100% Kauai coffee ice cream with chocolate coconut covered macadamia nuts

 

coffee-1

I recently took a trip with with some friends to the Island of Kauai in Hawaii. As a lover of coffee and a maker of ice cream any of my friends could have predicted this result.

Lets start with what I brought home from the island. We visited the Kauai Coffee Plantation and took their walking tour. That’s where I bought the coffee. The chocolate covered coconut macadamia nuts came from a gift shop. But when I run out you better believe I’ll be ordering more from Amazon.com where they seem to sell all the different flavors.

coffee-2

 

For the ice cream I used The Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Base Recipe. I will never stop praising this recipe! I’ve adapted it into so many of my favorite flavors and creations and I’ve had great success! I scoopable, perfectly textured batch of ice cream every time. If you make ice cream at home you should drop everything you’re doing and buy her first book RIGHT NOW!

To make it coffee flavored I took the 2 cups of whole milk that the recipe called for and heated in a saucepan to ALMOST a boil. Then I removed it from the heat and steeped about 1/2 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans  (using a nut milk bag for easier clean up) in the hot milk for about 8 minutes. After removing the bag of coffee there was still a sandy texture from some of the finer coffee that got through so I poured it through a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel.  At this point it was no longer 2 full cups of milk so I put it in a measuring cup and topped it off with more whole milk then proceeded as usual with the base recipe.

After the ice cream was fully churned I added the macadamia nuts. I used about 1.5 cups full of them and chopped them in half. This is not an exact science. Add as little or as many as you like. I also threw in a small amount of regular macadamia nuts with sea salt.

YUM!

coffee-3

 

And last but not least I took the photos! Lots of people ask me about my food-photo-set-up and are surprised to find out that it’s really not too fancy. So I’m including a behind-the-scenes look.

I use one of my Canon 580exii flashes with a small velcro soft box and pocket wizards so that the camera and flash “talk to each other” In this case I also had a very subtle orange gel on the light to create that sunset lighting.

The backdrop is a piece of fancy scrapbooking paper that I bought at the craft store (I can’t remember if it was Michaels or AC Moore but they’re pretty much the same) and the tabletop is a piece of cork board.

The flash is placed in the back right to make it look like the ice cream is being lit by the sun on that scrapbook paper. Also backlighting in food photography is just plain yummy. The white cardboard is there to bounce light from the flash back and prevent harsh shadows.

I used the Canon L series 100mm Macro lens which allows me to take really close up pictures with really shallow depth of field. And I did it all on my living room table! Below is a photo of my setup. Enjoy!

2014-05-22 16.35.26