ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted caramel is delicious. Not exactly salty (unless you get just the right bite.) But salt in the right proportion has the unique property of improving and intensifying flavors. And that, I think, is what makes salted caramel so special. Caramel sometimes runs the risk of being too sweet, so a little salt holds it in check and makes it fabulous at the same time.

Though I desperately wish I was, I'm not a food writer; sometimes I wonder why I even try, when folks at epicurious can say it like this:

It might seem odd to describe something cold—ice cream—as sultry, but there is no denying genuine come-hither appeal. Based on a traditional candy from Brittany (and a favorite flavor pairing among French and American chefs), the combination of salty and sweet exerts an almost primordial pull, and cream, milk, and eggs provide lush, luxurious texture.

Dessert Club member A.M. almost made a salted caramel cupcake for cupcake night (but trumped it with the French toast bacon cupcake that I loved.) So for frozen night she went for it, and won. It was rich, sweet, and completely hit the spot.Salted Caramel Ice Cream (print recipe)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs

Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Recipe from Gourmet magazine, August 2009

1 comment:

Greg and Michelle said...

Your writing and pictures rarely fail to make me drool, crave, or all out want to jump into your blogpost and take a bite out of one of your pictures - don't worry, you are doing great :) Thanks for posting!

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