Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
- ½ cup water
- 4 cups whipping cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed
- Chocolate Ganache, for serving (recipe follows)
Yield: ¾ cup
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)
Procedures:Place 1-½ cups sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in cream since mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir over low heat until smooth. Set aside.
Place egg yolks and remaining ¼cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl, whisking to combine. If using the vanilla bean, use the reverse edge of a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the pod and add to the milk mixture. If using the vanilla bean paste, add to the yolk mixture. Slowly pour the hot caramel mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the caramel and yolk mixture back into the medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain caramel custard through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof medium mixing bowl. Place the bowl of caramel custard inside a larger bowl containing ice water and stir to cool as quickly as possible.
Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the caramel custard and refrigerate until cold, about 3 to 4 hours. Taste and stir in 2 teaspoons sea salt. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-proof container and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Taste again and add more salt until desired flavor is reached. For Chocolate Ganache In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat to a simmer. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute. Slowly stir chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula to combine. Add butter and whisk mixture until smooth. Add cognac or brandy if using. Let cool to room temperature, stirring every 10 minutes.
To serve, scoop ice cream into chilled dessert dishes. Top with chocolate ganache and serve immediately.
Adding a small amount of sea salt actually brings out the flavor of the caramel in the ice cream. You may find that you need to add a touch more salt to the finished ice cream, since cold foods often need a little extra seasoning. The ice cream will keep in the freezer stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.