After being sick for 2 weeks I’m broke as hell but my cooking addiction still demands to be fed. What do? Raid my my pantry to come up with ideas that don’t need me to buy anything or use expensive ingredients. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always frugal when it comes to choosing ingredients and I don’t always have the price of something in mind when I’m fixated on making a certain recipe. I want to get back in the habit of using what I already have, which has the added benefit of making more space in the pantry. I’m even making a virtual list of everything in my cupboard so that when I’m writing my shopping list I can see at a glance what I already have. I’m glad this happened because otherwise I might have never tried to make this ice-cream and that would have been a sad, sad thing.
Have you heard of praline? Caramel smashed into lovely little pieces, used to add crunch and sweetness to desserts. When it’s mixed into ice-cream some of it stays crunchy but over time pieces dissolve to create little pockets of caramel sauce. It makes self-saucing ice-cream! This praline is salty as well which makes it best friends with the almond ice-cream. I never used to give almond a second thought but lately I’m obsessed. This ice-cream is so good it makes people crazy. It makes your sister scream “I hate you! Why did you do this to me?!” through a mouthful of ice-cream and it makes you use every spoon in the house because every time you spoon some out of the container you swear it’s going to be the last one so you put the spoon in the dishwasher but guess where you are 5 minutes later.
Making caramel is a bit scary at first but you just need to be vigilant and careful, boiling sugar be hot! It’s recommended that you keep a bowl of iced water nearby in case you burn yourself. Even if you take it off the heat a little early you will still get delicious caramel, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Preparation is the key, have the baking tray prepared close by and measure out your sea salt ahead of time. I only have sea salt flakes so I crushed some in a mortar and pestle until I had 3/4 tsp.
Almond Ice-cream with Salted Caramel Praline
Salted Caramel Praline:
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
Spread the sugar in an even layer in a medium saucepan, line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking paper sprayed lightly with oil.
Heat the sugar on medium heat until the edges begin to melt, use a heatproof spatula to move the melted sugar from the edges towards the center until all of the sugar is dissolved.
Continue stirring until the caramel darkens and starts to smoke slightly (it may smell like it’s about to burn, don’t panic!).
Sprinkle in the sea salt and without stirring pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet, tilt the sheet steeply in order to spread the caramel as thinly as possible.
Set aside to harden and cool completely.
Break into small pieces and place in a ziplock bag, bash with a rolling pin until the praline is in pea sized pieces.
2 cups whole almonds
2 cups milk
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornflour
1 1/4 cups thickened cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp glucose syrup
3 tbsp cream cheese
1/8 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 175 C, spread the almonds evenly on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes mixing halfway through to ensure even toasting.
When the almonds are cool, chop finely.
In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour to make a smooth slurry, set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar and 1 cup of the toasted almonds.
Over medium heat stir the mixture until it becomes warm and the sugar dissolves, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
While the milk mixture is resting, whisk the cream cheese and salt together in a bowl large enough to hold the finished mixture.
Strain out the almonds and return the mixture to the saucepan, add in the glucose syrup and bring to a boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflour slurry, return to the heat and stir with a heatproof spatula for 1 minute until the mixture thickens.
Pour into the prepared bowl and whisk until the cream cheese is completely incorporated.
Cover with cling film, pressing it down on to the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin forming.
Chill overnight then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
As soon as the ice-cream has finished churning mix in the praline and the remaining 1 cup of toasted almonds.
Transfer to a 1L capacity container and freeze for 4 hours before eating.