If there is one thing MTV man has taught me it is that ice-cream is a food for all seasons. He is just as happy tucking into a bowl of ice-cream in the depths of winter as he is with an ice-cream cone on the beach on a summer’s day. That’s why I haven’t let the current freezing conditions deter me from making a big batch of salted caramel ice-cream. The added bonus is that for all you lovely international Gourmet Chick readers the timing of this post may even be spot on.
|Salted caramel ice-cream to go|
This recipe is based on the ice-cream king and Parisian food blogger David Lebovitz’s salted caramel ice-cream recipe. The best part about it is the chunks of actual caramel scattered throughout the ice-cream, as the ice-cream sets these chunks become gooey and liquified – amazing. Do keep in mind that the texture of the ice-cream is looser than standard ice-cream as you can probably see from my photograph. Now please excuse me as I must return to licking the bowl of my ice-cream maker.
|Making the caramel for the salted caramel ice-cream|
For the caramel praline
¾ teaspoon of quality sea salt
For the ice cream custard
500ml whole milk
300 grams sugar
4 tbsps salted butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
250 ml heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
|Spreading the caramel out to cool (step three)|
1. To make the caramel praline, spread the sugar in an even layer in a saucepan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil.
2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until almost all the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook stirring every now and again until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn.
3. Quickly sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring. David says “don’t even pause to scratch your nose”, then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet and tilt it to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.
|Breaking up the salted caramel in a mortar and pestle|
4. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl over the ice, pour 250 ml of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.
5. Spread the sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in the second step.
6. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in the remaining 250 ml of the milk.
7. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
|Cooking the custard for the salted caramel ice-cream|
8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
9. Freeze the mixture in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
10. While the ice-cream is churning use a mortar and pestle to break the hardened caramel praline into small shards.
11. Once your caramel ice-cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.
|Churning the salted caramel ice-cream|
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s blog.