Today is a really special day and, like most special occasions in my family, we’re going to celebrating by eating ice cream. Today is my mom’s birthday and java chip ice cream was one of her favorite things. I have vivid memories of walking into the kitchen and seeing my mom grab her pint of Starbuck’s Java Chip ice cream from the freezer for a little dessert before going to bed. Ice cream was also our comfort food when we needed a pick-me-up. Whenever someone was having a bad day or was just feeling down, she would always say, “Ice cream makes everything better.” We’d take a trip to Dairy Queen to get blizzards or share a few scoops of ice cream in bed, savoring the indulgence and letting the ice cream bring a sweet smile to our faces.
You may have read my special leap year and lasagna post and learned that my mom passed away eight years ago from a sudden brain aneurysm. Simply put, my mom was the absolute best. She had the gift of making people feel special and appreciated with her genuine kindness. She worked hard, whether that was in her professional life or completing marathons as a hobby. She brought people together, was a mediator, shoulder to cry on, friend to laugh with, sister to have dance parties with, aunt to call in times of need. I miss her more as I get older than I even knew was possible at the young age of 15 when I celebrated her birthday with her last. Today, I want us to all celebrate with her in heaven and eat plenty of ice cream just like she would want.
Even if you never got to meet Betsy, join in with me celebrating her today with this decadent, but insanely easy, no churn java chip ice cream. The reason it’s called no churn is because you don’t need a fancy ice cream maker or special attachment for your Kitchen Aid to churn the cream into ice cream. Instead, whip heavy whipping cream into soft peaks, then fold into sweet and condensed milk, instant espresso, chocolate chunks and chocolate covered espresso beans. Freeze for at least six hours and scoop just like regular ice cream.
You only need a few ingredients: those pictured above along with a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness and a dash or so of vanilla to bring out the richness. Because we were celebrating, I used both semi-sweet chocolate chunks and dark chocolate covered espresso beans, but you could absolutely pick just one – and honestly next time I make it I may do that too. I also recommend chopping up both chocolates into tiny pieces so they get incorporated nicely into the mixture.
While the heavy cream whips, you’ll mix the sweet and condensed milk with the instant espresso. It takes just a minute or so to make with store-bought instant espresso and warm water. Once the whipped cream is ready, when you fold it into the milk, mix ever so gently and don’t mix too much. You want to keep the fluffiness of the whipped cream to give the ice cream that light fluffy texture. I used a simple folding method to scoop from the bottom and literally fold the sweet and condensed milk into the cream.
I was looking for the ideal presentation, so I sprinkled some extra chocolate chips onto the top of the ice cream. Taking that first scoop into the ice cream was so rewarding. I loved seeing the marbling of the colors and the chunks of chocolate forming into the perfect scoop. The texture of this ice cream is almost like a gelato consistency. It’s fluffy, creamy and smooth. It melted really quick though, so be sure to savor immediately!
- 2 and ½ tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 Tablespoons warm water
- 2 cups (16 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped to desired thickness (save some for the top of the pan)
- ¼ cup chocolate covered espresso beans, chopped to desired thickness
- Combine instant coffee with warm water in a small bowl until dissolved.
- Using a stand mixer or hand blender, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. (About 3-4 minutes.)
- While heavy cream is whipping, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, salt and coffee in a medium size bowl. Stir together. Add chocolate chips and chocolate covered espresso beans.
- Fold whipped cream gently into sweetened condensed milk mixture.
- Pour the ice cream into a loaf pan or freezer-safe container, sprinkle with leftover chocolate. Freeze for about six-eight hours, or overnight.
This java chip ice cream absolutely hit the spot for me this week while I was thinking about mom and wishing we could celebrate her birthday together. I love that I got to make a homemade version of one of her favorite desserts that was so simple. If Betsy would’ve tried this no church java chip recipe, I’m pretty sure she would’ve converted from her usual grocery store purchase and made this with me instead. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Enjoy it whenever you need a quick celebratory dessert or spontaneous pick-me-up, in honor of Betsy.
Love food. Love self. Love life.