Sunday, September 6, 2015

Salted caramel ice cream

Perhaps it’s my need to hold on to summer a little longer, while blatantly ignoring the rainy and dark Dutch weather, that is driving me to make ice creams in September, October and even December.

It’s a dessert I’m having trouble parting ways with, even when the temperature outside matches that of the ice cream. Thankfully, not yet (even though, as we speak, the heat is on in my apartment).

Salted caramel ice cream has been on my waiting list of ice creams to try for a long time, but the Sirens by the names of chocolate, coffee, and strawberry were singing too loudly, stirring me away from trying it. This summer, though, I put my earplugs on and managed to finally make this. Numerous batches later, here we are. My newest obsession.

I’m sure I don’t have to say too much to convince you to try it. If you enjoy the flavor of salted caramel, you will absolutely fall in love with this.

As with anything delicious and worth making yourself, it has its secret. In this case, the secret lies in how far you dare take the caramel. You need to take it right to the edge of burning, right up until it becomes dark brown and you think you’ve overdone it and that at any second your caramel is going to turn into a black mess, but it’s then, and only then, that you have achieved the perfect caramel which is going to give your ice cream the deep, intense flavor you’re anticipating and craving. The addition of sea salt at the end of the process brings out the flavor of the caramel even more, intensifying it, if that’s even possible.

The smooth, ultra rich, creamy texture of the ice cream steals your heart away and the finishing with a couple of sea salt flakes on top of each scoop adds more flavor and balances the sweetness of the caramel.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have. See you again soon!

Salted caramel ice cream
Adapted from Gourmet

This is made with a whole-egg crème anglaise (custard) which cooks quicker than the classic egg yolk custard, so be careful as it will thicken in no time.

Yield: about 1 kg

250 g white sugar
500 ml cream, full-fat (35%), at room temperature
½ tsp sea salt flakes (I used Maldon), plus extra for serving
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
250 ml fresh, whole milk
3 large eggs
1 medium egg yolk

Special equipment: heatproof spatula, fine sieve, plastic wrap, ice cream machine


Make the caramel
In a large, wide frying pan, add 200 g of the sugar. Set the pan over a medium heat and stir the sugar with a fork until it starts to melt. As soon as it starts to melt, stop stirring. Cook the sugar, swirling the pan occasionally in order for the sugar to melt evenly, until it becomes dark brown. It will take about 10 minutes for it to become as dark as it should. If you have a candy thermometer, it should read 190°C. Do not leave it for longer because it will be too bitter if its temperature is higher than 190°C.

Note: Be careful not to burn it and don’t leave the stove until it is ready because it may burn. Also, be careful not to drop any of the caramel on you because you will burn yourself, and do not try to taste it when it is hot but only when it is cool.

As soon as the caramel is ready, pour in 310 ml of the cream and stir with a wooden spoon. Be very careful because the mixture will splatter and foam up. The caramel will stiffen when you add the cream but don’t worry, just keep on stirring until it dissolves. Cook, stirring continuously, until all of the caramel has dissolved into the cream. If the mixture bubbles up a lot, remove from the heat, keep stirring until it subsides and then put it back on the heat. Keep doing that if it bubbles up again too much. When the caramel is ready, remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Stir to dissolve and pour the mixture through a fine sieve (just in case there are tiny caramel pieces that haven’t properly dissolved) and into a bowl. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature.

Make the crème anglaise (custard)
While the caramel mixture is cooling, start making your crème anglaise.
In a medium bowl, add the whole eggs and egg yolk, and whisk well with a wire whisk until light and smooth.

In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the milk, the remaining 190 ml of cream and remaining 50 g of sugar and place over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture just comes to the boil, immediately remove from the heat and very slowly, pour it into the egg mixture, whisking quickly and continuously so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour mixture into the saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, making sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pan. Stir the mixture until it thickens and coats the spatula. It should take no more than a couple of minutes. Due to the fact that it contains whole eggs, it firms up quickly so be extra vigilant and take it off as soon as it thickens. Incidentally, let me assure you that the fact that it contains whole eggs doesn’t mean that your ice cream will have an eggy flavor. Not at all!

Pour the custard through a fine sieve and into a clean bowl, and stir in the cooled caramel. Leave to cool slightly, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill, stirring it every 30 minutes. Once cold (it will take about 3 hours), stir the mixture well and pour it into your ice cream maker. Continue, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Serve with 1-2 sea salt flakes on top of the ice cream.

You can keep the ice cream in your freezer for a week even though I seriously doubt it will last that long.


  1. I have been obsessed with salted caramel ice cream for a while now, and have only made (recently) a "cheater's version" - sort of a semifreddo, really - that friends shared with me. Must try this version now. Still hot here int eh desert, so plenty of time to enjoy! xo

    1. Oh you must! It's delicious.
      It's hot right now in Holland too. The weather turned! Yay!

  2. Since ice cream is my favorite, I totally like it. Thank you for the wonderful post.

    - gustavo woltmann