Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

 Becky of Project Domestication chose Burnt Sugar Ice Cream for the recipe this week. In our house the only one who really likes things burnt is Mr. Mimi, but this time I had to fight to save him a bite of this "burnt" recipe. It had the flavor of a deep, rich caramel without being too sweet and combined with the silky smooth texture, this was a hands down hit at our house. Although perfect as it is, it would also make an excellent ice cream sandwich, or you could mix it with some chocolate bits or sprinkle it with candied nuts.

This was a very easy recipe to whip up. There were justa few simple steps- make the caramel and add the cream. Temper the  egg yolks and add them to the caramel mixture, cooking to thicken- then chill and freeze. The  pinch of salt with the vanilla which further enhanced the caramel flavor.

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (page 432)

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Stir the sugar and water together in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil, without stirring, until the syrup turns a deep amber color--from time to time, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirl the pan. (Depending on the size of your pan and the intensity of the heat, it could take about 8 minutes for the caramel to color properly.)
Stand back--things can get a little wild--lower the heat and add the milk and cream. Don't be concerned when everything bubbles and seethes and the caramel hardens; it will calm down and smooth out as you heat and stir. Continue to heat and stir and when the mixture is smooth, remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks and salt together until blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid--this will temper, or warm, the yolks. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. the custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard into a 2-quart liquid measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in vanilla extract.

Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.

Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.
Makes about 1 1/2 pints.

For fun we made spun caramel bowls to serve our ice cream in.  They are easy to do, but because the moisture in the air softens the spun sugar they need to be made with in a few hours of serving.
They make a pretty presentation and add a nice little crunch to the ice cream.

Caramel nest: In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon water until it caramelizes. Don't stir the sugar, just gently swirl the pan by the handle. When a caramel color is reached remove the pan from the heat, it will still darken as it cools.
As the caramel is cool it becomes sticky. When you just tap the surface with a whisk, you will notice fine strands of caramel hanging from the whisk and that is when it is ready to use. Turn a small bowl upside down, spray with non stick cooking spray and swirl these sugar strands around the outside of the bowl to form the nest. Allow to cool and slide nest off the bowl. If the caramel gets too hard return to low heat until caramel becomes more liquid.

Caramelized sugar bowls

Thanks Becky for such a great choice. To see what the other TWD bakers prepared visit our blogroll.  For the recipe visit Becky or pick up a copy of Dorie's Book, Baking: From My Home to Yours