First of all, it wasn’t my idea. We just had leftover egg yolks…and you know, it’s summertime.
Do you ever get tired of researching healthy ice cream recipes and seeing nothing but coconut milk, coconut milk, bananas, bananas, and more coconut milk? I mean, seriously? Enough on that, I already ranted.
In other news, Sucanat caramel is the stuff of legends and dreams. Just kidding–it’s cane juice, and cream, and maybe some salt but you get it, okay? Refined-sugar free, totally easy, and much healthier alternative to regular caramel. (to all you purists out there- I get it, sucanat is still “sugar”. That is true. But at least for me, this “sugar” doesn’t make me lethargic or guilty or gross. That is also true.)
So what else makes this ice cream super special? Well, it has eggs so it’s more of a traditional ice cream but the hassle is cut in half with my shortcut methods.
Let’s cut to the chase. You really just want to hear about the balsamic, don’t you? Don’t you? As far as I can tell, balsamic caramel pretty much only exists in the food world as a sauce. How boring. Luckily for me some lovely gelato makers in San Francisco decided to bring it to life in frozen form. And, also luckily for me, we stopped at their shop back in September when I was visiting family in California. I’m usually not the adventurous type when it comes to ice cream or gelato. I like chocolate. And all flavors with chocolate involved (except mint you sneaky sneaker). But that day I sampled the balsamic caramel gelato and it was so very very good.
So why am I just now getting around to recreating it? Well, as you may know, I try to keep it healthy around here, and until I discovered sucanat caramel I really didn’t have any healthi(er) way to make caramel. Yes, I know, date caramel has been around forevah, but I just…can’t get to that yet. So once I had found a way, the path was clear. From the streets of San Francisco to you,
Balsamic Caramel Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
1 c. sucanat
1.5 c. heavy cream
2 T. butter
2 t. salt
¾ c. raw milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 t. balsamic caramel
In a medium pot, heat the sucanat and cream together until melted. Bring to a boil and let thicken considerably. Whisk in salt and butter (it will boil up but just keep stirring). When thick enough to cover the back of your spoon, remove from the heat. Whisk in milk, vanilla, and balsamic. Let it cool about 5 minutes.
Place egg yolks in a large bowl, over a pot of just barely simmering water (I just threw some water in the pot I had used to make the caramel: less dishes-more happy), being careful to not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl (double boiler method). Whisk the yolks until they become a pale golden color, (around 4 min.) Remove from the heat.
Starting with just a little at a time (you can do spoonful’s or use a glass cup measure and drizzle slowly) add some of the caramel mix to the egg yolks and whisk constantly. The idea here is to bring both mixtures to the same temperature. Add the rest of the caramel mix to the yolks and stir. Pour it through a fine mesh strainer in to another bowl, and refrigerate the mix for about an hour or two to cool. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish with cacao nibs and ground black pepper (if desired).