Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ICOTW: No-Churn Brownie Caramel Ice Cream

 As much as I love my ice cream machine I know not everyone has one.  If we hadn't gotten one as a surprise wedding present I'm not sure we would have one either.  Growing up my parents had an old fashioned kind - where you need to deal with ice and rock salt and it make a whole lot of noise (not that mine doesn't) and I liked it but not enough to register or buy our own.  When we opened ours it was like "Ok, that's cool." and then we used it a few times over the years but not a ton (my favorite: instant pudding, milk, and sweetened condensed was really rich).

Then I started this project 3 summers ago and now I make homemade ice cream on the reg, at least in the summer.  Turns out wanting to clean off my Pinterest board and blog about got me in the habit of making ice cream.  I can temper eggs and spent time over the stove stirring hot cream and then end up with something delicious.  We hardly buy ice cream anymore, I make enough that we usually have a few varieties in the freezer at any given time (right now: two ice creams and two kinds of popsicles).

BUT...I understand not wanting to make the investment to an ice cream machine if you don't know how much you'd use it, or how to use it.  So, a no-churn recipe today.  This one still has a few steps (making brownies, making caramel sauce) but it's pretty straight forward.  I think I prefer the consistency of churned ice cream better but this is a good substitute and way to dip your toe in the "homemade ice cream" pool.

This is also VERY scoopable right out of the freezer, which most of my churned versions aren't.  So if you are in a hurry for ice cream, this will work well.  It's also the biggest batch of ice cream I've made so it's a lot of bang for your buck.  (I think it would have been too big to even fit in my machine.)

(This is also excellent for making ahead - I made the brownies and caramel sauce one day and then mixed the ice cream the next.)

There's a lot going for it - ease, simplicity, chocolate, caramel, delicious.  Certainly fulfills my craving for ice cream with chocolate in it and some days that's all I need.  If you've never tried to make ice cream, give this a shot.  You might impress yourself.

No-Churn Brownie Caramel Ice Cream
yield: a very generous quart
-¼ cup butter, melted
-1/3 cup sugar
-½ tsp vanilla
-1 egg
-1TB brewed coffee, room temp
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-1/3 cup flour
-¼ tsp baking powder
-¼ tsp salt
-¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce
-1 cup sugar
-6TB butter
-½ cup heavy cream

Ice Cream
-1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
-2 tsp vanilla
-2 cups cold heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 375°.  Line or spray 5-6 standard sized muffin cups with oil.  Set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, vanilla, egg, and coffee.  In a separate smaller bowl stir together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
3) Fill the prepared muffin cups about half full and fill the empty cups with water.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool and then break/chop into bite sized pieces.

Caramel Sauce
1) Melt the sugar in a medium sized sauce-pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Once it has come to a boil and is completely melted, stop stirring.  When the sugar has turned an amber color add the butter, stirring constantly until it is melted.  Remove from heat.
2) Slowly, and whisking constantly, stir in the heavy cream.  Slow and constant stirring is key!  Keep whisking until the sauce is smooth.  Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a glass container (refrigerate if not using right away).

Ice Cream
1) In a large bowl stir together the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Set aside.
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on high (start on low or you'll have a mess, then gradually bump up as the consistency allows) for about 3 minutes.  STOP before you get to butter but you do want it to be light and fluffy.
3) Gently combine the whipped cream with the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Fold in the brownie pieces.  In a freezer tight container, alternate the ice cream/brownies with the (cooled) caramel sauce, swirling as you go.  ONLY use about half the caramel sauce unless you want an overwhelming caramel flavor.
4) Cover tightly and freeze at least 6 hours or overnight.

Source: slightly modified from Girl Gone Gourmet

In the summer I aim to make a different homemade ice cream (or other frozen treat) each week and report back here, good or bad!  I call it "Ice Cream of the Week".  You can follow the "ICOTW" tag to see them all chronologically or go to my "Recipes" page and scroll down to the "Ice Cream/Frozen Things" section for my favorites!

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