Cafe Borgia Ice Cream

August 28, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Chocolate. Coffee. Orange. This trinity of flavors makes up my fave espresso drink (that too few coffee shops make!). And thus, a new ice cream was born. I used Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home (by Jeni Britton Bauer) base recipe, with inspiration and methods from her Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, and her Black Coffee Ice Cream recipe, to make a rich mocha ice cream. Then I swirled in an orange caramel sauce to complete this ultra-caffeinated concoction. —laagarf

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a rich, satisfying blend of flavors. The ice cream itself is dreamy and decadent, and the chocolate and coffee are perfectly balanced. The caramel is packed with zesty, sweet orange flavor that is a perfect flavor counterpoint to the ice cream. I would absolutely make this recipe again, though I found the caramel a bit firm to incorporate smoothly into the ice cream. Next time I'll cook it for a shorter amount of time, or better: serve it warm and drizzled over the top. —Chris Van Houten

What You'll Need
  • Ice Cream
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark roast coffee grounds (fine to medium grind)
  • Orange Caramel Sauce (recipe below)
  • Orange Caramel Sauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  1. Ice Cream
  2. In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch. In a medium bowl, add the salt and cream cheese and whip until smooth. In a large bowl, make an ice bath and set aside (you can use the same ice bath for the ice cream and the caramel). Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and keep it near the stove.
  3. Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a pretty big, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir in the cocoa powder, and boil for 4 minutes. Watch it, because it tries bubble over sometimes. Turn off the heat, and add the coffee grounds and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain out the coffee grounds with cheesecloth, into a bowl, then add back to the saucepan and add the cornstarch-milk mix to the ice cream base in the pan. Pour the ice cream base into the bowl with the chocolate, and stir it until the chocolate is melted and incorporated.
  4. Incorporate the hot cream mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the hot ice cream base into a Ziploc bag and seal. Submerge in the ice bath until very cold -- about half an hour.
  5. Pour the chilled base into the ice cream machine, and turn on the machine. When finished, transfer to a storage container, layering in the orange caramel and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
  1. Orange Caramel Sauce
  2. Heat the sugar and ½ c orange juice over medium heat, watching carefully until it turns copper-penny-colored.
  3. Remove from heat, and stop the caramel from cooking by adding the cream, 2 TB orange juice, and orange zest. Whisk like your life depended on it! It’s going to bubble like crazy. Keep going. Then it’s going to look like a lump of dark sugar in a pot of cream. Keep going. Return to medium heat and keep stirring until smooth.
  4. HEAT AGAIN: Heat the sauce to soft ball stage (around 235 degrees), or slightly before, to ensure that it'll combine well with the ice cream base. It’ll look thicker and when it bubbles, the bubbles leave little holes that don’t fill in right away. Take it off the heat, and plunge into an ice bath for a couple of minutes, then let it cool. If it’s too hard and you’re not feeling the texture, add a couple of tablespoons of cream and microwave at 50% for 15 seconds or so, just so you can stir it in.
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3 Reviews

CarlaK December 7, 2012
Just made this ice cream last night and all I have to say is Wow! What a richly satisfying combination of flavors and textures. I had no problem with the caramel sauce although I was surprised mine took 18 minutes to achieve the right color. It may have been because I used a smaller saucepan than I should have so I had to whisk from time to time to keep the mixture contained. I loved the addition of orange zest in the caramel adding textural interest. Also loved the coffee/chocolate mocha mix (great proportions) which was intensely delicious.

As a devotee of Jeni's, I am familiar with her base recipe and technique so I do have one question. The recipe never heats the mixture again after the addition of the cornstarch. Is that because you don't need to -- it will already be "thick" enough with everything else that is in it? I did heat mine and found the resulting mixture once chilled almost mousse-like. It still froze perfectly but I'm thinking if you don't need to re-heat it, why pour it back into the saucepan which does need to be washed/wiped of stray coffee grounds before you add the mix back to it?
melomel September 19, 2012
I recipe tested this ice cream for the community picks, but my headnote was not chosen. Nevertheless, this is what I had to say about this wonderful ice cream:

Rich chocolatey goodness? Check. Deeply satisfying coffee zing? Check. Ooey, gooey caramel singing the praise of oranges? Oh-my-CHECK. laagarf's Cafe Borgia Ice Cream puts Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream's genius base recipe to work, fooling anyone into thinking its a sinfully thick and decadent egg-laden custard, when in fact, it's not. The combination of chocolate and coffee is a classic, but what makes this a standout chilly treat is the orange caramel sauce laced throughout the ice cream in layers. Though this recipe is a bit involved, it is without a doubt worth the effort you put in to it.

However, all good tastes aside, as for recipe structure, this recipe needs to be broken down into more easier-to-digest steps. As I tested it, I found myself rewriting the larger paragraphs into steps I could scan and follow. Also, the orange caramel was a bit of a beast (perhaps due to cooking sugar directly in orange juice?) but after rewarming it with additional cream, I achieved the correct consistency.
Angela @. September 17, 2012
Let's hear it for Cafe Borgia. I love it too, why is it so hard to find.