I have been on something of an ice cream bender recently; not all of them have made it as far as the blog though for the simple reason that they got eaten before I took any photos... I made sure that I photographed this one in time though (before it got devoured...) as it is exceedingly good...
I am a big fan of making my own caramel, it can take a bit of practice and bravery to get right (and probably a couple of burned batches...), but once you've mastered it....oh the delicious things you can create! Home-made caramel sauce is one of the most dangerously addictive things you can make...That caramel is enhanced even more by the addition of a bit of sea salt, it takes the edge off the sweetness and intensifies the flavour. Note that I like it salt-ED not salt-Y, hence I have given a range of quantities for the salt - start by adding half a teaspoon, taste, and add more as required, tasting as you go.
This ice cream is created by making a caramel with sugar and water, to which you add double cream (hot - so it mixes in more easily) then full fat milk. Add your salt then whisk together some egg yolks and cornflour, into which you whisk the hot caramel mixture, pour it back into the pan and heat gently while stirring until it thickens. The mixture will need to be chilled thoroughly before you freeze it in an ice cream maker, I make it the day before I want to freeze it and leave it in the fridge overnight; you can speed up the process by cooling it over an ice bath.
The ice cream is amazing by itself, smooth and creamy with a deep caramel flavour and backnotes of vanilla; but to take it into true food-gasm territory, serve it with a warm, gooey brownie and some hot fudge sauce...
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- 300 g (1 + ½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- 300 ml (1 + ¼ cups) double (heavy) cream, hot
- 600 ml (2 + ½ cups) full fat milk
- ½ - 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Place the sugar and water in a large, deep, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook, swirling the pan (don't stir it, use a wet pastry brush to brush down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides), until the sugar has melted and turned a deep amber.
- Immediately remove from the heat and pour in the hot cream (be careful - it will bubble up ferociously), wait until the bubbling has subsided then add the milk. Whisk until smooth then whisk in the salt, start with a small amount, taste, and add more as needed. Return the pan to the heat and heat until it is just starting to come up to the boil.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and cornflour until smooth. Gradually pour the hot caramel mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
- Return the mixture to the pan over a low heat, stir constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, then pour it through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
- Whisk in the vanilla paste then cover the bowl and chill until it is completely cold, at least four hours.
- Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers directions.