At Williams Sonoma, there are a few subjects we take seriously. VERY seriously. Our favorite flavor of ice cream? Well, that’s a subject of cool debate.
Much like the sports brackets key to March Madness, our Fun Committee whipped up a similar type of challenge—a bracket-inspired Ice Cream Competition.
Early competitors ranged widely, from Pistachio to Strawberry (below) to Butter Pecan, and from there the competition narrowed. Round Two saw both the tightest race and the biggest upset. Brownie slipped past Peanut Butter to win by one vote, whereas Rainbow Sherbet (which had been the clear winner in the round one bracket with 90% of the votes) lost to Coffee with only 20% of the votes.
Coffee went into the final round as the clear favorite receiving 60% of the votes vs. Peanut Butter Cup, and took on Mint Chocolate Chip which had surpassed Cookies n’ Cream with 52% of the votes.
The winner? Refreshing Mint Chocolate Chip over Coffee with 58% of the 560 votes in The Final Meltdown Challenge!
Whether you agree with the Williams Sonoma staffers or not, be assured that you’re not alone! Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to ice cream and few people are confused over their favorite flavors. It’s certainly hard to go wrong with a scoop of good Coffee Ice Cream or one of Mint Chip—especially when you have a good recipe in hand. Try one of our time-tested recipes below, or look to our ice cream starters for a quick fix for your favorite obsession. Good news for you coffee fans, since the Peet’s Ice Cream Starter results in a creamy blend every bit as good as one made entirely from scratch.
Coffee Ice Cream
This classic recipe has been in the Williams Sonoma archives since it was first printed in Williams Sonoma Ice Cream in 2003.
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz/375 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup brewed dark-roast coffee, chilled
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
In a bowl, mix the milk, cream and brewed coffee.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and salt. Add the milk mixture and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend, about 15 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Mint Chip Ice Cream
Using fresh mint as opposed to mint extract adds bright flavor to this ice cream. Instead of chocolate chips, the chocolate is finely grated, creating thin shards that melt easily in your mouth.
- 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
- 5 oz. (155 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely grated
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, milk and mint leaves. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture barely simmers, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) of the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the resulting egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
4. Meanwhile, have ready an ice bath in a large bowl, and nest a smaller heatproof bowl inside. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl, stirring occasionally until cool. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, stir in the food coloring, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
5. Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the grated chocolate during the last minute of churning. Spoon the ice cream into an airtight freezer-safe container and place parchment or waxed paper directly on the surface. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Find Chocolate-Flecked Mint Ice Cream and more dreamy recipes in Newlywed Entertaining Cookbook.