Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

There is nothing nicer than cycling through the Irish countryside on a warm summer's day, especially through the drumlins of Cavan. This is how I spent yesterday, the weather was just perfect (for someone who hasn't been on the back of her racer for oh ...about 3 years!) not too hot and just breezy enough to keep me cool. I took an enforced sabbatical from my beloved bike, but now I am back with a vengeance. We took in the beautiful sights as only one can from the back of a bicycle, the lazy river Annalee meandering through fields of grazing cows, the lakes which were graced with swans and the hum of dragonflies, the smell of wild garlic mingled with freshly cut silage and the drone of hard working tractors ringing in our ears. It was a day to remember and one I hope to repeat very soon (when the sun shows it's face again!!!)

Now with all that activity one needs some refreshment, this is my preferred choice :) I've watched Ina Garten make this on the Food Network a couple of times and decided that boiling sugar (for the caramel) wasn't for me so I cheated (nothing new here for some of my regular readers!!) and bought ready made stuff in a can. It is much quicker and avoids scrubbing saucepans until your fingers are numb, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

*Inspired by  Ina Garten's Summertime Easy,  Barefoot Contessa TV series with Rori Trovato 

Serves 6-8

Ice Cream Base:
250ml Full fat milk
4 large Egg yolks
165g Caster sugar
500ml Double cream

Salted caramel:
200g Carnation Caramel (roughly ½ a can )
1tbsp Sea salt

Gently heat the milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan, do not allow the milk to boil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale and the sugar has dissolved.

Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time to prevent the eggs from curdling. Then pour this mixture back into into the saucepan and heat over a gentle heat until the mixture thickens (coats the back of a wooden spoon) stirring all the time. This may seem like a lot of effort pouring from one into another, however it will prevent your eggs becoming scrambled in the heat of the saucepan, yuck!!

Strain the custard back into the large bowl, stir in the double cream and chill in the fridge overnight. The ice cream base needs to be completely chilled before you continue to the next stage, if it isn't completely chilled, the ice cream machine won't act as effectively.

The following day, stir the sea salt into the carnation caramel then add the salted caramel to your now completely chilled ice cream base. Mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine, make as per your manufacturer's instructions. Mine usually takes about 30 minutes.

Because this ice cream has so much sugar in it, it might not firm up as much as other ice creams recipes you've tried, don't worry it will be fine once it spends 1-2 hours in your freezer. Pour into an airtight container and freeze.

Heaven in a ice cream scoop!!

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