As I have said so many times before, I looooove anything to do with salt and caramel. And I love Ice Cream.
I got a proper Ice Cream churner for my 21st birthday a while ago and I had only used it once before, and my boyfriend has been begging me for a while now to put it to good use. So with some spare caramel I had in the fridge, here we are. And it was pretty awesome.
For the caramel, I used the Caramel Maison that I made for the Salted Butter Caramel Macarons. It worked really well, and the flavour was great. It took quite a while for the Ice Cream to be ready, but it was certainly worth the wait 🙂 I made a peanut praline to go with the ice cream, just to add a textural element I guess, but I also love anything to do with toffee, and pralines are so much fun to make. As soon as I made the praline though, I decided it would have been so much cooler with the addition of buttered popcorn. Oh well, next time!
Salted Caramel Ice Cream: (we adapted the recipe from the manual that came with the machine)
200g caramel maison, slowly warmed in the microwave until it reaches a pouring consistency (otherwise it will clump)
1 cup full cream milk, well chilled
500ml thickened (heavy) cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar (we used white – not caster, it is not quite as fine as caster, although you probably could use it if it was all you had)
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and sugar, until the sugar is dissolved (about 1-2 minutes on low speed). Stir in the cream and vanilla. If you have a churner (I have the Cuisinart ICE-20A), turn it on, pour mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thickened. If you don’t have a machine, never fear! Check out this great how-to by the amazing David Lebovitz. Just use the same ingredients, but follow David’s method. TIP – make sure your chilled ingredients are super, super cold. And if you are using a churner like this one, make sure your freezer bowl is completely frozen – no sloshing of water, and take the freezer bowl out after you have assembled the machine and are completely ready to go.
Well, ours didn’t thicken. So, we left in in the churner for about an hour and then decided to put the whole thing in the freezer (which is what they recommend for optimum results). The next day, it was great!
- 1 handful of peanuts, I used unsalted but you could definitely use salted if you wanted
- 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar (I only used half a cup here but realised I needed a lot more)
Line a baking tray with baking paper, and place down peanuts. Don’t spread them out too far, but you don’t want them to be too close together, either. Place the sugar in a shallow frying pan, and ensure it is evenly spread. Cook over medium heat. After a few minutes, sugar will start to bubble and darken around the edges of the pan. Once this happens, push the darkened sugar towards the centre of the pan. The rest of the sugar will begin to melt and darken as well.
Once all the sugar has darkened to a light brown colour, carefully pour it evenly over the nuts. If you like the burnt and bitter toffee flavour, you could definitely take the sugar a bit further. I did a horrible job of coating the nuts, but as I said earlier, I needed a lot more sugar. Leave to set, this will happen very quickly. Once praline is completely hard, cover with a layer of baking paper, and use a hammer or a meat tenderiser to break up the praline. If you want large shards, don’t break it up too much. If you want it completely crushed into tiny pieces, almost like a powder, it is best to blitz it in a food processor.
Churned ice cream definitely has a different consistency to store bought ice cream. Even though there was a lot of milk and cream in the recipe, it still had a slightly sorbet-y like texture which I really loved. Whilst it was quite sweet and filling, it wasn’t too heavy and overly creamy like so many ice creams from the shops.
To serve, we topped the ice cream with a little more of the caramel maison and a generous sprinkling of sea salt. And a few pieces of the praline, of course. I really recommend making your own ice cream if you have the time. You can do it without a machine, so don’t let the fact that you don’t have one put you off! You can make your own flavours and add your own colours, and I promise that if you find a great recipe, it will taste just as good, and will be so much cheaper than a tub of Ben and Jerry’s 🙂