Don’t get me wrong. I love chocolate. I’ve loved it ever since the first square my father broke off and shared from his beloved Hershey bar. But when it comes to chocolate ice cream, I’ve had it. It’s predictable and one-dimensional. And that’s because it’s been hanging around with vanilla and strawberry for far too long.
Although coffee and chocolate are both made from roasted tropical beans, coffee ice cream is much more assertive. It’s got that bitter edge that makes the sugar and cream—essential ingredients in ice cream—crucial in rounding out the full toasty flavor.
If you need more convincing, let’s talk toppings. Butterscotch sauce on coffee ice cream trumps chocolate any day. (I will be forever indebted to my mother-in-law for this dynamite combo.) Even chocolate fudge sauce tastes better on coffee rather than chocolate ice cream. And while tart fruit has long been paired with chocolate, the acid-sweet notes of berries—particularly blackberries, black raspberries, and black currants—sing more deeply when coffee plays the background chords rather than chocolate.
Coffee has so many more sexy variations than chocolate: espresso, cappuccino, latte, café crème, Vietnamese (with sweetened condensed milk). What’s chocolate got? Mocha? That’s chocolate and coffee, thank you very much.
Perhaps it’s the Starbucks, Stumptown, Blue Bottle age we live in, but I’ll take my coffee frozen, please, with cream, milk, and sugar.
Stay tuned for this week’s issue of Gourmet Live, as Kemp shares a New Hampshire detour to her favorite coffee soft-serve.