Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Deb from Smitten Kitchen has mentioned salted caramel a few times recently on her blog and it has inspired me to make something salted caramel related. I chose to make salted caramel ice cream from a recipe posted on the beautiful blog Orangette.

Deb says that true French caramel is dark and complex because it's cooked longer (to a dark copper colour). The longer cooking time takes away the sticky sweet taste of more commercial caramels. She says that a dark caramel is nutty with a trace of bitterness. My ice cream tastes nutty with a trace of bitterness and I thought "Eureka!" when I read her post, because it meant I hadn't messed up.

The ice cream was wonderfully bittersweet. It's a very grown up ice cream, very rich but oh so amazing. I think next time I will add a little bit more salt, while the caramel is fantastic, a few more bursts of saltiness would make it sublime. Orangette suggests to sprinkle fleur de sel over the top of the scoops before serving. I did this with my second bowl, and it is definately worth doing. So good.

It was very easy to make as well. Caramel scares me, as I am quite uncomfortable cooking something that is only ready when it's dancing on the very precipe between success and ruin. I was a lot worried when I saw the ratio of sugar to corn syrup in the saucepan, but I relaxed a little when everything started to look the way it was supposed to.

The recipe actually says to remove the pan from the heat before you add the egg yolks, but one of the commenters below the post has mentioned that they returned the pan to the heat to thicken the mix. I heated my egg yolks, not for any real reason but I do like the consistency of a custard base. I didn't let the mix thicken as much as I normally would, leaving it still quite thin when I strained it and left it to cool. After it had cooled, I popped it into my ice cream maker, let it churn for a bit and then transferred it to the freezer to harden.

Isn't it an amazing colour?? It is spectacular ice cream, unlike any I've ever had before. It's divine.

Check out Orangette for the recipe.

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