Salty Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

adapted from A Little Bit of Everything

Makes 1 quart

Prep time: Well, this took me a good hour due to my caramel seizing. I think that with warm cream it will take 20-30 minutes

Freeze time: 10 minutes

Cost: $2.73

(milk: .26, cream cheese: .20, cream: 1.25, sugar: .12, chocolate chips: .90)

2 C whole milk

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) cream cheese, softened

1/2 tsp fine sea salt (reduce or omit if salty caramel isn't your thing)

1 1/4 C heavy cream

2 Tbsp light corn syrup

2/3 C sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 C chocolate chips, chopped so that some of big and some are small

To Prepare:

1. Mix 2 Tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl.

2. Whisk cream cheese and salt (if using) in a medium bowl (this is the bowl where all your ice cream will end up so make sure it's big enough.

3. Put cream in a small pot to warm. You're going to bring it to just under a simmer. Have your 2 Tbsp corn syrup ready to put into the cream just before you pour the cream on the sugar.

4. Fill a bowl with ice if you're going to do the ice bath thing.

To make ice cream:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, spread an even layer of sugar over the bottom of the pan. Now heat it WITHOUT STIRRING until there is a full layer of melted sugar on the bottom, but still some white unmelted sugar on top. When the edges/bottom layer start to turn golden, gently pull the melted golden sugar towards the unmelted sugar with a heatproof spatula. In other words, nudge the sugar around until it's all melted and amber (dark goldeny orange) in color--like a penny.

2. As you're waiting for that bottom layer of sugar to melt, be sure your cream is heating up and go ahead and add the corn syrup to it. Give it a stir.

3. When the sugar is melted and golden, remove it from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream mixture. It may still seize a bit and it may bubble up a bit, but it should come together into a beautiful caramel. If there do happen to be chunks that are like hard (or soft) candy, just stir them around on medium low heat until they melt and incorporate into the mixture.

4. Return to heat.

5. Whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture.

7. Bring back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until slightly thickened (Note: If you've got a low-end ice cream maker like I do, you may just want to stir this in until thoroughly incorporated and not give it the 2 minutes in an effort to keep it a little less thick so that your ice cream maker can handle it.)

8. Remove from heat. Pour this into your cream cheese mixture (whisking as you do this if you can; borrow an arm if you've got an extra around). Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract and whisk.

9. Place in ice bath if you want your ice cream now. Otherwise, cover it and put it in your fridge until you do want it.

10. Freeze in and ice cream maker according to manufacturuer's instructions.

11. Add chocolate chunks at end of freezing time.

12. Eat up. It's really good.

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: