Never have I been more excited about the release of an ice cream flavor. Rumor has had it for months that Coconut Bliss, already my favorite brand of amazing dairy-free coconut milk ice cream, was going to be introducing a salted caramel flavor. Glory hallelujah! Caramel has always been my greatest dessert weakness, and salted caramel was an ascension to an entirely new plane of buttery sweet joy. So when I finally got to try it last week – my heart sank just a little.
Why? Because CHOCOLATE.
I have nothing against chocolate, mind you – even though I’m not a huge chocoholic I still enjoy it periodically. But I like my caramel straight up, unadulterated, save for creamy flavor companions. . Chocolate WITH caramel makes it a different thing altogether. And this new salted caramel coconut milk ice cream was loaded with chocolate, too. I realize that this combination has legions of fans, and the Coconut Bliss version is certainly still good (like all their flavors), so more power to them, but for me, just not the holy grail about which I had been fantasizing.
By all means, if you like chocolate and caramel, you’ll rave about Luna and Larry and their Coconut Bliss. But for those who, like me, prefer their salted caramel unbesmirched, I took matters into my own Kitchen AId attachment and whipped up this.
SALTED CARAMEL COCONUT MILK ICE CREAM
CARAMEL (For ribbon and topping)
1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (organic grade B if possible)
1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Note: this must be cooled completely before you make the ice cream, so plan ahead – and try not to eat too much of it while you wait. In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, palm sugar, and maple syrup and arrowroot powder. Bring briefly to a boil, reduce heat to medium and then simmer, stirring frequently but not necessarily continuously, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk in the coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Pour into a in a glass container and let cool in refrigerator (unless you want to serve it warm over some ice cream you already have, in which case, just let it sit for about another 15 minutes and then by all means, go for it. If you’re saving it, note that the sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.
You’ll be reserving 1/4 cup to be mixed directly into the ice cream base, another 1/2 cup (or a tad more, as desired) to top it with when serving, and the rest gets poured into the final few turns of the churn as a ribbon.
ICE CREAM BASE
4 egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup (as per above)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup of caramel sauce above.
Whisk egg yolks together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat water in a small saucepan and set a metal bowl on top (or just use a double boiler set if you’re so equipped); make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add coconut milk and whisk until smooth as it heats up (heat to hot but not boiling). Once it’s hot, add about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to the egg yolks and whisk vigorously, then add another 1/4 cup or two, whisking to incorporate the coconut milk thoroughly each time. The slow introduction of the milk (the technique known as tempering) is to prevent the eggs from overcooking or scrambling.
Once you’ve transferred about half the coconut milk into the egg mix, pour it all back into the metal bowl and whisk continuously for another 5-10 minutes, until custard starts to thicken. It won’t be as thick as, say, a pudding, but you’ll definitely notice it gradually becoming more substantial.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, palm sugar, syrup, and salt, then finally stir in just about 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce, incorporating it completely. Transfer to the fridge and let it cool before you add it to your ice cream maker; maybe an hour or so. From there, you’re following whatever the manufacturer’s instructions on your home machine advise to get the ice cream going.
Once the ice cream is almost done churning, slow it down to the lowest setting and pour the reserved caramel sauce in gradually, aiming for a ribbon effect. You can also layer the caramel into it a little bit more as you spoon it into the freezer-safe container of your choice to harden up more. Serve topped with the remaining sauce – and even a few kosher salt crystals, if you dare.
— posted by Anne