Well, it’s the end of July and Paris has, at long last, warmed up. It’s actually so warm here that—get this: a few Parisians actually went out without scarves tied up around their necks!
While we’re all enjoying the Parisian sunshine, over in Istanbul, Cenk at Café Fernando churned up a batch of Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, from my ice cream book, which looked so lovely, I couldn’t stop thinking about it while I was wandering around Belleville the other day. If you don’t know the area, Belleville is a lively ethnic neighborhood in Paris where there’s lots of Paris Pas Cher stores; huge variety stores where you can find everything from unmentionables to cookware.
And when I saw these colorful popsicle molds for a mere 1.5€ ($2.50), my mind starting racing. Yes, I knew they were a bargain, but did I have any use for them?
Indeed they did. And I knew exactly what I would do with these colorful cuties: Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles. Because I know there are one or two of you out there that don’t have an ice cream machine—yet, and some of you aren’t so keen on making custards or doing any work in the kitchen during the summer. So why not make popsicles?
If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can use paper cups and pop a spoon in them before freezing. Or you can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and use them to chill down icy mugs brimming with a mocha freeze, from The Perfect Scoop.
As with the best Vietnamese coffee, you should start with the strongest coffee you can muster up. I use my Bialetti Moka pot, although you could make a deal with your local coffee shop, and swap espresso for popsicles.
I had a bit of trouble coaxing the popsicles out of the molds, which may be due to the fact that my el cheap-o popsicle molds had teeny-tiny stems. I guess they had to cut costs somewhere. I ran warm water over the outside, which helped the little suckers slide out fairly well. Still, I had two break, which I had to slurp up as fast as I could. Which made people wonder why I was bouncing off the walls all afternoon.
So recommend limiting yourself to one. Although these are so refreshing, you might find that hard to do.
Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles
Makes about 8, depending on the size of your molds
If you don’t have an espresso-maker, you can augment brewed coffee with instant espresso crystals, to taste. The coffee should be chest hair-raisingly strong, and you can certainly swap out decaf. I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I’ll bet a version with Thai ice tea would be equally delectable and refreshing as well.
And if you don’t have sweetened condensed milk, regular milk will work fine. And you can sweetened to taste.
- 2 cups (500ml) extra-strong coffee or espresso
- 2/3 cup (160ml) sweetened condensed milk
1. Mix the coffee with the sweetened condensed milk. Taste, and add a bit more milk, if desired. (A spoonful or two is fine, but any more and the popsicles won’t freeze as hard.)
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until sold.
Note: My favorite brand of sweetened condensed milk is Longevity Brand, which is available in most Asian markets.
My Bialetti Moka Express coffee-maker.
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