I gave up caffeine a couple of years ago, but still love a good mocha. Towards the end of this summer, I started using our Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker attachment again. A friend requested mocha ice cream, which I promptly said I couldn’t do. Most mocha ice cream recipes rely on espresso powder, which you can’t get in decaf. I did find one where someone used the new Starbucks instant, and a few where they called for strong-brewed coffee, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I finally stumbled upon some recipes that called for steeping the dairy with coffee grounds/beans, and I modified this for my purposes.
Start with a basic chocolate ice cream recipe of your choosing. I used a version of David Leibovitz’s, which can be found all over the internet, but this process can work for any of them that I’ve seen. In addition to whatever your recipe calls for, you’ll need some Teeccino, which is a caffeine-free herbal coffee alternative. If you haven’t tried it before, you’re missing out.
Before starting the recipe, pour your dairy (in my case, 2 cups of half-and-half and 2 cups of heavy cream) into a saucepan and bring to near boiling. You’re not trying to cook it, just get it hot so that it steeps well. Remove from heat. Stir in Teeccino grounds; I used a generous 3 Tablespoons, which seemed about right. As it was steeping and before adding the chocolate, it seemed quite strong, but after it was all made up, the chocolate taste was much stronger than the coffee taste. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the Teeccino.
Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Now you need to remove the grounds from the dairy. Do not use a French Press for this. You’ll lose a lot of dairy – I think the milk fats clogged up the strainer too much. What you want is a fine mesh strainer/colander. Strain into a measuring cup to make sure you still have the same amount of dairy you started with (I had to add about another 1/2 cup of dairy because I used the French Press – I don’t think you’ll have this problem if you use a regular strainer).
Now continue with your recipe, using the Teeccino-infused dairy as called for.
Seriously, this was a wonderful treat, and because it’s caffeine-free, you can enjoy it at 10 pm and not worry about falling asleep later.
*The chocolate you choose to use may or may not have caffeine in it. But the coffee flavor in this mocha ice cream is completely caffeine-free.