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Friday, July 26, 2013

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

*I was supposed to post this yesterday, but forgot.  Whoops!  Well, Happy Friday, and here you go!

As you all know, at the end of August I will be resuming my studies in the nursing program to complete my second and final year.  It's amazing to think that I'm only a year away from being able to call myself a Registered Nurse.  While that's exciting and all, it still means another year of grueling, stressful days of clinicals, and countless sleepless nights studying for exams...and I imagine this second year will be even harder than the first.

I've already spent the day today at the medical clinic, getting poked and prodded to satisfy my program's health requirements, and I still have to go back few more times throughout the week for my 2-step tuberculosis (TB) test.  I also have to attend a CPR class this week to renew my CPR certification for another year.  Later this afternoon, I also have to go to school for my annual respirator fit-test appointment.  So much to do...and I've already spent so much time in the waiting room today.  I know that when I finally get home, I'll be in need of a treat.

Luckily, I made this ice cream earlier in the week, so it's currently waiting for me in my freezer.  A few months ago, before my wedding, I received a Cuisinart ice cream maker as a wedding shower gift from one of my relatives.  I was incredibly excited when I received it, and am now so thankful to have it during this hot summer season.  Out of all the sweet treats I could enjoy, ice cream is always near the top of my list.  There is a multitude of recipes I've collected that I can't wait to try using my new ice cream maker; however, when I saw this recipe from Annie's Eats, I knew I had to try it immediately.  

Salted Butter Caramel?!  What could be better?  I was already hooked just by the flavor, but Annie's praise of this ice cream really sealed the deal.  This ice cream is made with a custard base, which requires a little more effort, but a custard base also results in a smoother, creamier ice cream, so it's absolutely worth it.  To make this ice cream, the sugar is cooked down into a caramel, then gradually combined with cream, butter, egg yolks, milk and vanilla. 

Take note that hot, melted sugar is incredibly delicious, but also dangerous if you're not careful.  So please stir carefully, and have the other ingredients prepped beforehand, such as the yolks already separated from the whites and in a small bowl, cream and butter measured out, etc.  I prepped my ingredients, but by sheer clumsiness, I splashed a couple drops of hot sugar on my foot and thigh (also probably not a good idea to wear sandals and shorts), so now I have some nice little burn spots to carry with me forever.  They're incredibly small though, so no big deal, but still hurt like heck at the time!  Tony, who first started his business career in the food and beverage industry, says that most serious cooks have burn marks...so hey, I'll take it.  It was only a matter of time, and I'd do it all over again anyway just for another batch of this heavenly ice cream!


Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
Yield:  about 1 quart
Recipe from:  Annie's Eats

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
4 Tbsp salted butter*, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups whole milk, dividied
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract.

*If using unsalted butter, increase the sea salt to 3/4 tsp

Add the sugar to a medium saucepan in an even layer.  Heat over medium until the sugar at the edges of the pan begins to melt.  Use a heatproof spatula to stir the melted sugar from the bottom and the edges to the center, until all the sugar is dissolved.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel reaches an amber color (test a drop on a white plate if needed).  Once the caramel reaches the correct color, immediately remove from the heat--caramel can go from perfect to burnt in seconds!

Add a bit of the warmed cream in a slow drizzle down the inside edge of the pan, whisking to incorporate before adding more, to prevent seizing.  Once all the cream has been added, whisk in the butter.  If the mixture has seized, return the pan to the burner over low heat and stir gently, breaking up lumps, until the mixture has returned to a liquid state.  Whisk in the salt and 1 cup of the milk.

Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk to blend.  Slowly pour a bit of the warm caramel mixture into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.  Continue to add slowly until most of the caramel has been mixed in.  Return the custard to the saucepan over medium-high heat.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent the mixture from burning, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 170-175 degrees F).  

Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or storage container.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of milk and the vanilla.  Let cool slightly (set bowl on an ice bath, stirring occasionally, to speed this process), then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.  Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions--I churned my ice cream for about 20 minutes before transferring to a freezer-safe container to finish freezing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kimiko! It's nice to meet you! I'm also a student - one year away from being able to call myself a Registered Dietitian. It's been a long journey, and I'm beginning to see the finish line! Finally...
    I had to do a lot of things you've mentioned..just got my CPR certification, had to do the TB test, etc. My to-do list is out of control haha. Good luck with everything! Just take a deep breath and try to take it one day at a time ;). That's what I remind myself everyday.
    And this ice cream....yum! I can see myself sitting down on the couch with a big bowl of yummy creamy goodness (love the salted part) and recovering from the long day ;).