3 tablespoons shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips (optional)
Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and ½ cup of the cream in a large pot until it is steaming but not boiling. Once the mixture is steaming, cover it with a lid, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour.You are essentially steeping the coffee beans in a milky mixture but you don't want to burn or boil it-so watch it carefully.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Set aside.
After an hour, reheat the coffee mixture on medium heat until warm and steamy (not boiling).
Using a ladle, add the heated coffee mixture to the egg yolks, one scoopful at a time, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk. If you do this too fast the egg yolks will overcook into scrambled eggs and you will have to begin all over again.
Add the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and add in the rest of the cream, the vanilla extract and espresso.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. You should be able to run your finger across the back of the spoon, through the custard and the custard should not run.
Pour the custard through a strainer and press on the coffee beans to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Discard the beans. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions and top with chocolate pieces before freezing the final product for at least 4 hours before serving.
This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes Coffee Ice Cream recipe http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/coffee_ice_cream/.
Recipe by Thanks For The Food at http://thanksforthefood.com/coffee-ice-cream/