Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream

Burnt%2Bsugar%2Bespresso%2Bice%2Bcream Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream

David Lebovitz, I adore you. You have made this house a happier place.

I know – minus 20 temperatures shouldn’t inspire ice cream making. But think about it: during a deep freeze, your ice cream machine insert won’t take up precious freezer space if you just stick it outside. And if you’re making the real, custard-base stuff, you won’t need to fiddle with a bowl of ice to cool it down – you can just stick it outside in the snow and it will chill in no time. My motivation to eat ice cream is rarely to cool off, anyway.

Besides, I had to get rid of the cream before going on a bit of a veggie bender in an attempt to wean myself off of all things buttery/sugary/creamy, at least for a little while. I signed up for a gym membership. I dug my gym bag out of the basement and dusted it off. I found my earphones and running shoes and went and bought a good supply of cheap Tshirts to sweat in. This has all taken far longer than it should have. I think it’s called procrastinating.

I’ll tell you all about that soon. Sue is arriving first thing in the morning for a 3 day Beanapalooza, in which we will attempt to make and photograph the recipes in the second half of the book, and I will do my best to not want to change everything. If you live within a 5km radius, you will likely receive leftovers on your doorstep. They will surely contain beans, even if they look like they couldn’t possibly. (Think chocolate cupcakes and gingersnaps.)

Meanwhile, have some ice cream. I read it in the book that currently occupies the space beside my bed – the Sweet Life in Paris. (If I can’t go, I can at least live vicariously through David.) D calls it caramel espresso ice cream, and though I cringe to second guess his infinite dessert wisdom, I do think burnt sugar better describes both method and taste – more bite, more character than straight-up caramel. Espresso makes a perfect pairing, without making it taste like coffee ice cream. (And I say that as one who loves coffee ice cream.) This is ice cream for grown-ups.

Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream

adapted for Canadian midwinter from the Sweet Life in Paris, by David Lebovitz

1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk (2% would probably work fine)
pinch of good salt
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup strong brewed espresso (what David says), or a heaping teaspoon of instant espresso dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water (what I did)

Put the sugar into a heavy duty pot (I used my round Le Creuset) and set it over medium-high heat. Let it sit until it starts to melt and liquefy in spots. (This will depend on your stovetop.) Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with something heatproof, until it melts completely, turns deep golden and just barely begins to smoke. If you get nervous, don’t even wait for the smoking part.

Carefully (it will steam) pour in the cream and stir – the melted sugar will seize up and harden – don’t worry about it. Stir to dissolve the sugar caramel. Stir in the milk and salt.

Beat the egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl. Slowly pour some of the hot caramel into the yolks, stirring briskly, then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the caramel in the pot. Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – if you draw your finger through, it should leave a trail.

Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. (I tend to skip this step, but it takes about 20 seconds and is well worth getting any rogue bits of cooked egg out of your custard.) Put the bowl out into a snowdrift, or set it on a bowl of ice, or slide it into the fridge (put a piece of parchment or plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin forming), and cool until well chilled.

Stir in the espresso and freeze in your ice cream machine. Call me and I’ll come share it with you.

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February 04 2011 11:07 pm | dessert

14 Responses to “Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream”

  1. Tweets that mention Burnt Sugar & Espresso Ice Cream | dinner with Julie -- Topsy.com on 04 Feb 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Van Rosendaal, Julie Van Rosendaal. Julie Van Rosendaal said: Thanks @davidlebovitz for making my day. W. ice cream. I realize it's midwinter-who eats ice cream to cool down anyway? http://bit.ly/hCHy7y [...]

  2. sharon on 05 Feb 2011 at 12:15 am #

    Harking back to something you once did with leftover coffee I’m thinking I can cut corners and freeze a Second Cup Caramel Macciatto topped with whipped Cream and caramel drizzles. Like you I’m giving up creamy/sugary/buttery/maple syrupy things for awhile. Maybe longer.

    Hope you’ll share your workout experience here.

  3. Natalie (ga) on 05 Feb 2011 at 8:07 am #

    wish I lived closer to receive those bean left- overs – love it! Can’t wait for your cookbook. I am already talking it up to friends :). I’ve made the bean brownies twice. I think I like them even better the next day after they have sat in the fridge for a day. Mine got a slight crunchy chocolate layer on the top – yum.

  4. Rachel on 05 Feb 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I don’t understand – caramel is burnt sugar, is it not? Looks fabulous. I looove caramel ice cream and have tried a few different recipes. The most recent was a Pierre Hermé one, but I left the custard to cool in the sink in an ice bath and when I came back someone had run the tap into it! I had tasted a smidgeon of the warm custard beforehand…it was going to be good :(

  5. JulieVR on 05 Feb 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Rachel – yes, you’re right! Caramel is melted sugar, not necessarily burnt though… you can make it in the same way (heating dry sugar), or help it along with water or syrup, but generally you heat it until it’s golden and don’t always go so far as to have it dark and smoking, as David directs. Regular caramel tends to have a smoother flavour – like milk chocolate vs dark!

  6. eprairiegrrl on 05 Feb 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Could I make this with the far less fancy Donvier ice cream thingy that you freeze in the freezer?

  7. Sharlene on 05 Feb 2011 at 11:07 am #

    This does sound heavenly! I’ve tried David’s ice cream recipes before but not this exact one. My ice cream maker is getting turned on as I type!

  8. Kyle on 05 Feb 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Just made this after seeing it on twitter. Was worried it was too thick and eggy but after freezing andixing it looks and tastes great!

  9. Elaine on 05 Feb 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I have already made grand plans to make ice cream this weekend and no, it did not occur to me until reading this just now that I could have stuck my ice cream maker in the four-foot snow drifts outside my back door.

    That sure would have been easier than cleaning out the freezer. Damn, but you’re a smarty. And burnt sugar + espresso sounds might tasty.

  10. Stay-At-Home-Chef on 06 Feb 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I am a firm believer in ice cream consumption all year round…even in colder weather! This recipe looks worth the calories (and procrastination!)

  11. Lindsay on 08 Feb 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    WHERE IS THE NUTELLA ICE CREAM RECIPE?! I am a big lover of ice cream, so naturally I looked at this post. Then I saw the recipes below it. Where is the nutella ice cream recipe?? I would give my left kidney for a bite of that!

  12. JulieVR on 08 Feb 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Sorry, I don’t know what happened to the link! You can find the recipe here! http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/07/14/nutella-ice-cream-aka-frozen-nutella-mousse/

  13. Lindsay on 09 Feb 2011 at 9:42 am #

    THANK YOU so much Julie!!

  14. Stephanie on 16 Feb 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Haha, I hear you! I took The Perfect Scoop out from the library a little while ago, and even as the temperatures hit -20 here in Edmonton, I couldn’t stop making ice cream. I’ve mostly been sticking to his Philadelphia-style ice creams since no one at my house seems to be able to wait long enough for the custard-based ones to cool, but this looks too good to pass up. Thanks so much for sharing!

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