We might be in the thick of winter, here in New Zealand, but that’s no excuse not to enjoy ice cream!
And, not just any ice cream… Caramel Swirl Ice Cream with Roasted Salted Peanuts… It came about simply because I had some leftover caramel sauce and roasted peanuts from the ultra-delectable Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream & Caramel Sauce I made the other day. It wasn’t too big a stretch to consider making some vanilla ice cream, into which that extra caramel sauce and peanuts got added!
I started off by making a batch of vanilla ice cream, with thanks to Emma Christensen, from The Kitchn for the recipe. It was a breeze to make, thanks to my trusty old (and I mean that literally) ice cream machine.
The vanilla ice cream, on its own, is gorgeously sweet and creamy. It’s a nice basic ice cream to serve on pies, or any other dessert that begs for melting ice cream. But it’s also a perfect base in which to add your own delicious flavours – the world’s your limit really. As it turns out, caramel sauce and roasted salted peanuts, as an addition, are ridiculously crazy good!
I learned something along the way with this recipe. I learned that, unless you want caramel flavoured ice cream, you don’t add the caramel sauce in with the ice cream while it’s churning. Nope. You layer in the caramel so that you retain the basic vanilla ice cream base. In hindsight, I guess it sounds pretty obvious, but hey, I’ve never made out I was a genius!
I’ve got something pretty delicious in mind for this ice cream. No, it’s not being served on its own. It’ll be paired with something equally gorgeously yum. Keep an eye out for my next post. Enjoy!
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped of seeds), or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- About 1/2 cup caramel sauce - store bought or make your own
- About 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
- If your ice cream machine has a bowl that needs to be frozen before churning, put it in the freezer at least one night before you plan to make the ice cream.
- Combine the yolks and the sugar in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined — at first the mixture will be very thick and dark yellow, then it will smooth out and lighten to a pale lemon-yellow color.
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean (pod and seeds) or vanilla extract. Bring the milk to scalding point (just before it simmers), then remove from heat.
- Scoop out approximately one cup of milk. Slowly pour it into the egg-sugar mixture while whisking (this warms the eggs and prevents them from curdling).
- Slowly pour the tempered egg-sugar mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk.
- Return the saucepan to the stove and place over low heat. Stir the mixture slowly, but constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot. Keep cooking until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spatula and registers 170°F with a thermometer.
- Strain the ice cream mixture into a large bowl (this will remove the vanilla pod and any bits of egg that may have curdled).
- Stir the heavy cream into the ice cream mixture.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Alternatively, if you're rushed for time, chill the ice cream mixture by placing the bowl over top of an ice water bath - this should take about 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, transfer the ice cream mixture to the bowl of your ice cream machine and churn according to your machine's instructions. You want the consistency to be like soft-serve ice cream when it's done.
- While the ice cream is churning, roughly chop the roasted peanuts with a knife, or in a food processor. If chopping in a food processor you will likely get a bit of nut dust (over processed nuts). If this is the case, simply put the nuts into a sieve to remove the dust.
- When the ice cream is ready, immediately transfer about half of the ice cream into a lined loaf tin or freezer container. Dollop thick streaks of caramel sauce over the surface and sprinkle over some of the chopped nuts. Layer the remaining ice cream over top and repeat with the caramel sauce and chopped nuts. Cover the tin with plastic wrap, then 2 layers of foil and transfer to the freezer to harden for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight before serving.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting