Ice cream for grown-ups

Loving the savoury things in life as we do, your nomnivores were only too happy to welcome the salted caramel craze as a way to introduce some saline to the final frontier: dessert. But this is a trend that hadn’t made its way into our kitchen, until we hit on the idea of salted caramel ice cream.

Of course, we didn’t invent it; we didn’t even make up the recipe: credit for that goes to David Lebovitz.

You need to craft two batches of caramel for this concoction.

Making the caramel

The first batch is swiftly turned out onto a silicone mat, and allowed to spread out into a thin layer, cooling into a crystalline sheet. This will later be crushed into smithereens, to be incorporated into the ice cream as it freezes.

A Jackson Pollock in burnt sugar

Your bluebarry, seen through a cresting wave of salty caramel

The second batch of caramel receives a liberal dose of butter prior to its liaison with milk, cream, and egg yolks. The resulting custard is chilled thoroughly, then frozen in an ice-cream machine.

Frozen salty-sweet-burnt goodness

The verdict? Delicious, but a decidedly adult treat. This is a full-on wallop to the taste-buds, with salty, sweet, and a healthy dollop of bitterness battling for supremacy. Add in the crunch of the caramel shards and the cold creaminess, and you have yourself an epic dessert, best enjoyed in small doses.

Some lessons learned:

The sugar and salt together pose a more formidable than usual challenge to the freezing process. Ideally, you’ll want to give yourself a couple of days to make this: one day to make and chill the custard (cover it with plastic touching its surface to prevent a skin from forming) and a second day to make the ice cream and to allow it to freeze thoroughly. Ours didn’t freeze optimally until day 3. Lebovitz wisely recommends using a shallow pan to speed up the process.

While freezing dulls the taste of sugar somewhat, it doesn’t have the same effect with salt. We recommend very slightly less salt than Lebovitz.

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