Salted Caramel Ice-Cream with Caramel Popcorn

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Ok, so the first thing you need to know about me is that I am obsessed with all things salty – especially salted caramel. YUM! For my 21st birthday my parents got me an ice-cream maker and ever since them I have become increasingly obsessed with getting my ice-cream on. The ice-cream flavour that people always ask me to make again and again is my salted caramel. I like my caramel to be quite dark and with a prominent salty flavour. The flavour can be quite unusual at first if you are not used to it, but trust me, it quickly becomes super moreish. Adding the caramel popcorn takes it to another level of salty and sweet – it’s so addictive!!

Salted Caramel Ice-Cream

  • This recipie is adapted from a recipie by Andrea Albin found on Epicurious.com and is the best salted caramel ice-cream recipe I have found.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided (into 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3 tsp flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (not essence)
  • 1 cup whole milk (lower fat milks can be substituted)
  • 3 large eggs

Equipment: an ice cream maker

Method:

Heat 1 cup sugar in a large dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk occasionally once the sugar has started to melt. Continue to cook and whisk until the sugar becomes dark amber in colour. From me the darker the colour the better – but be careful not to take it too far and burn it!

For this next step be sure to take great care as the mixture will splatter as the caramel will seize. So turn the heat to low and carefully and slowly add 1 1/4 cups cream. As I mentioned the mixture will splatter and the caramel will sieze (harden up) but continue to whisk and the caramel and it should all dissolve. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining sugar until it just begins to boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 75°C on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil).

Pour custard through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Once firm, scoop the ice-cream and serve with the caramel popcorn.

Cooks’ note: Ice cream keeps 1 week.

Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of corn kernals
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Oil for frying – 2tbs approx

Method

Heat oil in a frying pan or sauce pan with a lid on a medium heat and add the corn kernels – let the corn pop, making sure that the pop corn does not burn.

In a similar method as described in the ice cream recipe, heat the sugar in a frying pan and stir occasionally to ensure even melting of the sugar. Once the sugar is amber in colour, add the popcorn and stir, so it is evenly covered in caramel. Be very careful here as molten sugar is very hot and can give a nasty burn – I learnt the hard way!

Allow to cool slighly so the caramel hardens.

Add to the ice-cream and enjoy the salty sweet deliciousness!

Ps. The caramel popcorn lasts on it’s own in an airtight container for a week!

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