Caramel. Caramel, caramel, caramel, caramel. I love caramel more than life itself. If you can tell me who invented this thing and I will devote my life to admiring them. Yes, that much. Since I’ve discovered how EASY is to make caramel sauce, I like to pour it on everything. It has become a huge problem, its starting to disturb the neighbors… Any dessert will benefit from a shot of caramel sauce. Fruit. Cake. Tart. ICE CREAM. Crepes.  Hands. Hair. Dress.

Oops.

Is no secret that Ice Cream is my faaaavorite thing to make and eat (next to caramel?). Specially when it comes to unusual flavors or ice cream. I’m a sucker for all weird and, for a lot of people, gross flavors. So of course, when I read about Popcorn Ice Cream by the fabulous Almost Bourdain I knew I would make it the next chance I got. Well, the chance is here! Hello New Year’s Eve dessert! Well, part of it, I will show you tomorrow the whole thing, but I thought the ice cream deserved a post all for itself. This Ice cream is as good as it sounds, and if it doesn’t sound good to you, call me and I’ll make you some :D you’ll be a convert too.

 

When my family saw I was making dessert, they all came to watch, excited. “Oh cool, you’re making popcorn for us to eat while we watch you!” they joked. Needless to say, when they saw me pour 4 cups of sugared cream and milk over it, I lost my audience and probably (though, temporarily) their faith in me. But I carried on ’till the end! And by end I mean, the leftover soggy, mushy popcorn. I ate it. All. With a spoon. Does that make me naughty? I loved every single part of it. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away and I’m glad I didn’t.

Mmm…can you say creamy? I mean CREAMY. It could have used being a little less creamy actually. But I don’t mind ;). Also, I didn’t used an ice cream machine but a much easier method. After the mixture was ready, I poured it in the metal (or glass) bowl of the stand mixer and stuck it in the freezer. When the edges of the mixture started to freeze, I would pull it back and place it on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment and give it a good beating, and then stuck it back in the freezer. This was the best method I’ve tried so far, is so easy and produces a texture really similar to store bought ice cream but faaar better.

Also, while you’re assembling the ice cream for the photo shoot, don’t miss a chance to do this…

Best thing ever. Also, don’t miss a chance to do this either…

I know. I might have overreacted just a liiiiiittle bit (: But I have no willpower around Sour Cream Brown Sugar Chocolate Ganache. Though, I do admit it’s better with just the salted butter caramel sauce ;) But I trust you to make both and use your own criteria! Or eat it on its own, it’s subtly sublime and delicate, creamy, salty, buttery and super creative. Watch everybody’s eyes light up as they taste this luscious ice cream and wonder what’s that familiar flavor lingering around…and then you reveal the truth. Popcorn. Heaven.

 

Popcorn Ice Cream

Recipe adapted from Almost Bourdain

(I doubled this)

1 cup full-fat milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup caster sugar (less if you don’t have a sweet tooth)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup prepared buttered popcorn (I will use more next time)

Heat the milk, cream, popcorn and half of the sugar in a saucepan until it’s just below the boiling point and starts to bubble. Remove and sit for 30 minutes until the popcorn has thoroughly infused its flavour into in the cream mixture.

Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.

Whisk together the other half of the sugar, vanilla and egg in a bowl to a ribbon stage. Still whisking, pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture and pour this back into the cleaned-out pan and cook till a velvety custard. When it’s thickened, take it off the heat.

Pour into a bowl and let it cool. Churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with salted butter caramel sauce (recipe below), or sour cream chocolate ganache ;)

 

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce Recipe
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet life of Paris, via Almost Bourdain
Makes about 2 cups

2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups  heavy cream
3 tbsp  salted butter
1/4 tsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt (or to taste)

Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal Dutch oven or casserole, at least 6 quarts (6 L). Set over moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy.

Using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, begin gently stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center and delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going; it will melt completely as it turns amber.

Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown and starts to smoke. (Don’t worry about any large chunks of caramel.) The darker you can cook the sugar without burning it, the better the final sauce will taste. It’s ready when it’s the colour of a well-worn centime, or penny, and will smell a bit smoky. Remove from heat and quickly stir in about a quarter of the cream. The mixture will bubble up furiously, so you may wish to wear an oven mitt over your stirring hand. Continued to whisk in the cream, stirring as you go to make sure it’s smooth. Stir in the butter and salt. Serve warm.

 

Finally, how about some jazz? This little girl is amazing, she was just 11 years old in this video, a concert in paris! Her voice is out of this world and this song is gorgeous.

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