Salted Caramel Ice Cream



From somewhere came the idea of trying a Salted Caramel Ice Cream recipe, and then on Binging with Babish I saw a trick for making Dulce De Leche. You boil a full tin of condensed milk in a pot of water for between 1 and 3 hours, and then when you open it, it is caramelised. I tried this recipe twice. The first time I used the same basic ice cream recipe as in the Rose Petal Ice Cream, but I accidentally used unsweetened condensed milk. I tried adding sugar and further caramelising it once I took it out of the tin, and it worked, but the flavour was not strong enough to hold its own once I mixed it with the cream and put it all in the churn. The result is nice, but a bit bland, more of a fiore di latte than a caramel ice cream.


In my second attempt, I made sure to pick up sweetened condensed milk, and the caramelising trick worked great. On opening the tin we found a thick, rich Dulce de Leche with a beautiful colour (although I must say that I feel rather like Amelia Bedelia boiling a tin). I then tried out Michel Roux's basic ice cream recipe (sort of) based on a frozen Crème Anglaise, but unfortunately got this going when I had a number of other bits going on the stove at the same time, and Little Bit started resisting bed time. The result was that the eggs lumped a bit in the mix. I wondered whether to chuck it and whip cream for my ice cream instead, but instead decided to run with it. I mixed in my caramel and stirred more or less continuously until it all thickened up enough to go in the churn. The result has a wonderful flavour. The eggy custard base adds a beautiful depth and richness to the flavour. The small eggy lumps mar the effect a little, and are more perceptible as the ice cream melts, but initially they are barely noticeable unless you look for them.


I will include both recipes - using whipped cream, which I recommend if you don't have a churn, and the custard based one - as the flaws were neither of them in the conception or recipe but rather in the execution. The first produces a lighter flavour with a firmer, harder texture when frozen, the other a softer texture and a richer flavour. Both were tasty (but I can only imagine version 1 with properly caramelised ice cream).


For V1 (with or without an ice cream maker):

Ingredients:

1 c sweetened condensed milk (ish, I just use the whole tin)

2 c cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 c caramel bits


1) Place the unopened tin of sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Place over heat and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and boil for 2 ish hours (less time will result in a lighter caramel, more in a darker caramel. In order for the flavour to hold its own I wouldn't boil for any less than 2 hours). Top up water as necessary.


2) Whip cream. Fold in caramel, salt and caramel bits.


3) EITHER place in Ice cream churn until thick and nearly frozen, then place in container in the freezer OR place directly in a container in the freezer, relying on the lightness of the whipped cream for the ice cream's lightness.


For Version 2 (using an ice cream churn):

Ingredients:

1 c condensed milk (ish, I just use the whole tin)

6 egg yolks

2 c milk

1 c sugar

1/3 c caramel bits

1/2 tsp salt


1) Place the unopened tin of sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Place over heat and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and boil for 2 ish hours (less time will result in a lighter caramel, more in a darker caramel. In order for the flavour to hold its own I wouldn't boil for any less than 2 hours). Top up water as necessary.


2) Place milk and 2/3 of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with remaining 1/3 of the sugar until it forms a ribbonny consistency.


3) Pour milk over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking continuously. Pour back into the saucepan, turn the heat to low and stir constantly (this is where I failed) until the custard thickens. Stir in the caramel and salt about mid-way through.


4) Remove from the heat and allow to cool thoroughly. Pour into the ice cream churn and allow to go until nearly frozen. When the mixture is very cool but not yet anywhere near set, add the caramel bits (I added mine a little early and they were less discernibly bits in the final ice cream, and more just concentrated caramel pockets of ice cream. Place in a container and freeze.



To my great good fortune, when my sister stayed over last night (invited in the very solemn role of Ketchup Guinea Pig), she warned me that she would have to make brownies to bring to work while staying over. For dessert today therefore, we had Version 2 of the Salted Caramel Ice Cream with fresh brownies. There are certainly worse fates one could have to face. The consensus was that this was well worth making again, and was not ruined by my failure to stir the custard constantly yesterday. It would be nice served with some flakes of sea salt or curls of dark chocolate, something with no add sweetness which would contrast nicely with the caramel's sweetness. I am certainly glad I tried a different method for ice cream making, and that I picked up the right condensed milk this time!



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