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Cafe Sua Da Ice Cream

We are just all ice cream, all the time around here right now, aren't we? This week alone I have posted recipes for Mango Coconut Frozen Yogurt, Raspberry and Strawberry egg free ice cream and I haven't even gotten around to talking about the peach ice cream that is currently languishing in my freezer. Thank god I have a 14 year old boy to eat it all.

"Vietnamese iced coffee with milk", also known as ca phe sua da or cà phê sữa đá It is also called ca phe nau da  in northern Vietnam but the restaurants that I frequent call it cafe sua da so that is what I am going with. Call it whatever you like but I call it insanely delicious. If you have never had one, go find a Vietnamese restaurant today and get one and come back and finish reading this. It's okay, I'll wait.

Calling it iced coffee with milk is incredibly misleading. What it really is is insanely strong, thick coffee with sweetened condensed milk that you mix together after the coffee finishes dripping into the little cup before pouring the whole thing into a tall glass filled with ice. It's rich, strong, sweet and addictive but watch it because one of these babies packs quite a punch.

I have a wonderful friend, Ivy Lam, who is a fellow makeup artist and I owed her a treat for a favour she did for me. She had told me to just bake her a pie. Now,  Ivy's husband, Craig, is an accomplished fancy pants chef so baking them anything is a daunting task but I have had such great success with my crostadas (recipe to come this week) that I decided to do one for them. Had you noticed that in the last few weeks it was as hot as hell with 199997878% humidity? Perhaps a crostada was not the best choice but I now know that making the mixed berry crostada the night before was absolutely not the right choice. It looked fantastic out of the oven and after it cooled I covered it overnight but by morning the crust was all soft and one side was kind of soggy. It was fine for us to eat but was NOT going to pass the muster as a thank you gift of pie, especially to a Frenchy trained chef and his foodie wife.

What to do. Hey, I know, I will make them ice cream! Since we have been making nothing but ice cream lately, this made the most sense.  I had a bowl of caramelized corn flakes left from my mango frozen yogurt so I wanted to make something that would work with those. I cracked open all the books and had almost settled on a peanut butter chocolate ice cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, when I spotted a recipe for Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream. Pre ice cream maker, I made the non churn version with whipped cream and condensed milk like my cinnamon bun or my cherry chocolate almond, with great success so this felt familiar.

Peanut butter chocolate what?

I am so in love with this ice cream and kind of exited because Shack, the king of nothing but raspberry or strawberry no add in ice creams, love it too! It has tiny chocolate chips in it! There isn't a berry to be seen! The texture of this ice cream is so creamy and smooth and the tiny bits of dark chocolate are perfect. It's so good all on it's own  the added salty/sweet crunch of the cornflakes and the drizzle of hot coffee put it over the top for me.


I was planning to just link to his recipe online but I can't find a link back to him, only five billion links back to bloggers who made this so I will just write out the recipe here and encourage all of you to run out and buy David Lebovitz's ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop because it is the best ice cream book I own. 

Cafe Su Da Ice Cream

adapted slightly from David Lebovitz Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop
makes approx 1 litre

1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee (I used a dark french roast)
1/2 cup 18% cream
large pinch of finely ground dark coffee
1 cup tiny dark chocolate chips

to serve:
1 shot of hot, strong coffee, preferrably an espresso
caramelized corn flakes

MIx the condensed milk, coffee, cream and ground coffee together and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours until it's really cold.
Process in your ice cream maker according to the directions. Just a head's up, it takes closer to 30 minutes as opposed to the normal 18 to 20 minutes that other recipes have taken to churn, so keep that in mind. During the last minute or two of churning, add in the chocolate chips. It was much softer, coming out of the machine, than I am used to but after a good rest in the freezer, it was perfect.

Put the ice cream in a freezer container and give it a good stir to make sure the chocolate chips are all incorporated. When you serve it, pour the hot coffee over the ice cream and  sprinkle the condensed cornflakes over the top.

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