I've been so pleased about how much people have been enjoying the Ice Cream Wednesday series on the blog, not just reading my own posts but being inspired to buy their own ice cream machines and get in on the action too!
Kate aka The Little Loaf is a fellow food blogger and a twitter friend, and she has been really supportive of Ice Cream Wednesday. I know she has serious ice cream skillz so I asked if she'd be willing to contribute to the series and I'm sure you'll agree, she's come up with an absolute winner.
Incidentally, I just love her blog explanation for her nickname, which was given to her "at the age of two by a great aunt who noticed [her] appetite for bread was considerably bigger than [she] was". That life-long obsession with all things baked has expanded into a sweet tooth, a love of cooking and an interest in trying new restaurants.
Little Loaf's Salty Snickers Ice Cream Bars
Do you remember the nineties internet craze of ‘pimp my snack’? People took every day treats and created crazy confections; giant Jammie Dodgers, Cadbury’s Crème Eggs filled with kilos of cream and party rings the size of a dinner plate. This recipe is seriously indulgent, but not quite on that scale.
With more primping than pimping involved, it takes a childhood classic, the Snickers ice cream bar, and makes it into an altogether more sophisticated version, using posh peanut butter, rich roasted nuts, a sprinkle of salt and good quality dark chocolate.
So there you have it, my take on Ice Cream Wednesday: silky smooth peanut butter ice cream topped with a layer of gooey caramel and peanuts, salty-sweet with a pinch of fleur de sel, and cloaked in a rich robe of glossy dark chocolate.
The ice cream is Philadelphia-style, meaning no complicated custard making, which allows you more time to fiddle around with the other elements of the recipe. As long as you make sure the ice cream stays super cold at all stages, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
For the ice cream
(taken from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
180g good quality smooth peanut butter
180g golden caster sugar
660ml single cream
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Line a 23 cm square loose bottomed tin with baking parchment.
- Puree the peanut butter, sugar, cream, salt and vanilla in a blender until smooth.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once almost set, spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the top flat and freeze until hard.
For the caramel
115g unsalted butter
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
4tbsp golden syrup
Fleur de sel to taste
- Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat for two to three minutes, then add the condensed milk and golden syrup.
- Beat the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
- Bring it to a slow simmer then, keeping the temperature even, cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until thickened and light golden-brown in colour (this mixture can burn very easily, so keep stirring and don’t leave the pan unattended).
- Once you have a thick caramel, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then remove the ice cream from the freezer and pour a layer of caramel over.
- Sprinkle with peanuts and fleur de sel, then return to the freezer to set hard.
For the bars
350g good quality dark chocolate
170g unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn or glucose syrup
small handful roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Line a large flat board with baking parchment and pop in the freezer to cool.
- Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water until smooth, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Remove the frozen ice cream and caramel from the freezer. Pop the bottom from the loose bottomed tin, then slice the ice cream into bars – I made 14 large bars, but you can adjust to your taste and appetite! Remove your prepared, lined board from the freezer too.
- Now you need to work quickly. Taking two spoons, drop one of the bars into the chocolate mixture. Turn quickly to coat evenly in a thin layer of chocolate, then transfer onto the prepared board and sprinkle with chopped nuts (optional).
- Repeat for the remaining bars, returning to the freezer in batches if necessary (i.e. if they start to melt).
- Keep the bars in the freezer, covered, removing around 10 minutes before you want to eat them so the ice cream softens and the caramel becomes gooey.
If you try this one, do let us know how you get on!