Mocha Chip Ice Cream

    Mocha Chip Ice Cream {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

It’s that time of the year again, folks! Time for homemade ice cream and long summer nights! This ice cream is inspired by yet another Graeter’s Ice Cream flavor. I know I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Graeter’s Ice Cream is my absolute favorite! It has been almost seven years since we moved from Columbus, Ohio, but I still have yet to find an ice cream that rivals Graeter’s. So until they decide to bring it to Illinois, or I move back to Ohio, I have to make my own Graeter’s inspired flavors! ;)

Mocha Chip Ice Cream {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

A coffee-lover’s dream, this rich and creamy ice cream is packed with chocolate chunks and promises to delight even the most die-hard coffee lover in your family. One of the many great things about making your own ice cream is that you can customize it however you like. Want more chocolate chunks? Pieces of toffee? No problem! You can even make this ice cream with decaffeinated beans if that’s how you roll!

Mocha Chip Ice Cream {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Mocha Chip Ice Cream

Rich and creamy coffee ice cream packed with chocolate chunks in every bite!

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cup coarsely ground coffee
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil

Directions:

Set a medium sized bowl over a large container of ice water.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the ground coffee, milk, cream, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and the vanilla, stirring occasionally, until steam appears and the liquid is hot (175 degrees) about 5 minutes.
When the milk mixture is cooking, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar together until smooth. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper them. Then slowly whisk the tempered yolk mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture. Continue to cook the custard mixture over medium heat until it is very hot but not simmering (180-185 degrees). Immediately pour custard into bowl set in the ice bath and let cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Remove the custard mixture from the ice bath. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold (40 degrees), at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
A few minutes before you plan to churn the ice cream, place semisweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until chocolate is melted and whisk until smooth. Stir in oil and transfer to a ziploc bag; set aside.
Strain custard through fine-mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth into another medium bowl. Press on the coffee grounds in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the grounds.
Pour the mixture into the ice cream canister and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions until the mixture resembles the consistency of thick whipped cream. Snip the corner of the ziploc bag that the chocolate is in, and while the machine is running, slowly drizzle the chocolate into the ice cream. After chocolate is added, continue churning until the mixture resembles soft served ice cream.
Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Cover the container and freeze the ice cream until it is firm, about 3 hours.

Source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated 

Another month has gone by and my Little Sweet Pea is now 6 months old! This past month we started solids and he has enjoyed a variety of fruits and vegetables. From carrots, peas, green beans, avocado, banana, applesauce, prunes, pears, sweet potato and even peanut butter…he’s loved them all! I was a bit hesitant to give the peanut butter so early, but according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, early introduction of highly allergenic foods may reduce children’s risk for developing food allergies. So we mixed some peanut butter into some mashed banana and fed it to him. He went crazy!!

Little Sweet Pea 6 months

Unfortunately he had another ear infection this month. This makes two in only a month!  I am really hoping that this doesn’t turn into a once a month thing. :( Combine the ear infection with teething and it has made for quite a fussy month!

Little Sweet Pea 26 weeks

Since the weather has started warming up, we took Little Sweet Pea on his first hike. Before we had him, Andrew and I would go hiking almost every weekend during the summer and fall, so it was really nice being able to bring little man along. Andrew carried him in our hiking backpack and we brought along a picnic lunch.

Little Sweet Pea first hike

Since it was our first hike, we took it easy and walked along some pretty easy hiking paths near our house. Little Sweet Pea seemed to enjoy it and even ending up falling asleep halfway through! I look forward to many more hikes over the summer. :)

 Little Sweet Pea first hike

One Year Ago: Individual Blueberry Buckles             

Two Years Ago: Soft Lofthouse Style Frosted Cookies