Espresso Ice Cream

This is a traditional, rich ice cream recipe made with an egg-based custard, and it does take a bit of effort. Ideally, you would churn this in an ice cream machine, but you can make it without one - it will of course you a little longer but we promise that it is worth it!

The main flavouring in our recipe comes from the coffee you choose to use. Our recipe calls for a the Lewisham Blend by Mont58 - a limited edition roast which which is no longer available, however, this recipe is versatile in that you can choose any roast to suit your tastes! We reccommend opting for something from the Americas. Latin America has the terroir and varietals to produce full bodied coffees, with rich chocolatey flavours that are well balanced with sweet notes of caramel and nuts and often with subtle citrus acidity. 


  • 600ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (optional; please read below *)
  • 80ml strong-brewed espresso
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso (optional)


1. Warm the cream on a low heat with the vanilla. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, and the cornflour* if using, in a large bowl or jug.

2. When the cream mixture is warm but not boiling, pour it over the egg mixture and whisk well. Then return it to the pan and heat gently, stirring all the time, until you have a thick, smooth custard. Take care to heat very slowly and stir constantly.

3. Take the custard off the heat and stir in the espresso and the pinch of salt, and if you love a strong coffee flavour, add the tablespoon of finely ground coffee too. Leave the coffee custard to cool, then chill it thoroughly in the fridge. If you have an ice cream maker, churn and freeze the custard according to the manufacturer's instructions.

4. If you don't have an ice cream maker, put a non-breakable, empty bowl into the freezer to chill. Transfer your mixture into the chilled bowl and return it to the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Check the ice cream - once the edges start to freeze, take the bowl out and beat the ice cream using a hand mixer or sturdy whisk. This breaks up the ice crystals that are starting to form and creates the smooth, velvety texture you are looking for. There is no such thing as over beating ice cream, so be vigorous. Return the bowl to the freezer. Every half an hour, take it back out and beat the ice cream again. Repeat until it is firmly frozen, usually around four or five times.


Adding cornflour or a starch of any kind to a custard stabilises the mixture and allows you to heat it to a higher temperature without curdling it, so it's quite a useful safety net if you are a beginner at custard or don't have a kitchen thermometer. If you have a kitchen thermometer and want to make the custard without adding the cornflour, you are looking for a temperature of 83°C

When you have made custard many times, you will have a sixth sense regarding the thickening point and will be noticing the custard coating the spoon, and the feel of it in the pan, so won't need cornflour or a thermometer.

Find more recipes and helpful tips in our cookbook!