Brown butter caramel ice cream with chocolate chips

Brown butter – chocolate chip ice cream

This is a story of redemption! This is a story of ice cream that lost its way, somewhere on the journey, but found it again to become glorious. (And was then eaten.) It started out with so much promise. A lovely brown butter caramel was made, and it was worked into a custard that thickened and didn’t curdle. Good custard!
Obedient custard! And then it sat in the fridge all day in a spacious bowl, getting nice and chilled, just like you hoped it would. But when you tried to put it in your little antiquated ice cream maker, it was all, “Whatever, I’m not going to freeze! That’s so totally uncool!” You tried a few times. You coaxed it, you tried to talk its language. To no avail. So, in despair, you set it aside. And it spent some time in the cold dark underworld we’ll call your freezer. Hobnobbing with the ne’er-do-well frozen peas, the reprobate frozen waffles. Chilling story! The next morning, faced with the harsh light of day, the ice cream was a mess. Weirdly icy in the middle, with a strange sugary coating on top. Well, we’ve all been there. We all know what it’s like the next morning. But you gave it what for! You worked it up good! And what you had before you, after a rigorous workout, was a creamy, slightly icy confection that you really needed to eat three bowls at a time.

So! If you have a regular functioning way to make ice cream, you don’t need to go through all this drama. You can just make the ice cream. I started by browning some butter; added the brown butter to some brown sugar; cooked till it was bubbly (but not petrified); made that into a custard, with the slight addition of a tablespoonful of tapioca flour. To thicken and preserve against curdling. You could easily leave this out or add the same amount of cornflour. I added chocolate chips, but I processed them first in my tiny food processor. This meant that you had some solidly chunky chocolate pieces, and some pieces of flaky chocolate “dust.” I think this was one of the absolute best things about this ice cream!! You could also just chop the chocolate chips with a big knife, and be sure to include all the little gravelly bits, if you don’t have a processor.

Here’s Blackalicious with The Fall and Rise of Elliot Brown

THE CUSTARD

3 T butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 T tapioca or corn flour
pinch salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1 T vanilla

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t seasalt

Warm the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat till it’s toasty and brown. (Ten minutes?) You’ll have brown solids on the bottom of the pan. Strain through a paper towel, collecting the brown liquidy part in a clean bowl.

Put the brown butter back into a saucepan with the sugar, and heat again at medium heat till the sugar is melted and boiling away. After about 1 minute of boiling, take it off the heat.

In a small bowl, combine the tapioca flour with a bit of the milk. Whisk to mix well. Pour this mixture into the rest of the milk, and pour it all into the sugar/butter combination. Whisk it all together until it’s well combined, and add the vanilla and the salt and cinnamon.

In the same bowl, whisk the eggs till they’re light and fluffy. In a slow stream, add the warm milk, whisking the whole time. Then pour the whole mix back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking the whole time, for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to let anything boil, or the eggs will curdle everything. After 10 minutes, it will just leave a light coating on the back of your spoon.

Pour it into a cool bowl, cover, put in the fridge, and leave for 5 hours or over night.

When you’re ready to freeze it…process 1 cup of good bittersweet chocolate chips for about a minute, till they’re mostly in tact, but they have some flaky dusty bits of chocolate all around them. Stir this into your custard, stir in the heavy cream, and then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I shook a bit of sea salt in before freezing as well!

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