If you don’t like Guinness, you won’t like Guinness ice cream. Here are some reactions that this ice cream illicit-ed.
Clare: Uh [squirms and makes a face], I think I’m going to stick to your olive oil ice cream.
Alex: Man, this is really good! It’s Guinness?! I’ve never had Guinness!
Patrick: Ew, what the heck is this? You can have the rest of it.
Me? I thought it beautifully captured everything that I love in Guinness- the silkiness, the brief moment of bitterness, and the creaminess. I admit, it does get a bit of getting used to, but the recipe, taken from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, capitalizes on the fact that ice cream is just too sweet in general.
But beer in ice cream you ask?! Well why not? If you can make mint, olive oil, and sesame ice cream, why not beer then? Alice does write that only malty or light beers (ie pale ales, pilsners, lagers) are suitable for ice cream making as the other types, particularly those heavy in hops, are too bitter for ice cream.
How about the affogato you ask? Affogato, literally defined as downed in Italian, is a simple dessert consisting of a scoop of ice cream and a shot of espresso. Amazingly, I never encountered it until Angela and I stepped into this little coffeeshop in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m not sure why I ordered an Affogato, not knowing what it was, but when it came, it smelled heavenly. It was like putting two of my favorite things together in a tiny cup.
I’m also not sure why I decided to make affogato with this particular flavor of ice cream, but in my mind, I’ve always imagined coffee and Guinness complementing each other really well. They’re both bitter and dark but in different ways. In this case, the ice cream sweetens up the Guinness and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the two paired up. I was so tempted to actually use coffee along with the beer in the custard, but luckily I didn’t.
So if you don’t like Guinness or even beer, I’d skip on this one. But if you’re curious, it’s worth the effort to make half a quart because I’ve never seen this flavor in any ice cream shop. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll make it because it’s the last Guinness in the house and I prefer my Guinness on tap- not in a bottle.
Note- I should kick myself for substituting 1/2 cup of the cream for whole milk because had I just stuck to the recipe 100%, the ice cream would have frozen beautifully. Because you do pour in a whole bottle of beer after the custard thickens (which dilutes it), you need all the cream for it to remain soft and ice-creamy. My ice cream did freeze up well, but definitely not as creamy as it potentially could have.
Guinness Ice Cream
Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1 11 to 12oz bottle of Guinness
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them up. Pour the hot cream mixture slowly over the egg yolks, tempering them by whisking constantly. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and cook slowly over medium heat and stir constantly. The mixture will thicken and when it hits about 175-180F on a cooking thermometer, take it off the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, take the custard off the heat when it begins to only slightly thicken on the back of a spoon. The mixture will continue cooking from the heat within the custard and you do NOT want the yolks to overcook. Strain the custard to remove any bits of cooked egg into a separate clean bowl.
Stir the Guinness into the custard mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 (preferable 12) hours. Freeze according to your ice cream machine.
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