Kahlùa Espresso Gelato Recipe

Kahlùa Espresso GelatoI was introduced to the flavor of coffee at a very early age, probably under ten-years-old.

No, not in a mug with half and half!  Rather, in pint-sized container of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream.  You see, it was, and still is my dad’s favorite flavor.  It didn’t have to be Häagen-Dazs, but I think more often than not, it was.

So naturally, I’m making my dad this insanely delicious Kahlùa Espresso Gelato for Father’s Day tomorrow.  You know I don’t brag all the time, but today I can’t help but tell you this is the most delectable, flavorful, creamy gelato I’ve ever made.  (I want to say, “or that I’ve ever tasted,” but I don’t want to brag too much.  Oops, just did.)

Kahlùa Espresso GelatoAnd as always, my favorite part of the process of making gelato or ice cream, is when I remove the lid to the machine to reveal the beauty of the creamy blend of ingredients and flavors.

I highly recommend trying this recipe and inviting a few friends or family over this weekend to partake in its deliciousness.

Enjoy!  (Recipe is below)

Kahlùa Espresso Gelato Recipe
Total time
Serves: Makes 1 quart
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup plus ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons instant espresso (I like Medaglia D'Oro)
  • ⅓ cup Kahùla
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed, chocolate covered espresso beans
  1. Add the milk, cream, ⅓ cup of the sugar sugar, espresso, kahlùa and vanilla to a medium-large saucepan. Stir to blend and place it over medium heat. Cook just until the sugar has completely dissolved, and it's beginning to simmer. Turn off the heat and leave this on the stove.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Use and electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, on a high speed to blend until the eggs become thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. (You can of course also use a hand whisk -- it will just take longer and use a lot of muscle.)
  3. Pour about 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture and immediately stir to blend. Then add this mixture back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly (a wooden spoon is best), until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes.  (Timing is important here -- you want to remove it as soon as it's at the point -- usually it's when I see the first couple of bubbles from the heat. If it goes too long it might curdle.)
  5. Place a strainer over a medium-sized bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer and into the bowl. Once it's at room temperature, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and ideally overnight.
  6. Transfer to an ice-cream/gelato maker, and freeze according to the machine's instructions.
  7. While the it's churning, crush the chocolate covered espresso beans. Here's how: add them to a heavy-duty, zip-lock bag and seal it, removing the air. Then use a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy-bottomed sauté pan to crush the beans.
  8. Once the gelato is ready, gently mix in the crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans. Serve immediately if you want it very soft, or place it in the freezer until you're ready to serve.

P.S. It’s only fitting I would break out my ice cream maker today.  Here’s why. 😉

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  1. says

    Valentina – what an incredibly sweet story of your husband’s proposal! And thé photos of you and your father, and your husband and kids are great… What a terrific way to celebrate your wedding anniversary and two wonderful fathers! The gelato sounds absolutely fantastic.

  2. says

    Valentina bella, you are just too cute.
    I love the story and that pic of you guys from 2001! Shawn & I met in 2001, so it’s a very good year for me.

    This gelato is killer. My ice cream machine is MIA, but I’m going to dig for it today

  3. Margo says

    So very, very good. We’ve made this twice already. In the spirit of celebrating avocados (as per your post a few days ago), you might try an avocado gelato…our whole foods makes it occasionally and it is just delicious (which surprised me at first)!

    • valentina says

      Thanks so much, Margo — I’m trilled you tried it. The avocado gelato sounds interesting & yummy. Happy 4th! 🙂

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