Vanilla Ice Cream with Espresso Caramel Swirl

Were you aware that we are in the middle of National Ice Cream Month?

It’s true.  I’ve seen it popping up all over the interwebs, so I checked it out.  It’s also the official month for blueberries and horseradish, among other things.

This recipe comes from seven spoons, and is one of the best homemade ice creams I’ve tried in a long time.  I was surprised at how smooth and creamy it was without a custard base that uses eggs.  Admittedly, I doubled the amount of espresso powder from Tara’s recipe, and I don’t regret it.  The slightly bitter espresso caramel is perfectly complemented by the sweet vanilla in the background.  The original recipe also mixes crumbled cookies into the mixture.  I already had some leftover Momofuku chocolate cookie crumbs that I thought would be perfect, but sadly, I forgot to add them.  Maybe next time though, because there certainly will be a next time.

I highly recommend that you whip up a batch of this ice cream.  Maybe even enjoy it while observing “national share a sunset with your lover month.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Espresso Caramel Swirl
Makes about one quart

Ingredients
Base:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 14-ounce can evaporated milk
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt

Caramel:
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
½ to 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I used a full teaspoon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the base:  In a large bowl, add the milks, cream, vanilla, and a pinch of kosher salt.  Stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.  I used an eight-cup glass measuring cup/bowl with a pouring spout and lid.

To make the caramel:  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the brown sugar, honey, butter and a pinch of salt.  Stir until the butter is melted.  Add the cream and bring to a boil, whisking until the mixture smooth and the sugar is dissolved.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to boil, undisturbed, for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.  At this point, it can be covered and refrigerated if you are planning to freeze your ice cream the next day.

When you are ready, pour the milk mixture in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.  Spoon one-third of the ice cream into a storage container.  Smooth with the back of the spoon, and dollop a few tablespoons of caramel over the top.  Lightly swirl the caramel into the ice cream.  Continue alternating and swirling with the remaining ice cream and caramel.  If you taste it at this point, you may or may not choose to cover and freeze the ice cream for three hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from seven spoons

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