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Mexican chocolate + coffee + cajeta ice cream

This ice cream has three strong flavors that work well together: Mexican chocolate, coffee, and cajeta (the latter is like dulce de leche, but made with goat’s milk). Before you think that this might be too overwhelming, consider how the roasted bitterness of the coffee, along with the tanginess of the cajeta, nicely complement the sweet spiciness of the Mexican chocolate. It’s wonderful as a float or shake, especially during hot weather

Mexican choco coffee cajeta ice cream, out of the machine

Adapted from Gerson’s recipe in Mexican Ice Cream (2017). Makes about 1 quart.


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped (I use semisweet tablets by Moctezuma)
  • 1/2 cup roughly ground coffee beans (I use medium-roast decaf from Thanksgiving Coffee)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (224 grams) cajeta


  1. Place the cajeta in a large jug in which you’ll chill the custard in step 4. Whisk the egg yolks in a smaller jug.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt, and Mexican chocolate. Stir over medium heat until simmering, then add in the ground coffee.
  3. Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking in a few ladlefuls of the cream mixture into the small jug. Whisk the yolk-cream back into the saucepan. Stir until the custard becomes silky-thick. An instant-read thermometer is great for testing this, because the texture typically occurs around 170º to 175ºF degrees.
  4. Pour the custard through a fine-meshed strainer into the large jug containing the cajeta — to remove the coffee grounds and any curdled bits. Gently whisk until the cajeta has been smoothly mixed into the custard.
  5. Cover and chill thoroughly, preferably for at least 24 hours, as this high-fat custard benefits from a long chill to ensure a smoother ice cream upon churning.
  6. Churn and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions — e.g., about 35 to 40 minutes in our Cuisinart maker.

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