There is just something about the flavor of cardamom that makes a super pairing with espresso.  This ice cream is very simple to make.  It is made in the same style in which we made ice cream when I was growing up on my grandmother’s farm in rural Georgia – with fresh cream, milk, sugar and natural ingredients, but no eggs.  It is rich and creamy and intensely flavored!  My obsession with the cardamom ice cream affogato came to me a few months back while at Oxbow Market in Napa.   I spotted cardamom ice cream at the Three Twins Ice Cream shop.  Since it is right across from Ritual Coffee, I asked the Ritual folks to put a shot of espresso in the bowl.   I liked it so much that I started experimenting with making cardamom ice cream at home.

1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds (I buy whole seeds and crush them myself using a pestle and mortar.)
4 green cardamom pods (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk

Espresso shots for serving

You will also need:
Small saucepan
Paring knife
Large spoon
Ice cream maker (I use a Cuisinart ice cream with a compressor in it).
Pint-sized freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lid
Espresso maker
Ice cream scoop
Glasses or dishes for serving affogato

Pour the cream into a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream.  Drop the vanilla bean into the cream, as well. 


Add the crushed cardamom seeds, the cardamom pods and the sugar. Mix well.  When the mixture starts getting bubbles on the sides (just before a full boil), turn off the heat, cover the mixture and let it sit for about 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.  

Let sit

Remove the vanilla bean halves and the green cardamom pods.  Add the milk.  Cover and place into the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour.  

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and pour into the container of your ice cream maker.  Freeze the mixture according to the instructions for your machine. 


Remove the ice cream from the machine, place into a freezer-safe container with a tigh-fitting lid and place into the freezer.  The ice cream will need to freeze to a firm consistency.  I find that overnight is best.

Makes 1 pint of ice cream.

To make the affogato, remove the ice cream from the freezer.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a serving of ice cream and place it into a dish.  Pour a shot of hot espresso over the ice cream.  Serve immediately.


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