I'm not gonna lie, I just cried over three failed batches of Sea Salted Caramel sauce. It was supposed to go on a chocolate bourbon cake I made for tonight. I stood there at the stove and cried like a four year old. Caramel sauce is so touchy! And I cry at pretty much everything, so we don't play well together.
I just kept whisking and crying and cursing the lumpy gooey mess. The thoughts going thru my mind were all negative, of course. I bet so-and-so doesn't burn HER caramel... Its only four ingredients, how did you mess this up?... Good luck writing about food if you can't even make caramel... Good job, your cake now sucks...
As I whisked and wiped my tears, the sauce started to come together again! How the heck did that happen? I wish I knew in high school that I was going to love cooking, I would have paid more attention in chemistry class. It was a bit lumpy, but I strained it through a fine mesh sieve, and it was perfect! Thank goodness. The cake will survive.
Sometimes things take a bunch of attempts to get right. More often than not, I end up throwing things on the floor, having a temper tantrum like a baby, and giving up. This usually happens with things like hollandaise sauce, marshmallows, and caramel. I tend to go back to them, to try again - but it takes a few days…if not longer.
In these times of need, I turn to ice cream. More specifically, homemade ice cream, to make myself feel better about my kitchen fail. Ice cream always seems to turn out right, and this recipe is a fail safe.
I had seen a few recipes about red bean ice cream (which I have yet to try!), and that had me thinking about a classic New England candy - Boston Baked Beans. I haven't ever seen a Boston Baked Bean ice cream, which surprises me considering every candy store in New England carries the little red gems. They have always been a favorite of mine, and I figured they would probably be a delicious addition to a creamy ice cream. The thick red shell is sweet and crunchy, and there is a smoky roasted peanut in the middle. I wanted to highlight the traditional baked bean flavors, so I made a brown sugar and molasses base. I went to Rockport, to my favorite candy shop that has the best baked beans. They are bigger than most that I find, and such a pretty red.
This might be my new favorite ice cream. I love the flavors in the base, and the sweet crunch of the little bits of peanuts and candy coating. Its great for a summer afternoon, especially after burning three batches of caramel.
• Boston Baked Bean Ice Cream •
makes about 4 cups
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 6 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 cup chopped Boston Baked Beans
Add the milk, cream, and vanilla to a saucepan on medium heat. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.
Vigorously whisk the yolks and both sugars together in a bowl. When the cream is just starting to simmer (don't boil it), slowly pour some of the liquid into the yolks while whisking.
Pour the egg and sugar mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir in a figure 8 motion with a wood spoon or rubber spatula for several minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool for several minutes, stirring periodically. Cover with plastic wrap that’s pressed directly against the liquid to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until very cold, preferably overnight.
Prepare ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Once the ice cream has been churned, and it is "soft-serve" consistency, add the chopped Boston Baked Beans, and stir until they are completely incorporated. Freeze ice cream over night, or until firm.
listening to: Syrup and Honey by Duffy