Rich, creamy, sweet, salty and decadent. This Salted Caramel Ice Cream is homemade at it’s best.
I like to give myself some challenges in the kitchen. Making this Salted Caramel Ice Cream was me laying down the ultimate gauntlet to my family.
Back in the summer of 2013 we holidayed in the South of France and found, on our very own campsite, a steady supply of Salted Caramel Ice Cream that each and every one of us agreed was the best ice cream we had ever tasted. We went back to the same place 2 years later. (I’m 99% certain that Chris’ only motive for returning was the hope of more ice cream). A few things had changed over these 2 years – the resort had expanded, a naturist beach had bizarrely sprung up next to our stretch of family friendly sand & sea but the ice cream, oh the ice cream… It remained as we remembered; silky, creamy, sweet and salty. Intoxicating frozen joy savoured by all of us, as often as possible, for the duration of the holiday.
Confession: for a long time I decided that I would never ever attempt to make my own Salted Caramel Ice Cream because I wasn’t sure I could face the disappointment of being told, 3 times over, that the stuff in France was much better.
However, the years keep on rolling by, we have a long list of holidays to fit in before the kids leave home and a return to the same campsite, just for the sake of the ice cream, seems just a bit too far-fetched. So I committed to making my own, doing the best job I could and living with the cruel remarks that would, inevitably, flow.
And here it is.
In the space of 2 weeks I’ve made this ice cream 3 times. My first attempt was much darker in colour than the one photographed today. And it had a slight burnt note to the caramel. Trust me, this was not a bad thing. The sweet caramel, slightly bitter, burnt undertones and salty kick blended extremely well with the creaminess of the ice cream. It was a wonderful first batch – I was proud of it.
However, because I’m always seeking family approval absolute perfection I made the same recipe again, but cooked the caramel a little less. This time it was mid-amber in colour rather than dark amber. The difference this made to the colour of the final ice cream is phenomenal. I do wish I’d taken a photograph of the first batch to show you the transformation it made. But the proof is in the tasting…. once the family got wind of what I’d made, the ice cream didn’t last long enough for photographs.
Though I was slightly disappointed when I noticed the difference in colour second time around, I couldn’t argue that the salted caramel taste was spot on. Pure, deeply addictive, salty caramel all wrapped up in smooth, creamy ice cream.
What I like best about Salted Caramel in general is how the saltiness tones down the overtly sweet nature of caramel, bringing a slightly savoury edge to the mix. And just like the intensity of the caramel, the saltiness is something that can be adjusted to suit your own palate. The recipe I’ve listed below gives my ideal blend, but feel free to play around.
And the ultimate test: the family verdict…. a surprisingly good match to the stuff of dreams in France. Remarkably close. A very close second. Oh blimey.
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