Serious Eats: Recipes

Tonka Bean Ice Cream with Scotch Caramel Swirl

[Photograph: Anna Markow]

This ice cream is something special. The flavor of tonka bean makes the ice cream taste surprisingly like my favorite storebought flavor, Cherry Garcia. And though the caramel contains no butter, the caramel swirl is decidedly buttery and savory from the smoky scotch.

Note: Tonka beans are illegal for use in food in the United States due to their high level of coumarin. If your health is in any way compromised, don't use them. If, however, you are in perfect health and want to try this awesome ice cream, you can find the beans for sale online. If you'd like to make this ice cream without the tonka beans, a half tablespoon each of vanilla and almond extracts can be substituted. I also suggest infusing some slightly over-toasted slivered almonds in addition to as little as half a teaspoon of almond extract, since the custard does have a toasted almond flavor. About a quarter cup of over-toasted almonds infused in the hot liquid for an hour, then pureed and strained should be sufficient.

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About the Author: Anna Markow is a pastry chef obsessed with doing things that no one else does and giving unusual ingredients their time to shine. You can follow her sometimes-pastry-related thoughts on Twitter @VerySmallAnna.

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