Midway through October, my mom and I decided to do the most logical thing possible…we bought an ice cream maker. We had been holding on to one that was 10 years old and was a LOT of work to manuever and we weren’t using it at all. So we upgraded to this snazzy Cuisinart one ($50 and totally worth it).
Living in LA means you really can eat ice cream all year long. And we have taken this to heart. Our first homemade ice cream of the season happened this past weekend (yes, the first weekend in October) and it was to die for.
This Caramel Chocolate Nut Ice Cream melts in your mouth. You can serve it on it’s own or on top of a sugar cone (my personal favorite). It is so rich with flavor and truly one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. Homemade ice cream is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before, creamier, richer, just better.
For storage, we purchased pint and quart containers from Smart & Final and put our ice cream in them with a seal of wax paper and a lid. They make great hostess gifts (who doesn’t like homemade ice cream?).
Caramel Chocolate Nut Ice Cream
Makes 2 Quarts
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 7 ounces of best-quality dark chocolate, diced
- Place 1/2 cup water and the sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, and cook over low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the sugar turns into a warm mahogany or caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally so the caramel cooks evenly.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel is very hot, and the mixture will bubble up violently, then slidify. Don’t worry. Return it to low heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla. Pour into a container and refrigerate until very cold.
- Roast the pecans in a toaster oven (or regular oven) for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, until crisp. Cool, chop, mix with the diced chocolate, and store in freezer until ready to use.
- Freeze the caramel mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (It may take several batches). When it is frozen, add cold chopped pecans and chocolate and mix in completely. Transfer to quart containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Parties