Sunday, September 22, 2013

Salted Caramel Bacon Ice Cream

salted caramel bacon ice cream
Today was Battle: Bacon for our Homebuilder's Group (young married couples and families with minor children) at church. Everyone was to bring a bacon dish(es) for a fellowship dinner/food competition. I wanted to be as creative as possible so I decided to make a caramel ice cream and use bacon instead of nuts (kind of a twist on a maple nut or butter pecan). I got on Pinterest to see if anyone else had done something similar and found several recipe ideas. I wandered through each of the recipes and picked out my favorite ideas. It turned out great and even won best overall bacon dish. It combines a couple of opposites, sweet'n'salty along with smooth'n'crunchy, and it is also a VERY decadent dish so you can only handle about 1/2 cup before the richness overtakes you.
Ice Cream Base
+ 1.5 cups heavy cream
+ 1.5 cups half and half
+ 3/4 cup sugar
Candied Bacon - I got this recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon
+ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
+ 1 lb bacon, cooked and roughly crumbled/chopped
+ 1/4 cup sugar
+ 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Salted Caramel Sauce - I played with this recipe from Cooking Channel  
+ 1/2 cup white sugar
+ 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
+ 1/4 cup water
+ 3/4 cup heavy cream
+ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
+ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tools & Such [that you may not have on hand]
+ 1.5 qt ice cream maker
+ Parchment paper

  1. Start with your candied bacon. Place the butter in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat and melt.
  2. Add the bacon and stir. Sprinkle both sugars over the bacon and continuously stir until the sugar melts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. In a single layer, pour the bacon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside to cool.
  4. Next, move on to the salted caramel sauce. 
  5. In the same medium saucepan (don't clean it after making the candied bacon as it will add to the flavor of the sauce), combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. Boil 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Remove the sugar from the heat and SLOWLY whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool. [Side note: the salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, just reheat before serving.]
  7. Now, we can make the ice cream. Whisk all ice cream base ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Run according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  8. When the machine is finished, swirl 3/4 of the caramel and 3/4 of the candied bacon into it. Transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze a minimum of 2-3 hours. Keep the extra caramel and bacon in individual lidded tupperware dishes in the fridge and use as toppings when you serve the ice cream.

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