Sunday, July 25, 2010

Salted caramel ice cream with caramelised cocoa nibs and roasted almonds

I think I need to buy an ice cream maker. Soon. I've been making my own ice creams so often lately that it's a bit scary. Hand churning ice cream every half an hour for a few hours is no fun. Not to mention time-consuming. I can think of several things to do in the meantime of having to set the alarm to remind myself to churn the ice cream when the time is up. Imagine if I had an ice cream maker...oh gosh. Okay, on second though, scrap that thought. That'll probaby result in me making ice cream like once every week. Or something. ;)

The weather was hot (a few months back, now, it's just rain and rain and more rain), so I was thinking of a cold dessert. Something that doesn't require me cranking up the hot oven. Salted caramel sounds like a good idea. The Sis loves salted caramel. I decided to make a salted caramel ice cream. But plain ol' salted caramel is just not good enough for me...I like my ice creams to have add ins. I was contemplating what I should add in, and browsing random websites for inspiration. In the end, I settled on adding caramelised cocoa nibs and roasted almonds.

Salted caramel ice cream with caramelised cocoa nibs and roasted almonds


Caramelised cocoa nibs

I got the inspiration to add caramelised cocoa nibs from Keiko's recipe for cocoa nib ice cream. I thought it was a really innovative way to spice up the ice cream, and anyway, I do have cocoa nibs on hand, so why not? The caramelised cocoa nibs tasted sorta bittersweet, more on the bitter side. (Did I happen to over caramelise them or what?) And cos I like nuts, I decided to toast some almonds to add in. I roughly chopped them up so they will provide sort of a nice crunch factor.

Chopped almonds


Like my previous Oatmeal praline ice cream, I was a little eager and overestimated the add ins portions. It felt like there were too much in one mouthful! I have to remember not to be so heavy handed with the add ins the next time round.

Oh yeah, I used David Lebovitz's Salted caramel ice cream recipe for my ice cream. I have tons of bad experience cooking caramel, so this time round, I removed the pan early from the stove to prevent it from burning and becoming burnt caramel. Alas, when the caramel was cooling, the Sister walked by and asked what was that. So I told her, and mentioned that I removed it early to ensure that it was not burnt caramel cos I know she doesn't like it. "But, who said that? I liked burnt caramel!" "..................."

Anyway, she tasted the ice cream and she liked it just fine. I liked the really creamy ice cream texture and the salty sweet taste. But, like I was complaining that there are too much add ins, and the Sis's like, "No, just nice what." -.-"



Do you happen to notice the little boat shape tart up there? It's going to be in the next post! ;)

Caramelised cocoa nibs (adapted from Keiko at Nordljus)
10g unsalted butter
180g cocoa nibs
100g granulated sugar

Have a piece of parchment paper ready on a flat surface (such as a work top or a baking tray).
Place the nibs and sugar in a pan over high heat and stir energetically with a wooden spoon (the mixture will smoke as the sugar melts). When almost all the sugar has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Spread the mixture thinly onto the parchment paper and leave to cool. If you are keeping any, store in a zippered plastic bag at room temperature.


Salted caramel ice cream with caramelised cocoa nibs and roasted almonds 
(adapted from David Lebovitz)

2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, divided
1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
caramelised cocoa nibs (Recipe above)
roasted almonds, chopped

Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.
Spread 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.
Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 71-77 C.
Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last five minutes of churning, quickly stir in the caramelised cocoa nibs and roasted almonds, then chill in the freezer until firm.

7 comments:

  1. Your photos are brilliant!! and this icecream is so unique and robust in interesting flavours, I love it!! Ive never heard of/had caramelizing cocoa nibs before but cant wait to try it out!

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  2. WOW! Like the other commenter said - your pictures are wonderful! They make me want to make this ice cream recipe instantly! Great job on the ice cream and the presentation!

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  3. your ice cream looks really really good and i totally like the idea of using cocoa nibs for the texture (as opposed to using chocolate chips as some recipes do).

    lol @ your sis. aiya for a change la, at least now she can compare if she really does indeed like burnt caramel or the proper one haha

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  4. jennifer & jenn: thanks for the nice comments!

    evan: haha thanks, i think next time i'll stick to burnt caramel! LOL. (:

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  5. Chelle, this is breathtaking! Can't wait to try this ice cream flavor - bookmarking the recipe now!

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  6. patricia: thanks! hope u like the flavours! :)

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  7. your ice cream looks really really good and i totally like the idea of using cocoa nibs for the texture (as opposed to using chocolate chips as some recipes do).

    lol @ your sis. aiya for a change la, at least now she can compare if she really does indeed like burnt caramel or the proper one haha

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