Monday, September 3, 2012

Salted caramel ice cream with chocolate chips

Well folks, the end is here. This is the last post on my epic multi-course meal from a few weeks back.

To recap, we started dinner at around 6:30 and my friends didn't leave until after midnight. In that time we drank a ton of wine and managed to eat:

I finally got to break out my cheese chalkboard!

and for the absolute final course: salted caramel ice cream with chocolate chips

This ice cream is soooo soft and creamy that it had a hard time staying solid. 
Whatever, it tasted delicious!

You may wonder what I mean when I say chocolate chips, because from the photo above there appears to be absolutely no chocolate chips in the picture. 


You see those dark chocolate chunks in the ice cream?? They're actually chocolate covered chips. And they're freaking fantastic with this ice cream! (I haven't actually tried it, but my idea was inspired by the Ben and Jerry's flavor Late Night Snack.)

I'll be 100% honest. On their own I wasn't the biggest fan of the chocolate-covered kettle chips. They weren't horrible, just not fantastic as I wasn't a giant fan of the salty chocolate combo. BUT, when you pair that with a caramel ice cream, it instantly works. I don't know why. I'm usually not a fan of the salty-sweet combo, but salted caramel IS one of my favorite flavors. So salty and crunchy kettle chips covered in chocolate make the absolutely perfect accompaniment to this super silky and smooth salted caramel ice cream.

The sprinkled sea salt was a bit much for me as the "crunch" from the salt is a little overkill. Next time I think I'll top it with a little bit of flake salt. The flake salt is much mellower in salty goodness.

As for the ice cream, the recipe comes from Bi Rite Creamery in San Francisco. And it's one of the creamiest ice creams I've ever made. The recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper!!

In full disclosure, this is what it looked like when I served it to my guests. Perhaps I should have called it ice cream soup as it had just come out of my ice cream maker and pretty much melted on contact. BUT it may have been even more delicious served melty and smooth like this. My guests certainly did not complain.

There's only a few more days left of this gorgeous weather before fall hits. So if you're looking for a last hurrah recipe for summer, this just may be it.

Buen Provecho!

Salted caramel ice cream with "chocolate chips" (literally), adapted from the Bi Rite Creamery Cookbook

Note: I have to admit, I did not like at all how the recipe had you make the caramel sauce (by adding the sugar a few TBSP at a time and cooking it to a caramel before adding more). I ended up having some parts of sugar that were getting burned before others were done. Plus, when I added the cream a lot of my sugar instantly hardened- a sign that I had cooked the sugar too far. So I'm providing a recipe for the caramel based upon how I've made caramel IN THE PAST. (Check out the end of this post for some great links on making caramel sauce.) If you'd like, here is a copy of the recipe that I used so you can test out their method if you'd like: salted caramel ice cream recipe from Serious Eats. But I'd highly recommend against it. 

Also note: this yielded a very soft ice cream for me. The softest I've ever made. It was beyond delicious, but I figured I'd warn you of that in case you wanted a really firm ice cream to serve- your freezer may have to be better than mine for that. :)

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar (for the caramel)
1/4 cup sugar (for the eggs)
3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large egg yolks


For the caramel (adapted from David Lebovitz- I recommend checking out his post as it has nice step-by-step photos of the process) 
1. Set the measured cream by the stove so it's at hand when you need it. Measure out 1/2 cup of the sugar and put it in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Heat the sugar over moderate heat. Watch the caramel, but avoid stirring the sugar until it starts to liquefy at the edges. Once the caramel starts browning at the edges, begin to drag the sugar towards towards the center to prevent any burnt spots. (Once burnt, caramel can’t be saved so don’t let anything get to dark.) It will usually start to take on a nice, mellow brown color…. At this stage, will quickly turn darker, so pay attention! (If your caramel looks very lumpy and grainy, don’t worry. Just lower the heat and keep stirring. Any stubborn chunks should melt. If not, they will be strained out later.)

2. When the caramel becomes a dark mahogany color, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the cream slowly into the pan. (It will steam and bubble up, so wear oven mitts and be very careful to avoid splatters and steam burns.) When the bubbling subsides, gently stir to blend the cream completely into the caramel. If you have lumps of hardened caramel in your pan, simply put the pan over low heat and stir until the caramel is melted.

For the Base: 
3. Once the caramel is completely smooth, stir in the milk along with the salt and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

4. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

5. Temper you eggs by carefully scooping out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, while whisking the eggs constantly, slowly add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.

6. Now that your eggs are tempered, slowly pour the eggs back into the rest of the cream mixture on the stove, making sure to constantly stir the cream mixture.

7. Continue to cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and leaves a clear mark when you run your finger across it, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (Consistency should be similar to a cream anglaise. Check out this post for some photos.)

8. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean container. (Do not skip this step! This will capture any bits of egg that accidentally got cooked instead of custard-ized.) Set the container into an ice bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Then cover base with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

9. Freeze the Ice Cream: When the base is completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you'll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Enjoy right away, or for a firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 4 hours.

How to make chocolate covered chips

1. Melt chocolate or chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler.
2. Using your hands (it messier, but easier this way), dip your fingers in the chocolate and use them to coat each chip. (You can dip the chips directly in the chocolate, but the coating will be much thicker that way. I found that using your fingers to spread the chocolate gave the perfect balance of chip to chocolate.)
3. Place on a wax-covered baking sheet. Pop in the fridge or freezer to set the chocolate.
4. Enjoy!


Chinese restaurant Brisbane said...

Wonderful explained recipe! Thanks for the tips.

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