Add – {Coffee Crunch Ice Cream}

As I grasp the steering wheel, the comfortable sting of hot coffee resonates in my fingertips. Perfectly smooth, pleasantly bitter and beautifully steaming, the mug resting in my cup holder provides my much-needed morning fuel.

I’ll be addicted soon.

The two seem tied lately – the coffee and the car – and almost as if one cannot function without the presence of the other. But this isn’t true, of course; although the car matches me in age, it runs well. The motor is quiet and smooth, the body free of rust, and the engine easy on gas. No one believes that it’s nearly 20 years-old, and it’s certainly not reliant on coffee to run.

Despite the low level of noise that the vehicle creates, the music flowing from my speakers is relatively high most of the time. Yes, I am that kid. I dial down the volume at stoplights out of respect, and I don’t crank up my sub to an annoyingly high level, but I do like my music, and I like it loud. But at this hour, with the sun creeping up over the horizon in the east, I keep it low. An assault on the senses just isn’t what I want to wake up to, you know? I’m fortunate enough to drive west in the morning – away from the rising sun – so I like to keep the other harsh wonders of the world to a minimum.

Well, except for my steaming coffee.

Or airbags.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning instead of 7 with the intention of leaving early to fill up my gas tank. In the kitchen, a smaller pot of coffee was brewed in the interest of not wasting beans. For the sake of comfort, as I got dressed, I chose jeans instead of a skirt and, just to keep dry, I ran through the rain to my car instead of strolling under the sun.


Minor ones make big differences.

Not that there were apparent downfalls to the ones I made this morning. You could never know that something like this was coming. Heavy and compacted traffic were to be expected due to rush hour and conditions, and I was paying attention to my surroundings. Driving normally with the windows up, music low and sky grey; I never expected a car to cross four lanes of traffic, cut off the person two vehicles ahead of me and cause a chain reaction of brake slamming. Honestly, I anticipated it and applied my brakes just before it all happened. But when I saw the taillights on the car ahead of me disappearing under my hood, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to stop in time. My tires spun wildly on the wet pavement, sliding further and further ahead until stopping suddenly.

The airbag was ejected and my was coffee thrown.

In the end, everyone was fine. The other car had no damage but a scratch, and my own hood is just slightly bent. The officer who stopped filed the report and we all went our separate ways as the rain continued to fall.

The other driver, E, was very kind about the situation. But although he didn’t blame me and was very understanding, I do take full responsibility for what happened and will, without question, pay the fine.

After he drove off, I climbed through the passenger side door, slid across the bench and sat in front of the unfamiliar wheel. The harsh billowy clouds released with the air bag had fled through the windows in their entirety. They had not been accompanied by dust, but the interior of my car was still left completely changed. Pouring over my lap was the deflated airbag, and the lingering smell of of the reaction behind the explosion made it difficult focus as I anxiously turned the key in the ignition.

And when I was off the highway, safely parked with my mother and brothers there for support, I reached under the dash. There, upside-down, was my travel mug. Still filled two-thirds of the way to the top and still perfect, if not a little cold.

Not the ideal set of conditions for starting a day, but hey; at least someone made coffee, right?

I would like to stress the fact that no one was injured in this incident. The only real damage that occurred was to my car, and it all seems to be pretty minor. I know that this is a very serious event, and I do not mean to make light of it by presenting it in this way, but it happened and there’s nothing I can do to change that at this point. If I’m able to get something out of it, even if it’s just feeling a little better by writing down my thoughts, then I feel that I have no reason not to do so.

Just curious – have any of you ever been in an accident before?

Coffee Crunch Ice Cream via The Craft of Baking
This is my new favorite ice cream!! Makes 1 1/2 quarts
Printable Recipe

9 egg yolks
1 c (200g) sugar, divided
2 c (470 ml) whole milk
2 c (470 ml) heavy cream
1/2 c (120 ml) whole coffee beans
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out, bean and seeds reserved
1/2 tsp salt
1 c (240 ml) crushed cocoa nib brittle (recipe follows)

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the yolks and 1/2 c (100g) sugar until it is lightened in color and forms ribbons.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, milk, cream, coffee beans, vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil, then slowly pour the cream into the eggs, whisking constantly so as not to cook the yolks. Return to the pan and, whisking constantly, cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and not run when you run a finger through it. Whisk in the salt.

Pour the custard into a bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

After chilling, strain into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Discard the beans and recycle the vanilla bean, if desired, by rinsing a drying.

When the ice cream is done being processed, add in the crushed cocoa nib brittle, then freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Cocoa Nib Brittle via The Craft of Baking
Makes a little more than 3/4 lbs

1 c (200 g) sugar
4 Tbls (55 g) butter
1/6 c (40 ml) light corn syrup
1/4 c (60 ml) water
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 Tbls salt
3 oz (85 g) cocoa nibs

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking oil.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water. Stir thoroughly so that the sugar is completely wet and cook, without stirring, over high heat until it turns dark amber. This should take about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, add soda and salt, and whisk, being careful of bubbles. Quickly fold in the cocoa nibs and pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading with the back of a spoon. Let cool completely and break into bite sized pieces. Crush 1 cups worth for the ice cream and store the rest at room temp for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Anonymous says

    Yes, yes I have been in an accident before.. once… a couple of months ago… and the way you described the whole scenario mirrors the situation that I had to go through. The car in front of me disappearing… they got a scratch and my car was a mess… the only difference: you had your coffee, I had my monster energy drink splash across my dashboard.<br /><br />But I am glad you are safe and

  2. says

    No, thank goodness. I&#39;m still accident-free. And I&#39;m glad no one was hurt. However, it sounds like maybe you&#39;re being a little too hard on yourself. You couldn&#39;t help what the other car did. <br /><br />Sidenote: Everclear and Weezer?! Yes! I&#39;ve been told I bear a striking resemblance to Rivers Cuomo. :)

  3. says

    So glad you are alright!! I&#39;ve been in several accidents – first one EXACTLY like yours, second I was the one being rear ended and third? The worst. In the car with my young baby. Got t-boned. Very scary. Best thing ever? Seeing ALL of the guys (good friends, actually) from my husband&#39;s work RUNNING up the &#39;main drag&#39; in our city, coming to help.<br /><br />Again – SO glad

  4. Anonymous says

    Glad you&#39;re alright and that you are taking it well with a realistic view instead of dwelling on it!

  5. says

    the important thing is that you and everyone involved is ok, cars will come and go as painful as the expense may be sometimes, they are replaceable items. As I am sure your family and friends will verify, You are not replaceable!!<br />Thanks for taking time from your day to post such a great recipe, that is a mouth watering ice cream and the brittle was a perfect addition to coffee ice cream!

  6. says

    As I read your post, I got so nervous hoping you&#39;d be okay. Not a nice way to start your day, but at least it was minor and you weren&#39;t hurt. A car can always be fixed.

  7. Shatin says

    You described the accident so peacefully and glad no harm from both side and hope you not blame yourself, things like this just happenes. Yes, I been involved in accidents in the past, sometimes light damage, other times much more fixing. No injury though, I have a good safety rate car.<br />Cold here but still enjoy your icecream shots.

  8. Colleen B. Haverhill ,Ma says

    I&#39;m glad you&#39;re okay and no one was injured. It&#39;s the worst feeling isn&#39;t it? I was in an accident 3 years ago. It was a stormy night and a car drove the wrong direction on the highway w/ no headlights on to boot. No one was seriously injured but it definitely scared the bejesus out of us as we prepared to crash. <br />P.S. As usual the recipe sounds yummy, the pictures look

  9. Grams in Oregon says

    Yum !! Ice cream – my favorite. And a good way to use up all those egg yolks I was left with after making the Swiss buttercream used to frost the Rainbow cake. (which was a big hit).<br />Take good care – it&#39;s a jungle out there!

  10. says

    I have been in an accident where I also saw what was going to happen but could not stop it. No one was hurt in my accident, either, thankfully. It does shake you up.

  11. Anonymous says

    My mom was in an accident that could have been really bad, she was hit by a guy who sped a red light on the freeway and was thus propelled into other cars – it totaled six cars total and to boot, she got blamed for the whole thing because the cop thought that she was turning. The wreckage afterwards was terrible, but no one was seriously injured; one person got a bruised shoulder and another had

  12. says

    You are such an amazing girl – your writing is so descriptive, and I really feel like I was pulled in to that story. Glad you&#39;re ok – accidents are never nice, I was in a terrible accident when I was a child and it was the worst experience of my life. <br /><br />Your ice cream recipe looks fabulous, as soon as I get my kitchenaid ice cream attachment up and running I will SO have to make

  13. Anonymous says

    I&#39;m glad that you&#39;re alright, sweetie.<br /><br />And yes, I&#39;ve been in accidents before. A lot of them, in fact. Cars and I don&#39;t get along.<br /><br />At this point I&#39;ve been in so many that my back is destroyed effectively.<br /><br />Thankfully, yours was not so bad, and while I&#39;m sure you&#39;ll be shaken for a while, you should be alright.

  14. says

    Glad nobody was hurt. Even fender-benders can be scary, especially at that hour of the morning. Glad you got to soothe your nerves with scoops of this irresistible looking ice cream. It reminds me of my fave coffee crunch cake as a kid.

  15. says

    Nothing very serious, thank God. I rear-ended someone several years ago while I was waiting behind them to take a right turn. I thought they had gone and I was looking towards oncoming traffic when I &quot;bumbed&quot; into them. Luckily, my car was moving very slowly and when we both got out to check the damage, there was nothing, not even a scratch. <br /><br />I&#39;m glad both you and the

  16. says

    OMG. I thought this was Dime Bar ice-cream when I first looked. But coffee cocoa nib crunch? Wow.<br /><br />I bet you make this again. And I&#39;m off to get nibs!

  17. says

    I am so happy you were unharmed! The fact that your coffee mug was able to keep your beverage from leaking all over the place is amazing too! what kind of mug did you have? mine always manages to leak at the most inopportune times in the most inopportune places…<br />Cocoa nibs and coffee are truly a pair made in heaven.

  18. says

    no, luckily I have never been in an accident before. This is one of the reasons I don&#39;t want to learn to drive, besides the fact that it pollutes.<br /><br />but your recipe looks awesome as usual! coffee and chocolate, how can you go wrong? 😀

  19. says

    Several accidents and one similar to yours, where I slid into the car in front of me so lightly that my air bag didn&#39;t even deploy. Unfortunately, the passenger in that car decided I looked like a good candidate for suing and my insurance company settled and paid her off, which still pisses me off. Just be so glad there were no injuries in your accident. This will definitely make you more

  20. says

    Your pictures are beautiful and make the food look so much more d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Watching you right now on Martha Stewart. Congrats for making it on the show :)

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