I am quite beside myself with excitement about this salted caramel ice cream recipe. It's because I think I invented it, although in all likelihood, I probably didn't. There is doubtless another one out there just like this one. But I'm not going to go looking for it because this is the best thing that's happened to me for a while and, you know, when you're not achieving much with your life you don't want to go looking for reasons to feel like a chump.
I don't even know why I decided to make ice cream. I've got really sensitive teeth, like REALLY sensitive. I went to the dentist the other week and he sprayed some slightly-too-cold water on my gums and I shrivelled up like a spider on fire. (I've never seen a spider on fire, I must add, before anyone thinks I am cruel to animals.) And Giles doesn't really eat puddings.
I suppose I'm just curious. And recipes for it seem quite complicated and require special machinery, which always gets my hackles up and makes me want to find a way of doing it in 5 minutes with your bare hands.
So, I found a recipe for salted caramel and then stole half a no-churn ice cream recipe off Nigella, via www.notquitenigella.com, and mashed them together to create this weird but amazing salted ice cream confection.
Now, I think this is a triumph and totally delicious. But be warned, it is a slightly bonkers flavour. There are three quite major things happening here: sweet caramel, salty stuff, yoghurty, cheesy stuff and creamy stuff. It doesn't taste like something Ben and Jerry's make, it's not creamycreamysweetsweet, it's more like... something else. If I was being very self-complimentary, I would say that it was very "grown-up".
But if that sounds like your kind of game, it goes something like this.
(I made quite a small amount, just to test it out, but you can double the quantities.)
For the salted caramel:
100g caster sugar
50g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
50ml double cream (or whatever you've got)
3 pinches salt
For the ice cream:
300ml whipping cream
112ml natural yoghurt
1) put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. I used a non-stick one, which I was quite pleased about, in the sticky end. Put the pan on a medium flame and cook the sugar until it melts into a runny, clear syrup. This takes about 3 or 4 minutes.
2) add the butter and turn the heat up a bit. It'll bubble around and go crazy. Stir it all up until it's the colour of, well, caramel. This takes about another 3-5 minutes. Don't worry if it all separates and goes gross.
3) take the pan off the heat and add the cream. It'll go bubbly and wild but then calm down and turn into glossy caramelly caramel.
4) add the salt. I recommend using sea salt crystals because it means that you get some sugary bits and then the occasional burst of saltiness. I added 3 small pinches to my caramel, but you might want to add more or less depending. Leave the caramel to cool.
5) whip up the cream until it's fairly stiff and then fold in the yoghurt. Pretty much whatever temperature the caramel is now, throw it into the cream and yoghurt and fold round. The caramel will go sort of lumpy and stringy, which is fine - just fold it in and around the cream/yoghurt until it's well distributed.
6) turn out into a plastic tub (one that's flat and shallow rather than tall and thin), and put in the freezer. Put it in the fridge to soften up a bit about 40 mins before you want to eat it. If I was feeling really inventive, I would bash up a Crunchie bar or some maltesers and sprinkle them over before serving.