Salted Caramel Ice Cream (#38)

29 11 2012

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.

I used Maldon sea salt flakes in the caramel itself, but used Hawaiian alaea sea salt as a garnish for the ice cream.  Alaea sea salt contains a small amount of red alaea volcanic clay.  Its gorgeous pink colour makes it a perfect finishing salt.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

Salted Caramel:

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:

2 eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups half-and-half cream

For the Salted Caramel:

  1. Warm the cream until just gently steaming.  Take off the heat and set aside while undertaking step #2.
  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.
  3. As soon the sugar turns dark amber, add the still-warm cream.  The mixture will bubble and splatter.  Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  4. Stir in the salt and vanilla.
  5. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  7. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
salted caramel ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Tastes a bit like Dulce De Leche. Yum!”


Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream (#11)

24 05 2012

Bacon has made quite the appearance on the culinary scene lately.  Bacon topped doughnuts.  Bacon tacos.  Bacon banana breadBacon ale.  Bacon chocolate chip cookies.  Edible Canada, one of my  favourite restaurants in Vancouver, has even launched an entire bacon themed menu.  Every dish on the menu, savoury and sweet, incorporates bacon as an ingredient.   Heaven!  I can’t wait to eat my way through the menu.  In the meantime, I’m jumping on the bacon bandwagon and cranking a batch of maple chocolate bacon ice cream.

slices of bacon on butcher paper

Bacon, baby!

Quality ingredients are key for this recipe (well, for any recipe, really).  Be sure to use REAL maple syrup (not Aunt Jemina’s), a couple of thick slices of bacon from your local deli counter (stay away from the packaged, pre-sliced stuff), and premium dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content (any less means it’s full of hydrogenated vegetable oil and sugar).

Result?  The perfect marriage of salty and sweet.  Trust me, this ice cream won’t last long in the freezer!

Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

For the Maple Ice Cream:

3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup (Grade B syrup has a darker, richer maple taste compared to Grade A varieties)
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
Pinch of sea salt

For the Chocolate Covered Bacon Bits:

150 g bacon
70 g of premium dark chocolate Read the rest of this entry »

Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt (#8)

4 05 2012

Update – May 24, 2012: This recipe has been awarded a “Community Pick” on Food 52!

Last week, I posted a recipe for Matcha Ice Cream, and the week before that, Black Sesame Ice Cream.  It would only make sense that I complete the trilogy of common Japanese ice cream flavours with Mango Ice Cream.  I will throw in a Southeast Asian twist though: chili sea salt.

In Southeast Asia, it is quite common to eat tropical fruit such as mango, papaya, guava, pomelo, and pineapple dipped in chili salt as a snack.  This may sound rather bizarre, but it’s tasty, refreshing, and rather addictive.  When I was travelling in Vietnam last year, mango and chili salt quickly emerged as my favourite combination, and I would seek out a mango vendor every day.  Women would expertly peel and cut mangoes, tuck the slices into a plastic bag, and toss in a tiny bag of chili salt for my dipping pleasure.

Use Ataulfo mangoes for this recipe to yield the most lusciously smooth mango ice cream you’ll ever taste.  With a gentle sprinkling of chili sea salt — absolutely divine!!!

Silky and sweet ataulfo mangoes

Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt  (Makes about 1 L)

Ice Cream:

3 to 4 ripe Ataulfo mangoes (enough to yield 2 cups of puree)
Juice of one lime
2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 cups half-and-half cream

Chili Sea Salt:

3 tablespoons sea salt
2 Thai red chilis

(Note: You will have leftovers.  Store in a small jar and use for dipping fruit or for cooking.)

Read the rest of this entry »

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