Serious Eats: Recipes

Beer Caramel Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Really good caramel ice cream comes from playing chicken with your sugar. Don't let it intimidate you while melting it; the sugar should be the color of dark stained wood. I let it smoke, then slowly count to 3 before plunging in butter and cream. Those last three seconds are where those beautiful smoky flavors develop.

Because of all the beer, this will be lighter than many other caramel ice creams. You can try cooking down the beer to cut down the water content, but I don't recommend it. Prolonged heat damages the subtle flavors of something like a pale ale, and those flavors are exactly what you want to pair with the caramel.

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