375ml/ 1½ cups Milk
7 medium egg yolk
150g/ 2/3 cup Sugarwhite sugar
2 tbsp. water
250ml/ 1 cup Heavy Cream
150g/ 5oz. Sour Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Atlantic saltOptional, only if custard is not salty enough
Salted caramel ice cream, beside of being a delicious kind and one of my favorite ice cream flavors is a smart ice cream to make.
Did you ever think why there is no salted vanilla, or salted chocolate ice cream, salt with caramel had become a trademark and almost a consensus.
The reason, in my opinion is that caramel is basically sugar on speeds, so it really intensifies its flavor, and what a better way to break the ridiculously sweet taste than with salt, it’s genius.
Back at the day… well not that long, about 20 years ago, salted caramel was a real surprise, you’d be asking yourself, salt in ice cream, really? and then you’d tasted it and got hooked like the rest of us.
We need to keep a few guidelines when making a caramel, in order for this ice cream to get the maximum flavors, you guessed correctly, the major focus is on making the caramel, the rest is similar various ice creams we’ve made in the past.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream guidelines
There are at least 4-5 ways to make a good caramel, with butter added to the sugar, with a bit of water to help break the crystallization, by adding heavy cream to thicken it, etc.
Personally, I don’t really care how it’s made, but for the ice cream preparation I prefer the straightforward approach, remember, we want as little as water (or any kind of fluids) as possible.
I make the caramel for the salted caramel ice cream with a tablespoon of water, adding the heavy cream which I’m using for the ice cream to the caramel cooking.
If I were to make toffee or caramel for a cake I would probably use butter in order to soften the caramel but here it will not be wise since butter is dairy plus fat, each had a different freezing temperature which I cannot predict and may cause ice crystallization when the ice cream freeze.
Another key factor to remember is not to over burn the caramel, when it becomes golden amber color, reduce the heat and immediately add the fluids, a burnt caramel will have a sour after taste.
How much salt should I use?
I admit my worst fear when started with this ice cream was to make it too salty, there’s nothing worst that an extra salty ice cream, one that really overpowers all other flavors.
I can calm you down and say that a teaspoon is a low proportion and a tablespoon of salt is probably my preferred quantity.
Thing is, you can actually adjust saltiness level after the custard is out of the refrigerator (before we churn it), I actually prefer to add 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt to the caramel while it’s cooking and another teaspoon of Atlantic sea salt to the caramel after it’s refrigerated.
Remember that when ingredients freeze the taste dim a bit and even if you think you added too much salt, at the end, it will be just the correct amount.
Making the custard
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat, cook until warm but not boiling, about 75°c/160°F.
making the caramel
Place the water and sugar in a large saucepan over high heat.
churning the ice cream