7.23.2006

Sugar High Friday: Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream










Saturday's sundaes: Sara's on the left, mine on the right. I hate maraschino cherries.

A funny thing happened on the way to the ice cream maker: I used my crockpot for the first time ever.

Turn back to: Sara came over this weekend and willingly agreed to be my guinea pig taste-tester for this ice cream idea that's been bouncing around my head since the last time I pulled the Krups out earlier this month. I'd been wanting to do something with the half-bag of cappuccino chips remaining from the scones, and somehow I decided they needed to be put in ice cream.
From there: I think the name stuck in my head first. A caramel macchiato (you may recognize it if you've been to a Starbucks) is a delicious thing if you like some espresso with your sugar and cream. Macchiato apparently is some variant of Italian, meaning to mark, and traditionally means either an espresso with milk foam, or steamed milk marked by espresso poured over it. And here (or at least, I attempted to do that) the caramel is swirled through, effectively, if you will forgive the creative license, marking the ice cream. I didn't know this before i searched to see if the term was trademarked, I've always just rather liked the way the word rolls around one's tongue.
And so it follows: you simply cannot make a caramel macchiato without caramel. And then: possibly because of all the dulce de leche that has won itself a scoop of the ice cream world (I am looking at you, haagen-dasz), I thought more of a thick caramel than simply a caramel sauce. And that brought me back to: high school spanish classes, where we got a taste of culture in the form of a dulce de leche made by simmering a can of condensed milk.
So cooking caramel sauce in a can sounded great, until: I looked around and found several warnings about how actually it's not recommended as the can might explode and send caramel through three rooms of your house (call me paranoid, but I bet I'd find a way). So I looked around and found an alternative: heating the condensed milk in a double boiler for an hour and a half, stirring every five minutes, but that simply was
not going to happen.
And then:
in one single comment in a thread, someone noted that you could put it in a slow cooker.
Which, finally, brings us to the crockpot, and the point, if there is one, of this convoluted tale. It turns out to be that simple, which I never thought I'd use in conjunction with the word caramel. Open your condensed milk, pour it in a crockpot, set it on low, and leave it alone for six or so hours. (I had mine on low for six, and then I got tired and wanted to sleep so I turned it on high for twenty minutes to finish it off and that worked fine for me.) I would like to take the time to note that this is a brilliant idea if you have a removable insert for your slow cooker. It will still work if yours like mine is ancient enough to not be removed, but it's kind of obnoxious to clean. Nonetheless, this is surprisingly good, even excellent, lazy caramel if you're looking for a thickish rather than thin sauce.


CARAMEL MACCHIATO ICE CREAM

for the caramel sauce
2 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
for the ice cream
1 c whole milk
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 c cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 c cappuccino chips
~ 1 c caramel sauce

To make the caramel: pour the two cans of condensed milk into a slow cooker/crockpot. Cover and set on low for six to seven hours. You may wish to stir occasionally but there doesn't even seem to be much of a need for it. When the caramel is cooked to a consistency and color of your liking, remove to a bowl to cool. Refrigerate until needed.
For the ice cream: heat the milk in a saucepan over medium low heat until warmed through but not yet at a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well blended. Pour in a bit of the milk, whisking as you do so, to temper the mixture. Add the remainder of the milk and whisk well; pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the base mixture until thickened into a pale custard, not letting it boil, about ten minutes or so. Strain into a bowl or large measuring cup. When the custard has cooled, whisk in the cream and the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze it according to your directions. About two minutes or so before the ice cream is finished churning, add the cappuccino chips.
Have ready a container suitable for storing the ice cream in your freezer. Add about half of the ice cream from the maker (if your container is deep rather than wide, simply go in more layers) and spoon over it the caramel sauce. Add the remaining ice cream. Using a knife in wide strokes, swirl the caramel through the ice cream in long ribbons - you do not want the caramel to be fully mixed into the ice cream. Store remaining caramel in the refrigerator, it can be brought to room temperature or reheated in the microwave to serve with your ice cream as you wish.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ivonne said...

Fantastic post and I love the caramel macchiato ice cream. Loved reading about your preparation of the ice cream too.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Laura Rebecca said...

That is pure genius.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous sarah said...

yum.

can i get a double? ;)

thanks for playing! the roundup is done!

12:12 AM  

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