Remember that caramel sauce we made a few weeks ago? The one made from a reduction of Guinness? The one that was so luscious and creamy that we dreamt about it. Oh. Was that just me? Well, this is what happens when dreams become reality… Stout Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream. It is weak-in-the-knees, heart-fluttering, over-the-moon, ravage-me GOOD! Right now, my daughter is reading this, thinking “ewwwww!!!!!” Sorry, Em!
This ice cream is the bomb! You may recall my ice cream fetish from last summer. I made nine different varieties. Well, I’m afraid the itch is back and this one is particularly insistent. I did dream about this ice cream. A sweet cream vanilla with dark swirls of that deep, malty caramel, and crunchy bits of salty pretzels. Come on, that just sounds too good NOT TO MAKE!
Plus, I recently bought this very cute reusable ice cream container. It’s not a super-hard plastic and the lid is malleable and bends even when the ice cream inside is frozen solid. So no more homemade ice cream in a loaf pan for me!
This very simple, classic vanilla custard was about ninety percent churned when I added in the pretzel bits. The machine mixed them throughout the soft-freeze and then it was time for the caramel.
To get those swirly ribbons, I layered ice cream with spoonfuls of that luscious sweet sauce. Back and forth. Ice cream. Caramel sauce. Ice cream. Caramel. Until I ended up with ice cream on the top.
I placed a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and stuck the whole thing in the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, I cleaned up my mess by scraping up and eating every last bit of ice cream still stuck in ice cream maker. Don’t judge me — I did 30 minutes on the treadmill this morning.
After a few hours in the freezer, it was ready to scoop. I doled out dishes of the creamy frozen treat and Scott and I settled on the couch to binge watch the latest season of The Biggest Loser (I know. The irony isn’t lost on me.) He asked me if it was a new flavor from Ben and Jerry’s. I smiled and shook my head. “It’s a new flavor from Garlic + Zest!”
Stout Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream
For the ice cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups salted pretzels broken into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup stout caramel sauce from this site
For the ice cream
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and cornstarch and beat with a hand mixer until thick and pale yellow, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half to just barely a simmer. In a slow steady stream, add the hot half and half to the egg mixture, beating constantly at a medium speed. When mixture is combined, pour it back into the pan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour the custard through the sieve to remove any large egg particles. Scrape the outside of the sieve to capture as much of the custard as possible. Cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker to churn the ice cream. In the last few minutes before the ice cream is ready, add the pretzel pieces and churn until fully combined.
- Spoon about 1/4 of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Drizzle several tablespoons of stout caramel over the ice cream. Continue layering in this fashion Ice cream:stout caramel and finish with ice cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours or overnight.
- Serve with extra pretzels and caramel sauce if desired.
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