Serious Eats: Recipes

Bi-Rite Creamery's Salted Caramel Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

The salted caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery is one of the best I've ever tasted. It's wildly complex, a tad smoky, and just salty enough. Just as important, it's ridiculously creamy thanks to an especially high proportion of cream that takes all the rough edges off the caramel.

What Worked: All of Bi-Rite's ice creams are, first and foremost, incredibly creamy. Look at the recipe for their standard base and it's easy to see why: they use a higher ratio of cream to other ingredients than most other recipes out there, 1 3/4 cups cream to 3/4 cups of milk for not-quite-a-quart. It's best not to think about the caloric impact of it, and focus on the flavor instead, which rings clear and true in a superbly creamy, almost fluffy ice cream.

What Didn't: This recipe calls for making a dry caramel, in which you caramelize a small amount of sugar in a pan with no water to kickstart the process, then slowly add more sugar as you go until everything is evenly cooked. Honestly, I don't care for this method, and my tests here confirmed why: it works, but it means you're constantly worried about over-burning your sugar before integrating the full amount.

Suggested Tweaks: I prefer a wet caramel method: add the sugar for the caramel all at once, then slurp in just enough water to moisten it. Cook the the whole syrup at once until the water evaporates and a caramel forms, no stirring required.

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About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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