Monday, May 14, 2012

Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

Time for another Secret Recipe Club recipe. This month I had A Little Bit of Everything. And I have to say that it was easy to pick a recipe because this Salty Caramel Ice Cream just jumped up and sang to me. Although I knew it wouldn't really be a part of my life without swimming in some chocolate chips. (Kip's swam in some chocolate sauce too. We have trouble with chocolate limits around here.)

I should tell you a few things about this recipe.

1. It's very good. It was the smoothest homemade ice cream I think I have ever made.
2. I was nervous about this method of sugar melting since I tend to burn my sugar unless using this fool proof caramel recipe, but Julie's method of sugar melting worked very well.
3. It's even better with chocolate.
4. It is, as it says, salted. When I tasted the un-frozen liquid, it was a little too salty for me, but the freezing took care of that (I assume by making the concoction less dense). However, if you don't like salty caramel or like it just a little tiny bit salty, you should omit or reduce the salt in this.
5. The liquid was thick--almost pudding-like. I figured this would make freezing a snap. However, in my lowest-possible-end ice cream maker, it made it a bit too much of a snap as the outsides froze so quickly that the ice cream maker couldn't move enough to get the middle frozen. Kip ended up churning it by hand--holding the churny thing and turning it around and around. It only took 5-10 minutes and we lived, but if you have a low end ice cream maker, you may want to omit or reduce the corn starch or cook it with the cornstarch for a shorter period of time. [Alternately this would be the perfect ice cream to make in a non-traditional manner like a kid-friendly bag throwing recipe like this. The quick freezing of this ice cream would make it perfect for something like this.]
6. That said, this ice cream was intensely creamy for homemade ice cream and I'm pretty sure we've got the corn starch to thank for that.
7. Heat your cream to simmering!!! (Please notice the exclamation points.) Yes, that dirties one more pan and is a wee bit of a hassle, but it is not as much of a hassle as pouring cold cream into your amber sugar and having the whole thing seize up into one enormous hard caramel candy and then spending the next 30-45 minutes slowly stirring this hard candy thing around your pan until it finally melts. Which is what I did. So do yourself a favor and heat up that cream before you pour it in.
8. This recipe requires a few bowls. Not big obtrusive tough-to-shove-in-your-dishwasher bowls, but yes several. Three to four bowls and 2 pans to be exact. In this way, it's not exactly the perfect weeknight dessert dish (unless of course your kids are throwing bags of it around, in which case it's great). For a warm Sunday afternoon, however, there's nothing better.
9. Julie recommends that when the liquid is done cooking, you throw a bowl of it onto ice to cool it quickly. This is what you should do if you want your ice cream right now. However, I was way to lazy for that and just put mine in the refrigerator overnight.

Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks
adapted from A Little Bit of Everything
Makes 1 quart
Prep time: Well, this took me a good hour due to my caramel seizing. I think that with warm cream it will take 20-30 minutes
Freeze time: 10 minutes
Cost: $2.73
(milk: .26, cream cheese: .20, cream: 1.25, sugar: .12, chocolate chips: .90)

2 C whole milk
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp fine sea salt (reduce or omit if salty caramel isn't your thing)
1 1/4 C heavy cream
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 C chocolate chips, chopped so that some of big and some are small

To Prepare:

1. Mix 2 Tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
2. Whisk cream cheese and salt (if using) in a medium bowl (this is the bowl where all your ice cream will end up so make sure it's big enough.
3. Put cream in a small pot to warm. You're going to bring it to just under a simmer. Have your 2 Tbsp corn syrup ready to put into the cream just before you pour the cream on the sugar.
4. Fill a bowl with ice if you're going to do the ice bath thing.

To make ice cream:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, spread an even layer of sugar over the bottom of the pan. Now heat it WITHOUT STIRRING until there is a full layer of melted sugar on the bottom, but still some white unmelted sugar on top. When the edges/bottom layer start to turn golden, gently pull the melted golden sugar towards the unmelted sugar with a heatproof spatula. In other words, nudge the sugar around until it's all melted and amber (dark goldeny orange) in color--like a penny.
2. As you're waiting for that bottom layer of sugar to melt, be sure your cream is heating up and go ahead and add the corn syrup to it. Give it a stir.
3. When the sugar is melted and golden, remove it from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream mixture. It may still seize a bit and it may bubble up a bit, but it should come together into a beautiful caramel. If there do happen to be chunks that are like hard (or soft) candy, just stir them around on medium low heat until they melt and incorporate into the mixture.
4. Return to heat.
5. Whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture.
7. Bring back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until slightly thickened (Note: If you've got a low-end ice cream maker like I do, you may just want to stir this in until thoroughly incorporated and not give it the 2 minutes in an effort to keep it a little less thick so that your ice cream maker can handle it.)
8. Remove from heat. Pour this into your cream cheese mixture (whisking as you do this if you can; borrow an arm if you've got an extra around). Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract and whisk.
9. Place in ice bath if you want your ice cream now. Otherwise, cover it and put it in your fridge until you do want it.
10. Freeze in and ice cream maker according to manufacturuer's instructions.
11. Add chocolate chunks at end of freezing time.
12. Eat up. It's really good.



  1. OMG that looks and sounds delicious!!! I think I need to break out my ice cream maker asap and make this!

    Great cooking with you for this month's SRC.

    Heather @ Join Us, Pull up a Chair

  2. Looks so awesome. When I feel confident enough with the ice cream making process I want to try this.

  3. wow, looks so awesome, I love the way you have written it up, sat and read the whole thing!!, well explained.., I should definitely try this...

  4. This ice cream looks delicious! Wonderful recipe, great choice for SRC!

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched only this Monday. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author's site.

    It's called RecipeNewZ (with Z) -

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

  5. Hi! I loved this recipe! Salty and sweet are my favorites and your right this is the creamiest ice cream. Glad you enjoyed it. SO nice to meet you.

  6. <3 love this. the sweet and salty always make for a delectable combination!

  7. Salted caramel ice cream is my favorite! I'll have to try it with the chocolate chunks next time.

  8. Sounds perfect for a hot summer day!

    be sure to check out May is avocado and asparagus month! We'd love if you'd link up any recipes you may have!

  9. Oh yum. And thanks for all the great tips on the recipe.

  10. This flavor combo is quite unique, will have to try this sometime!

  11. I've seen salty caramel ice cream, but never tasted it. You've got me interested.

  12. Sweet and salty always wins in our house. Nice job!

  13. I love this salty and sweet combination!
    Cooking with you in the SRC-B
    Miz Helen

  14. Hi Jeanie,
    I wonder why I could never succeed making this Salty Caramel Ice Cream With Chocolate Chunks.
    How did you do it? I'll try again for sure and this time I'll refer to your recipe as my guide :)
    Thanks also for the tempting food photos. Looks like they were made by professional. Have you ever heard about food photography site called ?
    Your pics should be on the Food Porn home page, that's for sure!

    1. Well, I do love me some good food porn. And thank you thank you thank you. The recipe is a little tricky as you're adding the cream to the caramelized sugar, which can make it seize up, and then later you're churning a thick mixture in your ice cream maker. What was your problem with it? How did it not turn out? maybe I can offer a tip.

  15. I'm not into limits on chocolate;) It's summer time and time to dust off the ice cream maker, thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Hi,

    I’ve started My Sweet Party, where I every month host a party with a theme (MAY theme is CHOCOLATE). The party is ongoing the entire duration of the month and then I will choose my top three favourites and feture those blogs. I would LOVE you to join My Sweet Party!




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