Saturday, March 15, 2014

spiced caramel swirled ice cream



This Thanksgiving I'll be showing you how to make your own ice cream. That's right! But now just any ice cream, a Spiced Caramel Ice Cream. Once you go Cold and Creamy you won't go back! Not only is this ice cream easy to make, but it costs a billion times less than in the supermarkets (statistics not to scale). 

I spiked this classic creamy vanilla ice cream with autumn spices and smooth thick caramel. You'll be kicking yourself in the head why you ever purchased store bought caramel in the past after you try this recipe. And by the way, to anyone reading this blog it's not carmels. Never pronounce caramel carmel, there's an extra letter after the r. You know what happens when you leave off an extra letter, your dessert becomes a desert. 


Now for me, I prefer an American style  ice cream. This style is definitely not as rich as a French Style with egg yolks, but who needs the calories. I think the heavy cream is plenty enough rich but mostly I think the egg yolks mask any flavoring you want to add. Some people also like to do a combination of cream and milk. Call me indulgent, or lazy but only cream for me please. How it works is the less water that is in your base, milk i.e., the less ice crystals are in your finished product, which means a creamier ice cream. You should experiment with different proportions of dairy to find your "perfect scoop", or just copy me, whatever you want. But if you do copy me you have to pay a 5 dollars patent use. :)

So to start this ice cream off we need to put our ice cream bowl in the freezer. I'm using a hamilton beach model but a cuisinart would really be best. Now you know what to give me for Christmas--hint, hint. For all of those readers who also have a small ice cream maker bowl just do two batches like I did. 

So now that we got that squared away we can begin the cooking, which will totally only take you five minutes. Begin by taking your cream and your vanilla extract and bring that to a rolling boil. 



Combine the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Don't do what I did in the picture, the spices did not mix with the cold cream. Something about cinnamon and other spices that are hydrophobic, I don't know, I didn't listen much in science class. But anyways learn from my mistake and add 2/3 of your spices after your cream has come to a boil. Reserve a pinch of the spice mix for the caramel.



It might not look like it's combining but keep stirring and most of it will work itself in. If you are worried that your spices aren't combining well with the cream don't be. Even my batch turned out great and I'm as smart as a doorknob. When we put this in the machine all those spices will evenly distribute and you'll be left with nice little specks of cinnamon and ginger. With your spices you are going to add the sugar and the salt. Salt is very important to balance out the sugar and bring out the spices so please don't forget to add that. Once you have thoroughly combined the flavorings throw it in the refrigerator cool slightly. And by the way please do not literally throw your mixture in the fridge, you'll just make a mess and a fool out of yourself. 



At this point you can set up your machine. Take the bowl out of the freezer, which should be ice cold because you left it in there overnight, don't try to cut corners or else your cream will never ice. After twenty minutes take out the ice cream from the refrigerator  You should have a yellowy film of spice and cream on top of the mixture, just stir that back in. Pour it in the machine, turn it on, and get your caramel started. 

To be forewarned if you are clumsy or have parkinsons please do not make this sauce, have the ones who you care about less like the kids or your little brother make it for you instead. Also in an effort to clean as little dishes as possible, use the same pot you used to make the ice cream in--we want to work smart, not hard.



Pour in the sugar and a teaspoon of water-- the water is just to start the melting process. Whenever I make caramel I always go through the same process. 

I look at it.



I wonder whaI did wrong.
I get sad. 



I get optimistic. 
I burn it.
I start over. I didn't want to show you the pictures where I burned it.
But I eventually succeeded.
Cook the sugar on medium high until it turns a light amber color which will take about 3 minutes, just look at the picture. At this point shut of the flame and wait a couple seconds. I just stare at it. It'll continue to get darker from the residual heat. Once you think it is the right color get ready, you know what caramel looks like. Be very careful. Throw in your chunk of butter and stir it in with a long wooden spoon--a freakishly long chopstick will do great. Because the sugar is so molten hot it's going to make the butter very mad. After the butter has melted in add your cream. Keep in mind that the sugar does not like cream either. 

Add in a pinch of the remainder spice mix that we used for the ice cream, and throw in a generous pinch of salt--I used sea salt. You know how good salted caramel tastes, so be generous with the salt. 



Oh wow, doesn't that sauce look so sexy. I just want to lick it off the bowl and swirl my finger in it all day--sorry i was getting a little pg 13. 

You might think it looks a little thin but it'll thicken up when it gets cool. Once it is sufficiently cooled, with the mixer running, drizzle in the caramel into the ice cream. Stop once the caramel has swirled. You should have caramel to spare. If your ice cream maker only works with the lid on, swirl in your caramel with a toothpick.   

Freeze the ice cream in a container and serve with whatever toppings you want. Scroll down below for all the ingredients, and as always, 

Chow!

For the Ice Cream

3 cups of heavy cream
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For the Salted Caramel

1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of water
3 tablespoons of butter
1/4 of heavy cream
And sea salt

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