Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salty Caramel Ice Cream

I'm trying to remember when my love affair with salted caramel started -- I think it was at Splendido in the spring of 2010. I ordered their chocolate caramel tart for dessert, and it was sprinkled with what appeared to be Maldon salt. I was already full from a very decadent dinner but once I tasted that tart and its divine mingling of dark chocolate, rich buttery caramel, shortbread crust, and crunchy salt flakes, I was done for. Days later, I was still thinking about it. With all due respect to David Chang, THIS was crack pie.

And while I've had a ton of salted caramel goodies since then (my friend B's Salted Caramel Brownies with Bacon stand out), I'd never actually made anything myself. Well when I saw the recipe for Salty Caramel Ice Cream in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home by Jeni Britton Bauer of the famed Ohio artisan ice cream chain, I knew I had to try it. I mean, it's a no-brainer, right? I was also curious to try making caramel without added water. I don't have the best pots in the world, and the idea of cooking dry sugar until it melted and caramelized seemed a dubious proposition, but why the hell not? Besides, if I burned the pot I'd just have to buy a new.....set.