If there is one thing I crave as the weather gets cooler it’s caramel. Creamy, rich, smooth and full of delicious. A few days ago I was in the kitchen watching Gilmore Girls on my phone and decided to make caramel sauce. I blame Sookie. I have to admit, I’ve never had much luck making caramel. Last year I tried to make caramels at Christmas and they ended up like hard candies. Good, but wrong. For this Salted Caramel Sauce I used Two Peas and Their Pods recipe. The only change I made was that I only used about a teaspoon of fresh cracked salt instead of a tablespoon of flaked salt and it was plenty. As usual I had some difficulties. Sugar stuck to the corner edge of the pan and some stayed in clumps… I thought the butter would never whisk in, but it did. And after whisking in the cream I just poured the sauce through a fine strainer and into a big ceramic bowl to cool before pouring into jars.
I was worried, but it’s cooled nicely and tastes perfect!
Now you know I can’t just stop there though. This year for my birthday I went out and bought a Kitchen-aid ice cream attachment with some money from my parents. (Thanks mom and dad!) I’ve been having fun playing with it. When you want perfect vanilla ice cream you can’t go wrong with this recipe. I’m still using my jar of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Boubon Vanilla Paste. You know, from my trip to their test kitchen for a chef demonstration. I’m going to need more very soon! I’m starting to be very conservative of what I use it for.
~Vanilla Ice Cream~
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half & half
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs vanilla bean paste
Combine cream with half and half in a large bowl and whisk in sugar until dissolved. Stir in vanilla until well combined. Scrape every drip into your favorite ice cream maker and follow the freezing directions. For my kitchen-aid attachment, you slowly pour in your mixture while on the stir setting and allow to stir for 20 minutes. Normally, for regular vanilla ice cream, you will scrape and scoop all the very soft ice cream into a freezer safe container and allow to freeze for about 6 hours…
~ Salted Caramel Ice Cream Variation~ Make the above Vanilla Ice Cream add in a step;
After scraping and scooping every last drip and drop of vanilla goodness into your container, you will swirl in about a 1 cup of salted vanilla ice cream before popping into the freezer to set. For this step it is helpful to have an extra set of hands so one person can swirl while the other slowly pours the caramel in the ice cream. I did it without help though and the world is still alright with me.