“Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for ice cream.” — Mallory Hobson. And THIS homemade caramel ice cream should be eaten every day cause it is damn delicious! You just have to follow me and learn something new along the way.
Which type of cream should I use to make homemade caramel ice cream?
Before even making this amazing caramel ice cream from scratch or any other dish or dessert, you must know that there are about 6 main types of cream (depending on where you look for information, I use THIS book). All creams are distributed by the fat percentage and how they were made. Let’s have a look:
- Single cream. Made by spinning and diluting. Has 18% fat. You can’t heat it or whip it, but it’s perfect for pouring over fruits, drizzling over soups to serve, or finishing a desert.
- Whipping cream. Made also by spinning and diluting. Has 35% fat. It’s perfect for whipping, you can heat it, but it’s not recommended to pour it over something as in a single cream above.
- Double cream. Made by spinning and diluting. Has 48% fat. That’s the one you should use on a high heat as it won’t curdle. You can use it for whipping, but simply pouring over something is not recommended as well.
- Clotted cream. Made by using gentle heat. Has 55% fat. You can’t heat it, whip it, or pour it. In the UK, it’s eaten with scones and desserts, and it’s also used for ice creams as it has a rich, dense texture and buttery and nutty notes.
- Soured cream. It’s the one Lithuanians can’t live without. The fermentation process is the king here, and it has 20% fat. So do not heat or whip it cause it just won’t work. But instead, I highly recommend using it with soups, salads, and even pancakes!
- Creme Fraiche. It has 30% fat, and the process to make it is also fermentation. Because it has more fat content, you can use it for cooking. It’s perfect for pasta, soups, sauces, and, for instance, at Scott’s, we serve it with caviar.
So which cream is the one for your perfect homemade ice cream?
To make simple homemade ice cream, you need to whip the cream. Consequently, you must use the cream with >35% fat, and it must be made by spinning and diluting. It leaves you with either whipping cream or double cream. Why?
If you were using a cream with less than 35% fat, you wouldn’t be able to whip it because of too much protein and skimmed milk, which prevents fat globules from coagulating around air bubbles.
So do not use single cream if you think that it would be better. It won’t.
Tips for perfectly whipped double cream
- Use >35% fat cream.
- Refrigerate the cream for 12h before whipping.
- Use a hand balloon whisk or a mixer to work in more air.
- Do not stop whisking until you reach the wanted consistency.
- If you see grains or lumps, you ruined it. This means that it is too warm and you are making butter. Start over with a new cream.
- If you’re not using it right away, refrigerate whipped cream.
Caramel – the product of caramelization
Caramelization is a chemical process when, at high temperatures, sugar molecules are smashing into one another with violence and begin to break apart. This destruction triggers the creation of thousands of new compounds that we identify as new flavors, aromas, and colors.
Usually, when we talk about caramelization and caramel and hear the word sugar, we imagine using simple table sugar. Let me tell you there are more types of sugars than simply sucrose, but to make everything simpler, let’s stick to it.
Sucrose is made of glucose and fructose. So at high temperatures, around 170°C, it cracks into those two compounds. But if you were trying to make caramel from glucose, it would happen at around 150°C, or for fructose at 105°C.
Now, you might wonder what causes such difference.
You see, glucose and fructose are ‘reducing sugars,’ which means they donate electrons to other molecules. Thus, they are givers and react very fast. On the other hand, sucrose is already made of one glucose and one fructose, and their reducing atoms are already together. As a result, sucrose doesn’t have free atoms to react and requires higher temperatures to start the process.
Anyway, during all those crackings and breakings apart, new flavors and aromas are produced. They can range from simply sweet and nutty, which we crave, to bitter and burnt. So, when you’re making homemade caramel ice cream, be careful.
A must remember about the caramel:
Even though you will smell more buttery, nutty, rum-like notes, the higher the temperature, the bitter the caramel. Just a few seconds, and it can be burnt.
More Cheffy Parsnip desserts
- Refreshing apple cake recipe with poppy seeds
- How to make soft Cinnamon rolls | Buttery and delicious
- Easy to make classic choux pastry + perfect Eclair recipe
Simple homemade caramel ice cream recipe from scratch
- 100g caster sugar (+1tbsp cold water and +5tbsp hot water)
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 350ml double cream
- Make the caramel. Place sugar in a pan and pour 1tbsp of cold water. Set it over low heat and let it melt. SWIRL, DO NOT WHISK! Increase the heat to medium and when you see golden red color, pour carefully 5 tbsp hot water. Cover the pan and let it sit over very low heat for about 20 minutes. Let it cool down so that the eggs wouldn’t become scrambled (<80°C). Then slowly whisk the caramel into the egg yolks. And that's it. Let it cool down completely in the refrigerator.
- Whip the double cream.
- Mix everything together. I recommend using folding technique so you keep the texture still foamy and airy.
- Make the ice cream (use ice cream maker or whisk by hand; it’s up to you).