Aesthetically, my home is what you would describe as “decorated by a horny grandma.” I love vintage things, tacky things, and tacky vintage things, which is why I paid nearly $70 for a novelty cookbook called Singers & Swingers in the Kitchen: The Scene-Makers Cook Book.
it’s here pic.twitter.com/dPlsbeF6t5
— Claire Lower (@clairelizzie) July 23, 2022
It’s pretty groovy, though some of the recipes are a little rough. Cans are featured heavily and there is a distinct lack of seasoning beyond salt and pepper, but there are some mildly disturbing “thoughts about peanut butter from Don Adams.”
But the most intriguing recipe, and the only hack to be found, at least at first blush, comes from EGOT winner and all around icon Barbra Streisand.
If you’re up on your Streisand trivia, you probably know that she is something of a coffee ice cream enthusiast, so this recipe fits the overall Babs narrative. Like Streisand, I am also fond of the flavour, so decided to make her instant coffee ice cream, which uses a mixture of marshmallows melted in milk, whipped cream, and instant coffee.
I followed the instructions pretty exactly. I heated the milk over medium-low heat, then added five or so marshmallows at a time, stirring until they were completely melted. Doing so made the kitchen smell like marshmallows, which is a very pleasant smell.
Next I added the instant coffee, and stirred it in until the mixture was light brown and there were no visible streaks, then set it aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
Finally, I whipped the chilled cream, then folded the marshmallow mixture into it, taking care not to deflate the cream. It kept its shape surprisingly well, thanks (at least in part) to the stabilizing effects of the gelatin in the marshmallows. (This, my friends, is the hack. The marshmallows are the hack.)
I then spread the mixture in an ice cube tray, which is the only direction I wish I had ignored. It froze quite quickly — in just a couple of hours — but never hardened to the point where I could pop them out of the tray, so I had to scoop each little portion out with a spoon, which was mildly annoying.
Once I managed to free some of the ice cream from the ice cube tray, I crushed some pretzels over the top and took a big bite.
It was really good, very creamy and very sweet, like a cup of coffee that was doctored by someone who doesn’t actually like coffee all that much, but loves cream and sugar. That flavour was boosted by the sticky sweetness of the marshmallows, which also helped out structurally, letting the faux ice cream keep its shape while preventing ice crystal formation.
I would make it again, thought I might add a little more instant coffee, and maybe a little vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. I think it would make an exceptional ice cream sandwich, especially between two Biscoff cookies. Barbra simply does not miss.
Barbra’s Instant Coffee Ice Cream
- 24 marshmallows
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
Turn your refrigerator to the coldest point. Pour milk into a sauce pan, heat, and then gradually and the marshmallows. Mix until the mixture is smooth; add the instant coffee. Let it cool a bit. Whip the cream until stiff; mix cream and marshmallow mixture together and pour into and empty ice cube tray.* Freeze.
Barbra likes this with pretzels, believe it or not.**
*Use a loaf pan for easier scooping.
**I do believe it. It is quite good with pretzels.
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