For the second time this summer, a specialist coffee company has worked with an artisan ice-cream maker based on a dairy farm to produce a ice-cream with the taste of fresh ground Fairtrade coffee. In both cases, the new product is not a one-off novelty, but is available in catering packs.
It is based on Cooper's Fairtrade Five Arabica espresso coffee, which is brewed, diluted and chilled before being turned into the dessert at the Delph House dairy farm in Denby Dale.
The farm uses a small-batch machine producing ten litres at a time, and on a good day can turn out 150 litres of its ice-cream. The catering packs are of 4.5 litres.
There have in the past been many attempts at a coffee-flavoured ice-cream, not all of which have been successful. In many cases, the ice-cream manufacturers have preferred to use instant coffee for their flavourings - American TV chef Zoe Francois suggests that roast coffee beans, if ground too fine, absorb too much of the cream and give a bitter result.
To produce its new cappuccino ice-cream, farmer Dani Slatter said that she wanted a Fairtrade coffee, and selected the house espresso from Best Coffee Beans, made up of beans from Honduras, Peru, Uganda, Ethiopia and Indonesia, which is certified as organic, Fairtrade, and carries the Rainforest Alliance mark as well.
The result, says Dani Slatter, shows that ‘real' coffee can be used successfully in an ice-cream dessert.
"The blend of beans needs to be a robust one, with distinctive notes, as subtle flavours can be lost in the creamy mixture of ice cream. We have also found that the addition of a very high-quality vanilla extract helps round off the flavours to give a perfectly smooth cappuccino style."
Cotswold Ice Cream's cappuccino is available in 4.5 litre tubs for catering use.
By Ian Boughton