Bourbon Ice Cream and Coffee Caramel Sauce
We had what dare say was our most successful dinner party yet on Friday night. Without launching into too much superfluous narrative, here’s the details:
- Cowgirl creamery Red Hawk (Without question one of the best cheeses I’ve ever had, crumbly and creamy and potent. Also one of the most expensive cheeses I’ve ever purchased, unfortunately)
- Uncle Dougie’s smoked salmon (made by a real Uncle Dougie)
- Fig jam
- Cumin olives from Whole Foods – my favorite, tied with with Viva’s paprika green olives
- “Americanos” – not sure what they’re actually called, but we learned them as such. Mixed chilled rouge and dry vermouths, dash of angostura bitters and fresh lemon or lime juice
- Delicious red grapes, gouda, and something bleu-ish brought by our generous guests
- Arugula salad with asian pear, cucumbers, and mustard vinaigrette
- Roasted root veggies – carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, parsnips (on a side note: roasted parsnips is officially one of my favorite ever foods. You’ll be seeing much more of them here.)
- Roasted wild boar with carrot-onion sauce – hunted by a real coworker! Brett’s cubicle neighbor goes boar hunting in Tejon Ranch (at the north end of the Grapevine) and bestowed upon us (lucky, lucky, lucky) a roast and four boar sausages.
- Wine. And, um, more wine. And perhaps a bit more. It was Friday, okay?
- Homemade limoncello
- Chocolate ganache tarts
- Bourbon ice cream
- Coffee caramel sauce
And with the exception of the tarts, all of this was incredibly, incredibly easy, and fun to plan (and even more fun to eat). And to tell you the truth, if done again I’d let go of the tarts anyway. I tried to do something basic and interesting and it turned into an overwhelming block of hard chocolate sitting on the plate. Unfortunately there were no photos taken of the event, but I hope you can just imagine a grainy iPhone photo of ice cream with caramel sauce on top.
Bowen’s Bourbon Ice Cream
Yes, I am claiming this one for myself because it is officially my favorite ice cream of all time. ALL TIME, and I will not admit any exaggeration there. Also I really love the idea of taking anything that is my favorite in a certain category even though I had in no way anything to do with its initial creation and putting my name in front of it. Perhaps, as in: “Bowen’s Heinz Ketchup,” “Bowen’s lime sparkling mineral water,” or, my favorite “Bowen’s Amy’s Kitchen Tomato Bisque Soup.” I digress. This ice cream is incredible, particularly if you have a liking for whiskey (especially bourbon). Whiskey is all the rage these days, I realize, and I fully admit I only came around to it after the trend started. But even if manhattans and my beloved bourbon ginger ales go the way of the cosmopolitan, this ice cream will persist.
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 7 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup bourbon (Doesn’t need to be incredibly nice bourbon, but should be something you’d drink – I used Maker’s Mark, but you could definitely experiment with different flavors.)
– Combine the heavy cream and whole milk in a medium saucepan. Split a vanilla bean and scrape all seeds into the cream (discard the pod or save to make vanilla sugar, alcohol, etc.).
– Bring the mixture to just under a boil at medium heat, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.
– Combine egg yolks with sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until color lightens.
– Slowly whisk 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk this new cream-egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the cream. Cook over medium until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon without running too much. You should be able to run your finger through the mixture on the back of the spoon and leave a distinct trail behind. At this point it would behoove you to try at least a few spoonfuls of the batter, because it is DELICIOUS.
– Remove everything from the heat and strain through a sieve (mesh). Nothing actually stayed in the sieve when we did this, but it’s important in case there are clumps of vanilla seeds or stem or of there are persistent clumps of heavy cream.
– Add vanilla extract and bourbon. Also, you probaby want to sip a bit of it again now. This will give you a preview of the magic that is going to emerge from your kitchen in another day or so.
– Chill mixture completely in the refrigerator, at least 5 hours or overnight. I put it in a large mixing bowl and lightly covered with plastic wrap until not too warm, then tightened the wrap.
– Use in ice cream maker according to instructions. For me this didn’t get too hard, but after freezing for a couple of hours was perfect. I brought it back out to the fridge for the last 20 minutes before serving. Makes about 1 quart.
Coffee Caramel Sauce
Preferably served with Bowen’s Bourbon Ice Cream, but as I have demonstrated over the last 36 hours, is also very delicious on fingers, spoons, and graham crackers. And as Sam demonstrated, can even be drank out of a tupperware container (though I don’t suggest that whole-heartedly unless your digestive system is as intrepid as hers is).
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into rough pieces
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee (I used decaf)
– Stir sugar, corn syrup, and water in large pan over medium-heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil for approximately 10 minutes, or until deep amber. Occasionally swirl the pan.
– Remove from heat and immediately add salt and butter, stirring until bubbles subside and butter is completely melted. It will start to resemble caramel candy.
– Add cream and coffee, whisk to blend. Cool covered in the fridge whatever you can restrain yourself from eating directly from the pan. Warm before serving, if desired.