Caramel Sea Salt Ice Cream

Exactly one year ago, I was on a day trip to Brighton. Wandering through Brighton’s little lanes, seeking out its quirks and charm, I landed up at a tiny ice cream shop. A few seconds later, I was convinced, this was the ice cream of my dreams – my new favourite ice cream flavour. Caramel and Sea Salt. So when I finally bought an ice cream maker, this flavour was at the very top of my list. I just had to make it. Perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, rich and light; this ice cream is absolute heaven. It has a custard base, which means there is a bit of work involved with separating a couple of eggs, making a caramel, and cooking a custard. But, all that fuss is totally worth it because this ice cream is silky, dreamy deliciousness.

Notes:
*This is a small batch recipe and makes enough ice cream for 3-4 servings.
*While cooking the custard (both times) be very careful not to boil the mixture. If boiled at any stage, you risk scrambling the eggs. This completely ruins the texture and taste of the ice cream.
*This recipe uses an ice cream machine and results in a smooth, light and airy ice cream. I have not tried this recipe with the no-churn method. Be sure to completely chill your mixture before churning for optimal results.
*Do not overcook the caramel. It starts off slowly but once at the right temperature, it can burn pretty quickly. When you add the caramel to the cream, be careful. There will be a lot of bubbling and sputtering. It might seem like the two aren’t going to mix together, but eventually they will both reach the same temperature and combine.

Equipment:

  1. Ice-cream Maker
  2. Electric Whisk

Ingredients:

  1. 2 egg yolks
  2. 200 g heavy cream
  3. 150 g whole milk
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract / vanilla bean paste
  5. 20 g + 65 g granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 10 g water

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and 20 g of sugar. Using an electric whisk, beat for about 5-6 minutes until pale, fluffy and increased in volume.
  2. In a saucepan, add the cream, milk and vanilla paste. Cook on low heat until simmering (not boiling), stirring constantly.
  3. While the cream is heating up, in another saucepan, add the water and 65 g of sugar. Cook without stirring until the caramel has reached a deep amber colour. Add in the salt. Add the caramel to the warm cream and whisk together until combined. Again, do not boil.
  4. Switch to a hand whisk and in a slow, steady stream, add one third of the cream into the egg yolks. Make sure you are whisking constantly and adding the mixture very slowly, otherwise you risk scrambling the eggs. Now pour the heated yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the cream and place back on low heat.
  5. Cook, again whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. 
  6. Pass the mixture through a sieve to make sure there are no bits of egg remaining. Let the mixture cool down slightly and then place in the refrigerator until completely chilled (about 2-3 hours or overnight).
  7. Set up your ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions and run for the required amount of time.
  8. Pour churned ice cream into a freezer-proof container with a lid and place in freezer for at least 4 hours before consuming.

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