Coffee flavored with chicory is a New Orleanian specialty that dates from way back; the most famous brand is Cafe du Monde, made by the folks at the landmark French Market coffee stand. My mother used coffee with chicory, and I use it here, in this updated dairy-free coconut-based coffee ice cream. It gives this frozen treat a langiappe (a little bonus, in NOLA-speak) of New Orleans flavor.
can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
unsweetened coconut milk beverage
large egg yolks
strong coffee with chicory or 1 teaspoon espresso powder
Place the vanilla bean on a work surface, and with a sharp knife, split it lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Set the seeds aside, and if you wish, reserve the pod for another use.
In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the cream of coconut, coconut milk, and vanilla seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally.
Set up a large mixing bowl filled with ice and cold water, as well as another bowl that will fit into it but not sink.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and coffee or espresso powder and whisk to blend. When the coconut mixture comes to a gentle boil, drizzle it into the eggs while whisking vigorously, until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the coconut-egg mixture back into the pot and switch to a large spoon, stirring continuously just until it is heated through. Do not allow it to boil, or you’ll have scrambled eggs.
Pour the mixture into the prepared empty bowl, place it into the ice water bath, and stir well. Allow to cool. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make the ice cream, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Then transfer the mixture to a covered container and freeze until solid before serving, preferably overnight.