Think back to the best ice cream you ever had: scoops of fiendishly creamy goodness with an intense flavour that melts on the tongue – and, if you're like us, all down your grubby little paws. We'll bet it was Italian. So just how do the Italians always manage to do it better? We consulted Vico's Gelupo for advice and we're still not really sure – but here's a recipe so you can try it yourself at home. Espresso cup optional. 

Ingredients

  • 200ml espresso (make it strong) plus 100ml water, or 300ml very strong coffee
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon glucose syrup or light, runny honey
  • 100g large egg yolks (about 6)

Method

  1. Combine the coffee, sugar and glucose syrup in a small pan and bring it to the boil.
  2. As soon as it has boiled, gradually whisk it into the egg yolks, which should be ready for action in a bowl.
  3. If you care that the eggs become pasteurised, make sure the mixture reaches 72°C (if not hot enough, return to the pan and carefully bring up to temperature using a low flame and a whisk, and keep a sharp eye for curdling).
  4. Cover the coffee ‘custard’ and leave to cool to room temperature – it will thicken in a very satisfying way.
  5. Freeze in an ice-cream machine as usual, and serve small portions as a dessert, or afterwards instead of coffee.

Gelupo at Vico, 1 Cambridge Circus, WC2H 8PA; eatvico.com.