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wishing you a salted caramel new year

Recipe: salted caramel ice cream

Remember my plan to keep things low key and unbusy this month? Well, that hasn’t happened so far and I think it’s mainly because I am not a low key kind of person. But whatever. As long as things get done and we’re all having fun, then it’s cool, right? And it’s time for those end-of-the-year type of activities like squaring away annual financial records, shipping presents to the niece and nephew, and our new year’s photo card to share with everyone. That includes you, dear reader. Go on and click over – the post will still be here.

happy holidays and let’s rawk the new year!

Then there is the business of the winners for Michael Frye’s book(s) giveaway. You know that a random number generator is just too pedestrian in the House of Butter (and it’s not truly random according to the resident astrophysicist, “It will produce a nice and uniform distribution of numbers that will pass most tests for randomness, but it’s a repeatable process given the same seed.” Thanks, Jeremy.) We are all about introducing as much randomness as possible. Jeremy started with ten three-digit numbers taken from the least significant bits of independent channels of a gravitational lens spectrum about half-way back to the Big Bang. All you need to know is that it is RANDOM. I then took the NUMBER mod NUMBER OF ENTRIES (=127) to determine ten semi-finalists from the comments. Then Jeremy assigned ten of Kaweah’s toys to a number 1-10, which I assigned to the corresponding semi-finalists in random order. Then the final act of pure randomness…

kaweah just wants a treat

the dumbbell!

the dog! (with an inadvertent paw at the fish)

jaws of death in action


and finally the bone

Are you lost yet? The winners of the three Light and Land ebooks are: dumbbell = Michelle (mountains, Cascades), dog = Audra (Colorado/Hawai’i), and ninja = Emily (Ireland). The winner of the signed copy of Digital Landscape Photography is bone = Jason (Pripyat, Ukraine). Congratulations to our winners and I will email everyone about their prizes shortly! Thanks to everyone for sharing the places they want to photograph and big thanks to Michael for generously providing the prizes and his incredible knowledge.

here’s the paperwork

And now it’s time for something sweet… and salty. I made this back in August, but salted caramel ice cream has no season as far as I’m concerned. Caramel is timeless and salted caramel is sexy timelessness. Salted caramel ice cream? Um – sexy, timeless and indulgent!

place the sugar in a pan (preferably a wide one)

the edges turning brown and melting

I perused several salted caramel ice cream recipes before settling on this one from the adorable Gaby at What’s Gaby Cooking.

add butter, milk, and cream

temper the yolks with hot caramel-cream mixture

The first time I made the recipe, the caramel was burnt because the pan I used to caramelize the sugar was too small. This essentially meant the edges burned while the center remained unmelted. Helen recommended using a large shallow pan to caramelize the sugar, which worked perfectly.

adding salt

strain the custard

While I like the idea of salted caramel ice cream, I think I prefer to have my unsalted caramel ice cream served with a few sprinkles of flaked salt. Or perhaps I’ll try making it with less salt next time. Even though the salt interferes with the ice cream’s ability to freeze well, the texture is still smooth, creamy, and buttery all at once.

here’s your bowl of timeless, sexy indulgence

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
[print recipe]
from What’s Gaby Cooking

12 oz. sugar
2 oz. salted butter
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt (I prefer to omit and add the salt when serving or reduce by half)

In a wide heavy saucepan, cook the sugar over medium high heat until the edges begin to turn golden brown and melt. You can stir a little to incorporate the dry sugar as it melts. When all of the sugar has caramelized, but before it begins to burn (turn dark brown – this really doesn’t taste very good… ask me how I know this), add the butter, milk, and cream. It will sputter and bubble, so take care, but it shouldn’t boil over. Reduce heat to medium flame and stir until all of the caramel has melted (it will harden and stick to the pan at first) and the liquid is barely simmering. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt together until it becomes light yellow and thickens. Slowly whisk in a cup of the warm cream mixture into the eggs and whisk until incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the caramel/cream. Set the pan over medium heat and stir constantly (scraping the corners and bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon) until the custard thickens to nappe consistency. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled. Churn per your ice cream machine’s instructions and freeze. Makes a quart (it’s pretty soft).

30 nibbles at “wishing you a salted caramel new year”

  1. Kristina @ spabettie says:

    salted caramel is my favorite… I have been wanting to try making an ice cream like this, it looks perfect.

    I love that Kaweah picks your winners. I had Basil do that once! :D

  2. Rosa says:

    That ice cream is terrific! So tempting.

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!



  3. Bug says:

    That is SUCH a cute picture of the three of you!!! Happy Holidays!

  4. Michelle says:

    Well thank you so much! The ice cream looks great, I would put a dollop in my coffee!

  5. Judy says:

    That ice cream sounds fabulous, even on a rainy day. Hope you all have a wonderful, snowy holiday!

  6. Whitney says:

    Love your year in review pictures. I had a lot of fun clicking through the past years.

    Hope 2011 is even better!

  7. Nan@tastingoutloud says:

    Love the family portrait. Happy New Year Jen (and Jeremy and Kaweah) Enjoy the massive snow that’s coming your way!

  8. Chiot's Run says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for caramel, this one may be the one I use since I LOVE that is has no nasty corn syrup in it – something I don’t even keep in my house. I know I can always count on to you use REAL ingredients.

    I just love the family portrait – and the chiots and all the toys – perfect. Our resident chiots is a huge fan of stuffed things to unstuff as well.

    Happy Holidays!

  9. kathy says:

    Congratulations to the winners – enjoy!
    Jen: Thank you for sharing some of th gorgeous photos I have ever seen. Happy New Year to you, Jeremy and Kewah.

  10. Margie says:

    Caramel ice cream? Does this mean I can drizzle hot fudge atop and run to my closet and hide?
    ‘Tis the season to share, but what others don’t know, can’t hurt them. ;)

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    Jen, I have no clue about that number draw, but I do have to say, I’ll bet you and Jeremy have some of the most mind-blowing discussions on planet, Earth.

    Note to Miss K.: Good job, girl!

  11. Margie says:

    Oh my goodness….I just viewed the card: AWESOME!!!!!

  12. Tini Perkins says:

    Have a Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year to you and your family! May the new year brings you and your family good health, prosperity and happiness! We really enjoyed your post! keep it comin!
    From; Perkins Family

  13. dario @ foodpixels says:

    The post card photos are truly stunning and inspiring; wishing you a great 2011 with zillion more fantastic pics!

  14. Samantha says:

    Mmmm, salted caramel! We have a friend who makes amazing chocolates every year and this year he has some salted dark chocolate ganache goodies. Can’t wait to try them and pass your blog post along to him.

  15. Mark says:

    Hi Jen, I stumbled on to your blog researching tuile recipes. Your photography blows me away! The food, textures, even the aroma seems to jump out of my screen. Nice blog. Thanks for the tuile recipe (AKA TK’s French L)

  16. Taylor says:

    There is an ice cream place in Seattle called Molly Moon’s that has the BEST salted caramel ice cream. I just moved from there to the Midwest and leaving that ice cream was one of the saddest parts of the move. I am so excited to try this recipe!

  17. Joy says:

    That looks wonderful.

  18. angelitacarmelita says:

    Wow doesn’t begin to describe the amazing photos you included with this post. Some people are just born with that kind of gift and you most certainly were. Stunning, absolutely breath-takenly, stunning. And who doesn’t love salted caramel by now?! I’d lay on the ground and roll in that if I could. Dead of winter, who cares? ice-cream maker, here I come! Thanks again for sharing Jen, enjoy the holidays and have an amazing New Year.

  19. Monique says:

    So close, and yet…I thought I bribed Kaweah better than that! Happy Holidays!

  20. Musetica says:

    Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you and your family! Thank you for blogging and sharing all those gorgeous pics and recipes! It is a a real treat to browse your blog! And I even tried quite a few new recipes, even some asian ones (they are so nicely expalined and photographed that even i can attempt to try them ;) ) Next on my list is the kung pao chicken :) Happy Holidays!

  21. Wei-Wei says:

    Sexy, timeless indulgence sounds absolutely perfect. Do you have any idea how I would make this without an ice cream machine?

  22. Annie says:

    That is sexy. I just drooled.

  23. Deb in Indiana says:

    Thanks for the beautiful holiday card — one amazing photo piled on another, and, oh!, look, another one even more beautiful!

  24. Dina says:

    oh wow…that looks delicious! would love to try it!

  25. Sam says:

    Gorgeous! Thanks so much for the photos and the great description. I have been afraid to try caramel, and caramel ice cream but your step-by-step make it all make sense all of a sudden. Thanks again!

  26. anandi says:

    Love the New Year’s card pic, and also had to say that we also have that same green spider toy. It’s Spike’s favorite even though it’s bigger than he is :)

  27. peabody says:

    I could go for a salted caramel New Year!
    All the best my dear!

  28. jenyu says:

    Thanks for all of the new year greetings! I sincerely hope your 2011 is exceptionally awesome. xo

    Whitney – thanks sweetie. Same to you!

    Chiot’s Run – aren’t puppies happiest when they can unstuff the stuffed toys? ;)

    Margie – if they don’t know, then you don’t have to share!

    Taylor – I’ve tasted it!! My friend’s had Molly Moon cater their wedding in Seattle this past summer. Mmmmmm.

    angelitacarmelita – I think caramel is one of my favorite confections in the world. I am so with you!

    Monique – sorry! But I hope it was some fun to see that you got to the finals :) xo

    Musetica – I hope you like the kung pao chicken, it’s really quite easy and sooo good.

    Wei-Wei – hrmmmm, that’s hard. Because the ice cream machine churns the custard so that the crystals don’t get too big which gives that nice creamy texture. I guess you could try freezing it and stirring it up, but you’d definitely get lots of crystals. My ice cream machine was $40… I wonder if you could find a nice inexpensive one?

    Anandi – believe it or not, that green spider is the most intact of all her toys!

    Pea – and to you too, my friend. xo

  29. Danielle says:

    This looks absolutely ridiculous! I can’t wait to try it!

  30. Sam says:

    I made this ice cream to go with an inside-out apple crisp for a family get-together, needless to say, it actually didnt make it to the dessert plate, between the 4 other girls I had in the kitchen we ate it all. HEAVEN in salty-creamy-caramel form!

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