Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toasted Almond Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

The other day I was sitting at work wishing for something chocolate. Preferably some insanely chunky chocolate ice cream. Since fulfilling this wish wasn't possible at the moment, I jotted down two ideas for ice creams to make later.

First on my list was this one, Toasted Almond Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Salted Caramel Sauce. Baskin Robbin's chocolate almond ice cream has been a fave of mine for many years now and I wanted that combination to be the base for this recipe. I decided to use plain, whole almonds, coarsely chopped, and then toasted to bring out their full flavor. To that, a generous handful of high-quality, semi-sweet, coarsely chopped chocolate. I wanted the presence of the add-ins to be known with each bite so everything thing was chopped less than more.

I went looking for a chocolate ice cream recipe that I hadn't used before. I knew I wanted it to use a custard base to ensure a decadent and creamy mouth feel. Alton Brown's recipe caught my eye and I decided to use it. While I find his recipes a bit too scientific for my taste, I have had good luck with the few that I have tried.

Following the the recipe to a tee, I ended up with a delicious ice cream, but I wanted a more intense, richer chocolate flavor and may play around with it more to see if I can perfect it. Then again, I'm just as likely to try a different recipe altogether!

On to the salted caramel sauce. A couple of months back I got a hankering for salted caramel and made some following a recipe from one of my Baked cookbooks. I pretty much hated it and made another recipe, this time from the Barefoot Contessa which turned out perfectly.

Fast forward to my ice cream when I decided to use the same recipe - and completely blew it. I came up with a couple of errors on my part and gave it another shot. Burnt it this time. Did you know that burnt caramel actually is kind of red? I didn't know that before but certainly do know. My persistence paid off the third time and I was rewarded with a velvety, slightly salty sauce to drizzle over my ice cream.

I have to say this is the best ice cream I've ever made! A little bit of effort but a lot of delicious!

Toasted Almond Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
adapted from Good Eats, Alton Brown

  • 1 cup plain, whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 9 ounces sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

    In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

    Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. Add chopped almonds and chocolate to process for last couple of minutes of processing. Freeze until firm.

    Salted Caramel Sauce

    adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home, Ina Garten

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel salt

  • Mix 1/3 cup water and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful; the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture constantly at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. The cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify; don't worry. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in fleur de sel. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.
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  1. Oh my gosh, this looks fantastic. Is there anything better than homemade ice cream? Yeah! Homemade ice cream with a homemade sauce! This looks and sounds completely heavenly. An ice cream lover's dream.

  2. This looks & sounds insanely delicious!


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