**************************************If my refrigerator ever became sentient, I swear the first thing it would do is take out a restraining order against me.
But since that is almost certainly never going to happen, will somebody PLEASE, I beg you, just lock up my freezer and throw away the keys.
Because ever since I made my first 2 tubs of this Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, I have been violating my freezer repeatedly through the day, every day.
At first, I thought I just had to finish it fast and get it over with. But instead, the empty tubs tricked me into filling 'em up with another batch of ice cream. Only this time, I also added Praline Macadamias.
And what a bloomin' fool of a decision that turned out to be.
What was I thinking. Salty burnt caramel ice cream, with fragrant, buttery, toasted macadamias in sweet and crunchy praline?? It might as well have been chunks of Kryptonite.
And there's no stopping me now, as I am scraping the bottom of my 4th ice cream tub. Consumed all the time with thoughts of making a third batch. What do you think, Salted Caramel Ice Cream with ... Praline Pecans? Crunchy Nougat? Chocolate Fudge? Chocolate cookies?
I think I need HELP.
Recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, with Praline Macadamias
(aka Kill Me With A Spoon)
(slightly adapted from David Leibovitz)
For the ice cream custard:
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, divided
1 cup (200 gr) sugar*
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Praline Macadamias (do ahead)
1. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.
2. Spread 1 cup (200gr) of sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)
3. Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. It won’t take long.
4. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. Stir in one cup of milk.
5. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).
6. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate in the coldest part of your refrigerator for at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
7. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. When you've almost finished churning the ice cream in your ice cream maker, mix in the Praline Macadamias.
For the praline macadamias
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup toasted macadamias
1. Caramelize sugar as in steps 2 and 3 above. Once caramelized, quickly remove from heat and stir in macadamias and salt.
2. Drop spoonfuls of macadamias on a silicone sheet to cool down. Try as best as you can to separate the nuts from each other so that you don't get huge chunks. Once cooled, break into smaller pieces with one macadamia nut each.
* The original recipe required 1.5 cups of sugar for the caramel (instead of the 1 cup listed here). I found that using 1.5 cups of sugar lowered the freezing point of the ice cream too much, such that it did not freeze very well. The ice cream was literally melting into a caramel goop the second I took it out of the freezer and was quite impossible to serve to more than one person (because when you get to number 2, it disintegrates .. you get the idea). Reader feedback on the original recipe shows that I was not the only one to have this problem with the freezing point. My solution was to reduce the amount of sugar to 1 cup, which helped the ice cream to freeze much firmer (although still softer compared to other ice creams). Rest assured that the ice cream still tastes superbly caramelly even with the reduced sugar. Some folks even preferred the taste of the ice cream with the reduced caramel proportions, finding the original too sweet and overpowering. Taste-wise I don't mind either, but if you prefer a very assertive burnt caramel flavour, or live somewhere in Alaska where things refusing to freeze is pretty much unheard of, then please feel free to stick to the original recipe.