Sunday, October 16, 2011

Salted Caramel Ice-Cream... or should I just say Heaven?

We discovered a heavenly new recipe for homemade ice-cream: salted caramel. Picture Haagen-Dazs' most heavenly creation, only cheaper and homemade. This actually reminds me a lot of their Fleur de Sel, a seasonal number they had out a while back. Anyhow, on to the recipe. This recipe employed a new technique that I had never tried; caramelizing dry sugar to make caramel. I have made homemade caramels for Christmas by boiling cream, milk, butter, corn syrup, and sugar, but caramelizing the dry sugar then adding the cream was a much faster method and yielded delicious caramelly, buttery results.

You're going to need to start by making your favorite vanilla ice-cream base. I used 3/4c. sugar, 1c. whole mile, 2c. cream, 3 egg yolks, and vanilla. Make this and set it aside in an ice bath to chill.

Next you're going to make the caramel. Place 1 1/4 c. white sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Stir with a fork until the sugar starts to melt.

You'll start to see clumps form...
until it starts to melt.
It may crystallize a bit, just keep stirring and be careful not to burn.
Eventually it will be all liquid and reach this deep amber color. It's done.
Then you're going to add 1c. heavy cream. It will bubble and spatter, so be careful.
Keep stirring until the caramel redissolves into the cream.
You want it nice and velvety.
Remove from heat, and add 1 tsp. sea salt (the recipe called for 2, but I found 1 to be plenty salty) and 1 Tbs. Tahitian or Mexican vanilla. Set aside to cool completely.
When cool, add caramel mixture to your vanilla ice-cream base.
Incorporate until you have a smooth consistency.
Chill several hours and churn in an ice-cream maker 20-30 minutes. This will be very soft-serve at first, but I froze mine overnight and it was even better the next day. Sweet, salty, and decadent.
I guarantee this recipe will be going in your favorites collection; it did mine!

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