I love ice cream. Hubby loves ice cream. Kids love ice cream. Hmm, sensing a pattern here? When I see an ice cream recipe I almost always save it. When I found this one, I wasn’t actually looking for an ice cream recipe, but there it was in all of its gloriousness. By the way, I wasn’t really sure if “gloriousness” was a word, but there’s no red dotted line under it in my blogger editor, so I guess it’s a winner. ;)
I’ve mentioned before that I give my library card a pretty good workout. One day while browsing through the cookbook section, I came upon Ina Garten’s book Barefoot Contessa Parties. I’ve already made some cookies from this book, and have several other pages earmarked. The food stylist in this book really knows their stuff, they had me drooling all over the pages.
This is an uber dangerous ice cream (dang uber’s not a word? Blogger’s red dotted line says it’s not. HA! it also says that “Blogger’s” is not a word! LMAO). Ok sorry. :-p Anyway, as I was saying, this is an uber dangerous ice cream. The flavor if miraculous, I would ask it to marry me if I weren’t already spoken for. In fact, I don’t know if I will ever make it again unless I omit the nuts so that my nut-phobic family will help me eat it! So, so, so yummy nummy. (Nummy isn’t a word either?)
You will love it. I swear.
Caramel Chocolate Nut Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups pecan halves (10 ounces)
6-7 ounces best quality sweet chocolate, diced (see note at end)
Place 1/2 cup water and the sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, and cook over low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the sugar turns a warm mahogany or caramel color, 3-5 minutes. Do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally so the caramel cooks evenly.
Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel is very hot, and the mixture will bubble up violently, then solidify. Don’t worry.
Return it to low heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel dissolves, 5-7 minutes. Add the vanilla. Pour into a container and refrigerate until very cold.
[Amanda note] Something that is not suggested in the recipe is to strain the mixture first. Because the caramel solidifies and then you melt it down again, I definitely recommend this step. See that little bit of hard caramel I strained out? That could have broken a tooth in ice cream!
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roast the pecans on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Cool, chop, mix with the diced chocolate, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Freeze the caramel mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (It may take several batches). When it is frozen, add the cold chopped pecans and chocolate and mix in completely. Transfer to quart containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Note: Ina suggested Lindt Lindor Truffles (2 3.5 oz pkgs) because they don’t freeze hard. She says that Lindt Swiss milk chocolate or any good milk chocolate is fine too.
Well, I figured no problem, my grocer always has Lindor Truffles. Nope. None. Nada. So instead I used Hershey’s Bliss Milk Chocolate Meltaways and they worked beautifully.