It is no secret that Mark and I are ice cream people- I'm beginning to think it's our love language.
We have a sweet weakness and we allow ourselves to indulge in a giant helping about once a week. When I asked Mark what he wanted for his birthday dessert, I had a feeling (and was secretly wishing) that he would request a homemade batch of ice cream. His only specifications were the following ingredients; caramel, nuts and chocolate, otherwise known as Mark's holy trinity of all sweets.
As soon as he gave me the official ice cream request, I knew exactly what I wanted to churn up in our trusty ice cream maker. Thanks to Katie, I was recently reminded that when boiled for a few hours, a can of sweetened condensed milk turns into dulce de leche ("candy of milk"), a smooth and creamy caramel sauce. Quick and easy? No. Worth the time and patience? Yes. I tweaked my vanilla ice cream recipe by omitting the sugar and vanilla, adding the Dulce de Leche for the flavor base accompanied by two simple mix-ins, per the Mister's request.
The end result was a salted caramel ice cream laced with rich dark chocolate chunks and toasty pecan pieces roasted to a nice happy place. The birthday boy was over the moon happy. Up until now, Nutella Gelato claimed the prize for best use of our ice cream maker thus far but as of May 5, Salted Dulce de Leche is officially wearing the crown. We won't be waiting for another birthday celebration to make this again.
Salted Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans + Dark Chocolate
1.5 cups dulce de leche (recipe below)
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate chunks
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
Sprinkle of sea salt
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine cream and milk and cook on medium-high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, remove from heat, and whisk in dulce de leche until combined. Let this mixture come to room temperature.
Churn ice cream mixture according to your ice cream maker's instructions. When the ice cream has become frozen and thick, mix in chocolate, nuts and salt. Ideally, let the ice cream harden a bit more in the freezer.
Serve with warm dulce de leche on top.
Dulce de Leche-
2 cans (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Remove the labels from the cans and poke two small vent holes in the top. Place cans in a heavy bottom sauce pan and fill with water until the water comes up about 3/4 up the cans. Turn the heat on medium-low and simmer for two hours. Add more water as necessary. The longer this simmers, the thicker it gets. For the ice cream, I kept mine slightly runny but not too thick. Let the cans cool before opening. The dulce de leche should be a nice caramel/tan color.
Then have a moment of silence.