Do you drink coffee? I don't. Try as I might, caffeine gives me the shakes and makes my hair stand on end. My pulse races and my mind cannot be caught. Like most people balancing a couple of jobs, I get tired and occasionally need a little pick-me-up; a bit of something to get me going when I'm just too tired to put one foot in front of the other. Caffeine works wonders for this, but for me it's just not an option.
I have to rely on sugar for my instant get-up-and-go—so I recently came up with this salted caramel blended ice milk. Similar to the popular ice blended drinks found at coffee shops, this beverage blends salty sweet caramel and cold milk into a frothy mix that is this close to a mocha-frappa-something-ccino, but better, and it lacks the caffeinated kick.
Start with homemade caramel and from there, simply blend in whole milk with crushed ice. While I chose to flavor the caramel with sea salt and vanilla, you could easily replace any extract you want, or even leave the salt out all together. Of course, you could even replace some of the milk with cold coffee, but why ruin a perfectly good sugar rush with all that caffeine?
- For the Salted Caramel:
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- For the Salted Caramel Blended Ice Milk:
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup salted caramel
- whipped cream and extra caramel for garnish
For the Salted Caramel: Bring the cream and butter to a low simmer until butter is melted. Set aside.
In a saucepot, cook sugar over medium heat without stirring, brushing down sides of pot occasionally with a moist pastry brush until sugar registers 320°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer (sugar should be light amber). Lower heat to medium low and slowly pour in the cream and melted butter. The mixture will bubble up. Stir in the salt and vanilla.
Cook and stir over low heat for 1 minute. Caramel will thicken slightly. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
For the Salted Caramel Blended Ice Milk: Combine crushed ice, milk, and 1/2 cup caramel in blender and mix until frothy. Pour into two glasses and garnish with whipped cream and extra caramel.