With December now well and truly here, it must be accepted that the gastronomic season has arrived. This pleasingly warrants the excuse for overindulgent food with an extra special touch or time and care wrapped in a blanket of calories and tied up with vast amount of edible guilt. With a welcome invite to a house Christmas meal approaching, and the responsibility of bringing dessert, my creative mind went into a sugary coma. A need to supply my hosts with something to sooth their taste buds and thank them for their hospitality. So to go with my pear, almond and amaretto tart, my love of ice cream was sure to make a chilly appearance. However, with no ice cream maker in the limited freezer in my home away from home in Clifton, I opted for this cheats recipe which is always a great one to have on tap. It doesn’t require churning as it won’t crystalise when freezing and it gives a very rich and creamy texture. A can of condensed milk and some single cream never looked nicer….
- 100g caster sugar
- 20g flaked almonds
- ½ tsp Maldon Sea Salt
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- 1 can condensed milk
- 300ml single cream
- Begin with the cheats ice cream base. Submerge a can of condensed milk in a pan of water on it side and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 ½ hours making sure the water does not dry out and that it is covered (otherwise it could explode…worse things have happened)
- Meanwhile, make the praline. Begin by lightly oiling a piece of greaseproof paper.
- Now heat a dry frying pan and lightly toast the flaked almonds until tinged and fragrant. Scatter densely over the parchment.
- Now, scatter the caster sugar in a dry frying pan in an even, thin layer and turn up the heat.
- The sugar should begin to melt within a couple of minutes. Use a plastic spatula to mix in any non-melted areas and any lumps. All the sugar will melt and it will start to turn golden and liquid. Watching all the time as it can burn easily, continue to melt until light golden brown but not burnt!
- Quickly, using the spatula, tip the caramel over the almonds on the parchment and scatter quickly with the sea salt while still hot. Leave to cool until solid before breaking into shards.
- Once the condensed milk has been boiled it will have turned to caramel. Leave the can to cool before handling.
- Mix the cooled caramel with the single cream and beat with a whisk until well combined.
- Now, using either a food processor, a pestle and mortar or just a bag and a wooden spoon, coarsely crush your praline into chunks. I left some a bit more whole and some into a powder.
- Mix this evenly into the ice cream base and place in the freezer overnight. The praline pieces have a tendency to fall to the bottom so if you can be bothered, freeze half your cream mixture, then scatter over your praline and the remaining mixture and freeze again.
- Enjoy your ice cream with an added sprinkle of sea salt if required! I served mine with a pear, almond and amaretto tart.
PS. This cheats ice cream base is open to interpretation….adding coconut milk instead of cream sprinkling of lime zest is one of my favourites. However, add any other flavours you like. It is quite a soft texture anyway, so adding salt in this case, or alcohol which doesn’t freeze, will make it even softer so bear this in mind before going too heavy handed on the booze!