamy dark chocolate, and dusted with espresso powder was wonderful. The toffee layer avoided the often fatal flaws of being extremely sticky or hard as granite. It was full-speed ahead to ice cream!
- 1 cup cold whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (Dutch processed preferred)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush”
- 1 cup Texas Toffee Queen Dark Chocolate Espresso Toffee, crushed into small pieces
Whisk together the milk, sugar, espresso power and cocoa until well blended. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream freezer. Add toffee pieces during the last 5 minutes of processing. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight freezer container and freeze for another 2-4 hours, or until it is the desired consistency.
Nancy Lalumia, the Texas Toffee Queen, comes from a family well-experienced in the food service business, and she was involved in family restaurants for a number of years. Nancy has always loved English toffee, and she made it for friends and family at Christmas. Her sister-in-law suggested Nancy bring some of the toffee to the gourmet food shop she and her brother owned. It quickly sold out and Nancy had a special order from Dallas Independent School District, so she made a very quick leap into the toffee business. Her core flavors are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate cranberry, but she also has prize-winning spicy varieties: white chocolate mango chili, dark chocolate salted jalapeño, and white chocolate peach ginger habanero. Wow, those all sound amazing! Now is certainly the time to order some of Nancy’s delicious toffee, because the Texas heat makes shipping a no-go from June through October. Read more of Nancy’s story and check out all the delicious flavors on her website.