Tuesdays with Dorie: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

May 4, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 37 Comments

burnt sugar ice cream

I suppose because I work in the pastry biz, I’m often put on the spot about my favorite desserts.  If I’m asked to name my favorite to eat, that’s such a tough question…often the answer that comes to mind is just the last thing I’ve tried!  But if I have to name my favorite to make, that’s easy…ice cream!  I love the way one simple base recipe can be switched up a million different ways.  I love tempering the eggs and watching as they magically thicken the custard (geeky, right?).  And I especially love that first taste of soft-serve right out of the machine!  Yeah, so, needless to say, Becky’s pick of Burnt Sugar Ice Cream for TWD made me pretty jazzed up.

What is “burnt sugar?”  It’s caramel taken half a step further…deep dark and just smoking.  Don’t be afraid to take it to this stage for the best flavor.  But do be prepared to move fast with your milk and cream when you reach it, or instead of getting the complex sweetness with a bitter edge that you are after, you will wind up with something that is just plain burned (and a pot that’s hard to clean!).  Stand back when you add the milk and cream to the hot caramel…it will bubble and spit (you can minimize that by heating the liquids first), but the fury dies down quickly. 

If you’ve given up on making ice cream at home because it turns rock hard as it sits in the freezer, give this one a shot.  Because of the caramel, it stays luxuriously soft, creamy and easy to scoop.  And the taste– oh momma!  It’s perfect in an affogato, prefect for leftover DdL cookie sandwiches and perfect on its own, with just a sprinkling of pink salt.

burnt sugar ice cream

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or read Project Domestication.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. Sorry, just drooled in it. I’ll have to finish it now.

  2. Pink salt? Is that what it needed to cut the richness? Do you use it on other ice cream flavors also? I must investigate further…

    Yours is always the first site I come to on Tuesdays because I always learn something and enjoy your pictures.

    • I brought a big bag of Murray River pink salt home when we moved back from Australia. I use it as a finishing salt for lots of stuff…nice, soft flakes. Thought I’d sprinkle a little on top of my ice cream, b/c I love salted caramel, but husband won’t touch it. Didn’t want to “contaminate” the whole batch for him by adding extra salt to the base! 🙂

  3. The photo got me but after you said it doesn’t get rock hard, I was really sold. Will have to try this.

  4. Love your tips. I tried to leave that caramel go but I chickened out as I was afraid I would not catch it in time and it would be really really burnt. I will get a little braver next time. Have to say, it was plenty dangerous and great the amount I did caramelize it…and do I really want it to be any greater and therefore more tempting than it already is??? Something to ponder. Yours looks absolutely wonderful!

  5. True… I often forget ice cream when asked my favorite, and it only takes such an amazing flavor to remind me! This was a great challenge, I’m sure if only because it was ice cream, or because of it’s amazing taste… like a crème brûlée dessert rolled up in a frozen treat! Well done!

  6. Yum, looks cool, silky and refreshing. Yes affagato, just had some at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. I had the creme brulee.

  7. the sprinkle of pink salt sounds perfect! I have to go with ice cream and cookies as my favorite treats

  8. That first photo nearly made me faint.

  9. Oh, that is very pretty indeed. This would be superb in affogato!

  10. the first pic looks like artisan gelato at the coffeeshop near me. yum!

  11. Man. Custard is in the fridge, cant wait to make the ice cream. Looks perfect Steph!

  12. Lovely! 🙂

  13. I love the way the caramel keeps the ice cream soft. Great looking burnt sugar ice cream!

  14. I had to look up what an affogato is, and it turns out it’s exactly what I was already hoping to do with the rest of my ice cream! My husband mentioned that he thought the ice cream would be great with espresso – I think because of the tinge of bitterness, and that got me thinking about using the espresso as a topping. Although it would have to be a mid-morning snack, or I wouldn’t be able to sleep until the next day!

  15. I love the first picture–so creamy and delicious looking! I may have to sprinkle some of my fancy Japanese salt on what’s left to try that:)

  16. The texture of your ice cream is absolutely perfection! Mine melted pretty quickly, especially when combined with a hot, humid day so it was tricky to photograph. I didn’t love this ice cream but I would definitely include ice cream in general among my favorite desserts!

  17. I love how yours looks like gelato in that canister! Yum!

  18. Oh, man! Look at that creamy decadence!

  19. Wow, your ice cream looks like Italian gelato – so nice and creamy! I love your ice cream container too! Do you have your own ice cream shop?? =)
    I thought maybe I didn’t chill my custard long enough and that’s why the ice cream was so soft – thanks for informing me otherwise!
    I think I’m getting used to tempering the eggs too so if that’s geeky, then that’s me!

  20. affogato — a great suggestion Steph! i couldn’t get enough of this delicious ice cream.

  21. I chickened out, and my caramel was a light caramel color. Still, it tasted fabulous!

  22. Oh, OK, that’s why it melted so quickly.

    Yours looks wonderful… so much potential goodness there.

  23. Mmmm wow this burnt sugar ice cream looks delicious, it looks so creamy and mmm! I really want to try making ice cream it looks so much fun :).

  24. Affagato? Oh, man. I am so going to try that! Loved this ice cream 🙂

  25. wow, your ice cream looks so gorgeous and creamy! I love your photos! This really was spectacular!

  26. Your pictures look gorgeous!

  27. LOVE ice cream. so why don’t I make it more often. IDK!!

    But as beautiful as yours looks it definitely motivates me to make it more often. This one very more often.

  28. Beautiful! I love Murray River Pink Salt. I made my ice cream salted, but used Balinese Pyrimid Salt this time. Really good.

  29. Sounds and looks amazing, especially with that hint of salt!

  30. THIS LOOOKS SOOOOO GOOOOOOD! love your blog!!!!!!!


  31. It’s recipes like this that make me miss TWD. Yum!

  32. Beautiful! I bought a machine because of this recipe – and LOVE the soft serve texture straight out of the machine. I love your stainless container and scoop – so “vintage” and wonderful! Creamy, delicious looking ice cream – bravo!

  33. This is one of my most favorite ice cream recipes too. Yours turned out so great! I must try pink salt on top next time I make it.

    Thanks so much for baking along with me. I’ve had such a fun time with Tuesdays with Dorie.

  34. Your ice cream looks so lusciously creamy!

  35. Great Post, Steph. Late visiting…doing a little research for a class, new job and all. :’) anyway, I knew you would blow this out of the water so I came here first. hehe
    Looks luscious. Thinking about combining it with a French Apple Tart. I haven’t made this ice cream but have no problemo with burnt sugar. Any thoughts?

    • This ice cream was terrific! Would be great with apple dessert of any kind!

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