A couple more days until December! Which means we should start (hopefully) getting a steady stream of Purdy’s chocolates from happy customers we’ve assisted over the year. Very fortunately, my office is strategically located by the copy room, where all the treats are deposited. And I must confess that when my nose sniffs out a box of Purdy’s, I make a beeline for the Himalayan Pink Salt Caramel. Few stand a chance against me.
Sweet, sticky caramel punctuated with salt crystals makes for an exquisite combination, and it stands to reason that Salted Caramel Ice Cream be incorporated into the 52 Scoops repertoire. This classic flavour is guaranteed to be a hit at your next dinner party. I promise.
The trick to making a great Salted Caramel Ice Cream is the caramel itself. Undercook it and the ice cream doesn’t have enough flavour. Overcook it — this can happen in mere seconds — and it’ll taste burnt. So, be sure to keep a very close eye on the caramel when it is cooking. Also, when you pour the cream into the caramel, there is the possibility your caramel will separate (perhaps your cream has cooled down too much or you have not stirred vigourously enough). If that happens, don’t worry — it can be rescued! Warm the mixture over medium heat while whisking thoroughly, until the mixture comes together again as a smooth, luscious caramel sauce.
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup half-and-half cream
3/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Ice Cream Base:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups half-and-half cream
For the Salted Caramel:
- Warm the cream until just gently steaming. Take off the heat and set aside while undertaking step #2.
- Melt the sugar in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Do not stir, but swirl occasionally. Let the mixture turn a dark amber colour. Watch carefully.
- As soon the sugar turns dark amber, add the still-warm cream. The mixture will bubble and splatter. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
- Stir in the salt and vanilla.
- Set aside and cool to room temperature.
For the Ice Cream:
- In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- Add 1/2 cup of the custard to the salted caramel. Stir to combine. Pour the lightened caramel mixture into the custard. Stir to combine.
- Chill overnight in the fridge.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.