This week's TWD was chosen by Becky of Project Domestication: burnt sugar ice cream. I have to thank Becky for this selection for a number of reasons. First, the recipe was relatively uncomplicated and I really needed that this week. I'm not sure I could have handled anything with lots of components and tricky steps - I've been off my game for a few days and am still trying to find my mojo and get back into the swing of things. Aside from this ice cream, I haven't baked in 4 or 5 days, which may not seem like much, but around here it's an eternity! Also, I know I promised photos from Shane's first marathon and a race report and I'm still going to deliver, it's just going to be a few days later than I'd originally hoped. Stay tuned!
Becky's ice cream selection was also very timely as the month of May seems to have brought some July weather to Rhode Island along with it. We've had a few hot and humid days and what could be better on a day like that than ice cream? The only downside? We haven't turned our a/c on so the house has been fairly warm, which made photographing this ice cream difficult. By the time I scooped it into the bowl and got it set up for its photo, it was soupy and not terribly attractive (see, for example, the second and fourth photos of the post). I kept popping it back in the freezer, but I'm impatient so never really left it in there long enough to get completely hard again.
A few months ago I made the caramel ice cream from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home and while it was quite good, I didn't love the flavor enough to eat it by itself - it was definitely more of an accompaniment to other desserts. Dorie's recipe included very similar ingredients, the main difference being that Thomas Keller's recipe is far richer - a higher cream to milk ratio and more egg yolks. I was hoping Shane would help me eat the ice cream this week but I only made 1/2 batch so there wouldn't be as much and I also added M&M's to the recipe - chocolate in a recipe greatly increases the chances that Shane will at least try it! I also used half and half in place of some of the cream and milk and then used extra 1% milk to get the ratio of cream to milk correct. As Dorie warned, my caramel did seize when I added the milk and cream, but it smoothed out with a little heat and some diligent stirring. I strained the custard before adding the vanilla just in case any bits of hard caramel remained. Finally, I froze the M&M's for a few hours before folding them into the ice cream (thanks to a tip here) in an attempt to keep them from bleeding (for the record, they still bled, but not as much as they do when I don't freeze them).
I tried to make ice cream sandwiches with some of the fabulous chocolate cookies Margot sent me, but the ice cream kept melting so I had to stick with eating it out of a bowl :) The verdict? Shane and I both liked the ice cream, but it's probably not a recipe I'd make over and over again. It's essentially the same verdict I reached on Thomas Keller's version. I think perhaps we're just not big enough fans of caramel to appreciate the flavor. That said, just about all of the TWD folks who made this one and posted on the P&Q's couldn't say enough good things about this ice cream, so don't let me deter you from giving it a shot! Thanks again to Becky for hosting this week! You can find the recipe for the ice cream on her blog or on page 432 of Dorie's book.