I'm hoping to do a couple of these posts, but given that it also coincides with Toby's birthday this week I'm not sure how we will go time wise. For my first attempt, it's probably no surprise that I went with a dessert- a ice cream dessert because I am just a tad obsessed with making dairy free ice cream. I chose cindy's salted caramel ice cream which I had the pleasure of trying at her ice cream potluck last year.
Vegan salted caramel icecream
(adapted from David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel icecream from wheres the beef
100g castor sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, ideally some fancy fleur de sel
300g castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (again, fleur de sel preferable)
60g Nuttelex or other vegan margarine
2 x 400mL cans coconut milk
1 generous tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a baking tray with paper and spray it lightly with oil. To make the toffee, place the sugar in a saucepan and melt it over moderate, even heat. Don't stir it too often or vigorously, but go ahead and shift the liquid bits out of the way to encourage the solid bits to melt quicker. Continue cooking the sugar until it is all liquid and brown, until it just starts smoking.
As efficiently as you can, sprinkle the salt over the caramel and pour it all onto the baking tray. Lift and tilt the tray to get the thinnest layer of toffee you can - it doesn't have to be a pretty shape or single sheet. Set it aside to set completely.
Now for the custard! Repeat exactly the same caramel-making process with the sugar in a medium-large saucepan. Take it off the heat when it's time to add the salt, and whisk in the margarine too. Next, gradually whisk in the coconut milk. Return the saucepan to a moderate heat to help evenly melt the coconut fat through the mix. The caramel may harden again but be patient, it will re-melt over the heat. Sift in a generous tablespoon of arrowroot and bring the mixture to the boil. Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Cool the mixture, refrigerating it overnight so that it's completely chilled.
When the custard is ready, churn it in an icecream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Crumble the toffee into little pieces (DL suggests 1cm in size) and stir it into the finished frozen custard. Transfer it all to a container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
I followed the recipe exactly except I couldn't find fleur de sel in Brunswick so used maldon salt flakes instead but I don't think it made a huge difference. It is so so so so amazing, definitely up there with my favourite ice creams of all time. However, be warned it is super sweet so avoid if you a wuss when it comes to sweet things. The ice cream base has a lovely caramel flavour but I particularly loved the salted toffee, am thinking about doubling the toffee and adding it to vanilla ice cream next time so that it can be an even bigger star. I had planned to bring this to the potluck but who was I kidding? I can't share this, IT'S ALL MINE!!!! (said in evil character voice followed by evil laugh).