Speculoos Swirl Ice Cream + Coffee Granita
Have you heard of Speculoos? Until recently, I hadn’t, and maybe that’s a good thing, because three jars have met swift ends in my house! So what exactly is Speculoos? A.K.A. Cookie butter – it’s exactly that; a spreadable “butter” made from cookie dust. The flavour is like an Arrowroot cookie and gingersnap had a baby; slightly spiced but super rich and buttery tasting (think: waffle cone). I highly recommend you seek some out. Biscoff reigns supreme for purists, but better local grocery stores make a comparable alt.
My issue with desserts is I don’t have a huge sweet tooth. Give me pickles and chips any day over cake and candy. But my one soft spot for desserts is ice cream (or really anything frozen). After recently reading Gastrophysics by Charles Spence (foodies and food pros – get this book!) I’ve learned that sweetness is tempered by cold, so I suspect this is why I opt for chilled desserts, when I do seek them out. An analogy Spence provides is to think of a can of Coke; easily quaffable at ice cold temperatures, but once it’s room temperature – or even slightly warm – its sweetness is overwhelmingly sickly and cloying…but I digress.
To pay homage to my newfound love of Speculoos, and penchant for icy desserts I’ve made a tag team. Each can work wonderfully on its own, but are better together. The rich, sweet, and oh-so creamy Speculoos swirl ice cream is balanced by a slightly bitter and crunchy coffee granita. An experimentation in flavour and texture.
The ice cream is like a waffle cone has been ribboned throughout and the coffee granita is your favourite iced coffee meets a sno-cone. Make both to try together or opt for one – great either way.
Speculoos Swirl Ice Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sugar
5 egg yolks (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup Speculoos
In a large glass (or heat-safe bowl) gently whisk the egg yolks; set aside.
Set a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Heat while gently stirring, until warmed and small bubbles form on the edge.
While whisking the egg yolks, slowly dribble in 1/3 cup of warmed milk mixture and continue whisking. This is to temper the eggs, to ensure they do not scramble from the hot milk. Repeat two more times. Once the eggs are tempered, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and whisk while warming. Cook for about 5 minutes to thicken the mixture. You can tell if it is ready by stirring with a wooden spoon then dragging your finger alongside the back of the spoon. If the mixture stays put its ready.
Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a shallow container and let come to room temperature. Once chilled, stir in the vanilla. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours up to overnight.
When ready to make, pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers directions (mine took about 20 minutes to churn).
In a small microwave-safe dish zap the Speculoos foe 25 seconds – you want it runny but not hot.
In a loaf pan, spread 1/3 of the ice cream mix. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of Speculoos and swirl using a palate knife, skewer or tweezers; repeat twice more, adding a little bit of the spread to the final layer. Cover and freeze overnight.
Scoop and serve alone or alongside coffee granita.
3 cups strong brewed coffee (use something with less bitterness)
2 Tbsp sugar
Brew coffee and while hot add the sugar. Stir to dissolve fully.
Chill coffee in fridge until completely cold.
Pour coffee into a large flat container. You can use a high-rimmed cookie sheet, casserole dish, or large Tupperware. Place in the freezer (flat!) and freeze for 30 minutes. One 30 minutes has elapsed remove and stir with a fork, breaking up any ice crystals that have formed. Repeat every 30 minutes unitl you are left with a fully frozen, but flaky ice product – think a snow cone.
Serve alone, topped with whipped cream (Baileys whipped cream would be lovely here) or with Speculoos swirl ice cream.