Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

For something that starts life as burnt sugar, caramel adds a sticky allure to oh-so-creamy ice cream. This caramel ice cream is beautiful, buttery toffee-brown; looks and tastes absolutely wonderful!

I adapted this from Tess's Falling Cloudberries. You can practically use any plain vanilla ice cream and adapt it to a caramel ice cream. It's the method that differentiates it rather than the recipe. I've also added just half a vanilla bean simply because I love them in all sorts of ice creams. Tessa didn't put it in. I also modified the steps a bit to suit my liking so what you see below is what works best for me.

Try it and let me know whether you like it or hate it, though you probably cannot hate such divine-tasting scoops.

And the caramel sauce is absolutely optional but adds a good kick and boost to the already very caramelized ice cream!

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream
serves 2

6 tbsp vanilla castor sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 large egg yolks
1/2 a vanilla bean (optional)

Put the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and let it melt away and burnt itself into a luscious golden, dark, deep colour of caramel. Don't stir, just tilt the pan from time to time.

Meanwhile, in another milk pot, pour in all the milk. Scrap the vanilla bean into the milk pot and throw in the pods as well. Bring it to simmer until it is warm to touch. Let it infuse until needed. When the caramel is a dark golden colour, slowly and carefully add the warm milk, standing back as it will splash up. Add the cream and mix well.

Whip the egg yolks in a small cup with a hand whisk until fluffy or you could use an electri cmixer which I find totally unnecessary. It's just two yolks anyway. Temper the yolks with the mixture. It basically means add the caramel cream mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon into the egg yolk whilst the other hand of yours is whisking it vigorously so they don't curdle. When they are about the same temperature, pour them in, in a steady stream whilst still whisking constantly.

At this stage, you can choose to return them back to the pan and cook them on the lowest heat setting until they are slightly thickened but why bother really. The egg yolks are cooked when tempering. Maybe not cooked through but I'm always using fresh eggs so I'll be fine. I still live here to tell the tales. I used to be really paranoid but yeah, I couldn't care less now.

Cool them by stirring from time to time in the fridge. When completely cool, transfer to a bowl and cover and chill it overnight or until very very cold.

Churn it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Serve scoops of these drizzled with warm caramel sauce.

Quinn's Easy Peasy Caramel Sauce
Doesn't make much but enough for drizzling purpose

1 tbsp castor sugar
1/2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp cream

This is simple but divine. You can use Dulce De Leche anytime for drizzling if that's what you have in hand. Thin it down with a dash of milk and ad a pinch of salt to it. Mad heaven!!!! Caramelize the sugar with the water in a small pan. When it turns dark golden brown, add in the cream and whisk until combined. Pour into a cup and cool it a while before pouring over. It will thickened as it cools down. I like pouring them over warm.

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