Caramel Balsamic Ice-cream and Brésilienne - SHF6

18 March 2005

I hope I’m not late this time! I can imagine so many food bloggers got excited when they found out that the theme for Sugar High Fridays 6, hosted by Debbie of words to eat by, was caramel. I certainly did! I had a hard time choosing which caramel recipe I was going to try, but in the end I only had time to make these two.

Caramel balsamic ice-cream

I first found this recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s A Chef for All Seasons almost four years ago – I love making ice cream and this one hooked me straightaway. However, in the recipe it was supposed to be served with cherry soup, and I don’t like cherries at all… So I decided to forget about the cherries and made just the ice-cream. I wasn’t sure how the balsamic was going to work, but it turned out well. I wouldn’t say it is the normal caramel flavour you might think of, it has got quite a strong, bitter flavour. You can definitely taste something else in there, but you wouldn’t think that is balsamic (as you can imagine, you need good aged balsamic for this). I don’t think this is to everyone’s taste, but I like it. I’d love to try it with fruit soup (but not cherries!) like Mr Ramsay suggests – please let me know if you can think of any good combinations!

Serves 4

250g caster sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 free-range egg yolks
500ml milk
150ml double cream

1 First, make the caramel for the ice-cream. Put the sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and slowly heat until it starts to melt. (You might want to add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the process, and you can stir gently once or twice) If you get crystals round the edge of the pan, wash them down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Stir occasionally until the crystals have all dissolved. When all the sugar has melted, slowly raise the heat and boil the sugar syrup until it starts to turn golden brown and then a mid-brown. Have ready a big bowl of iced water. As soon as the syrup is the right colour, immerse the base of the pan in the water to cool the caramel. When cool, stir in the balsamic vinegar and set aside.

2 Now make the custard for the ice-cream. Place the egg yolks in a bowl set on a damp cloth (which holds it steady) and whisk until pale golden. Bring the milk and cream slowly to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Slowly pour the creamy milk onto the yolks, whisking steadily. When it is all incorporated, tip the lot back into the saucepan and return to a low heat. Stir until the mixture just starts to thicken (it should be 82 degrees centigrade). Do not allow it to even start to bubble, or it may curdle. Remove and cool.

3 Mix the cooled caramel into the cool custard. Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn until icy smooth and creamy. Scoop into a rigid plastic food container and freexe until just solid.



This is another recipe from the book by Japanese patissier Hidemi Sugino. From the picture, you might think that the top layer is caramel mousse, but actually it’s coffee mousse and the bottom one is caramel. Like the other cake I made recently from his book, make coffee flavoured almond sponge first, and assemble alternate layers of sponge and mousse. The final touch was to brush coffee extract on top after freezing the finished cake, but I made the extract too thin and it all ended up smudged…

I was really impressed by the taste, though – the coffee mousse hasn’t got very much sugar and is quite bitter, conversely the vanilla caramel mousse is very sweet. When you have these two together, you can taste a slight acidity which is surprising but really pleasing!

Food - Sweet        24 comments    Permalink

  • Hi keiko, I am glad you didn’t give one up and made the both, so we cal all enjoy the two beauties! I have never had balsamic ice-cream, though I sometimes enjoy valsamic vinegar reduction over ice-cream. And oh caramel, I am going to love this one. Thanks for your delectable post as usual. :)

    Posted by chika | 19 March 2005 #
  • Keiko, your post makes me wish i had an ice cream maker! i guess ill have to drool over your photo until i get one :-)

    Posted by tanvi | 19 March 2005 #
  • I like Gordon Ramsay very much (and his recipes, hehe).
    The ice-cream looks definitely sinful in that dark background and
    Bresilinne seems like a fantastic ’adult’ dessert.
    I would give you 1. prize for that.

    Posted by Dreska | 19 March 2005 #
  • *Only* made two desserts? I can’t imagine how you could have topped these two. I love the idea of balsamic in ice cream, very intriguing.

    Posted by Nic | 19 March 2005 #
  • Ckika, balsamic reduction on ice cream sounds divine! I still have never had stawberries with balsamic vinegar...

    Excellent job keiko! Your Brésilienne photo looks like a planetary surface close up. Fun

    Posted by McAuliflower | 19 March 2005 #
  • I would hav enever guessed this came from Gordon. He’s so prickly! This looks so smooth and creamy and lucious! I will have to give your entry a try! Thanks!

    Posted by chronicler | 20 March 2005 #
  • Your caramel post is very intriquing and your photography stunning!
    I will definately research fruit soup uses for your icecream.

    Posted by Chefdoc | 20 March 2005 #
  • !!!

    i love your foodblog! the photos are breathtaking and the food so classy!

    Posted by gwenda | 20 March 2005 #
  • *sigh*

    hey Keiko - I am off to england today. I was wondering if you would mind delivering whatever you are making this week to my mum’s house in Bristol. Thanks...

    Posted by Sam | 20 March 2005 #
  • PRETTY Keiko - stunning, amazing and all of the other adjectives you can think of in that category! Mmmmm...

    Posted by Zarah Maria | 20 March 2005 #
  • both of these loook absolutely stunning! You food and your photos are both exquisite.

    Posted by Lyn | 21 March 2005 #
  • Keiko, that ice cream photograph is absolutely outrageous! Too beautiful! And the flavors sound wonderful together. I wish I had room on the counter for an ice cream machine. Sniffle, sniffle...

    Posted by Molly | 21 March 2005 #
  • Oustanding, as ever, Keiko!

    Posted by Moira | 21 March 2005 #
  • I’m going to try the balsamic icecream--what an interesting combination. And I was not familiar with the books you mention. Your food and photos are very well done.

    Posted by Carolyn | 21 March 2005 #
  • Keiko, your photographs (and desserts) are simply outstanding. I was wondering if you could give me a couple of hints on taking good food pictures. For example, what kind of lighting/backdrops do you use? Look forward to seeing more wonderful desserts!

    Posted by Andrew | 21 March 2005 #
  • Keiko, I simply must go to Idemi now after seeing your beautiful recreation of his desserts.

    Posted by Lynn | 23 March 2005 #
  • Hi Chika - thanks, I agree that balsamic is a very versatile thing!

    Hi Tanvi - I have to say that home made ice-cream is better than any you can buy! It’s well worth buying a machine, I’ve got one with freezer built-in but you don’t need one that big - just leave a little space for the bowl in your freezer!

    Hi Dreska - you mean, you like him more than his food? I like the phrase ’adult dessert’...

    Hi Nic - thanks for visiting, let me know what you think of the ice-cream when you try it out.

    Hi Jocelyn - a planetary surface! I think you’re right.

    Hi Chronicler - thank you for visiting, yes, he is so prickly! I saw him interviewed recently - he said that he hates okura and that no one should eat it... well, we Japanese eat them a lot!

    Hi Chefdoc - Thanks for visiting, please let me know when you find the best combination!

    Hi Gwenda - thank you, I think your site (especially the top page with lots of tongues!) is brilliant!

    Hi Sam - Oh, I wish I could do that... please let me know next time you come to London. Have a wonderful Easter with your family.

    Hi Zarah - thanks, your shortbread looks just as delicious!

    Hi Lyn - thank you, I look forward to reading your posts too.

    Hi Molly - thank you, as I said to Tanvi, it’s definitely worth having an ice-cream machine. I hope you can find a little room for it...

    Hi Moira - you’re always so kind...

    Hi Carolyn - thank you for visiting. Because I’m based in the UK (and also I’m Japanese) maybe you’re not familiar with books I mention...

    Hi Andrew - Thank you for your kind note. Although I said this to Kelli, I don’t have any special lighting, so I just try to take pictures at the best time of the day to get natural light (which is very short at this time of the year in the UK!). I really like your site, it’s lovely and very inviting.

    Hi Lynn - if you do go there, could you try something called Ambroisie for me? It’s a pistachio/chocolate mousse with pistachio/chocolate sponge covered in ganache and I’d like to make it next. Hope you like chocolatey stuff :)

    Posted by keiko | 24 March 2005 #
  • You know, everything that you put up here is like...the food of the gods for me! Balsamico? Whoooo YEAH! Caramel? Yum!!! And sorry Keiko, but me also like CHERRIES!

    Now you have only confirmed the fact that I need to buy a gelato machine. Hmmm...I wonder what brand I should go with?

    Posted by rowena | 25 March 2005 #
  • No problem, Keiko. I just saw a picture of the Ambroisie on the shop’s website and it looks yummy!

    Posted by Lynn | 27 March 2005 #
  • Hi Rowena - you must try this, I’ll put the recipe for the cherry soup up for you. Let me know if it works. As for ice-cream machine, I use this Gaggia one, it has a freezer built-in and you can make ice-cream whenever you want, but it’s quite bulky and heavy - takes a lot of room on the worktop!

    **Cherry soup**

    *Serves 4*

    300g dark red cherries, stoned

    200ml stock syrup (recipe follows)

    3-4 leaves fresh lemon balm

    To make stock syrup, slowly dissolve 250g caster sugar in 500ml water. When clear, add the flavouring and simmer for 5 minutes, then cool. Makes 700ml.

    Reserve half the cherries, and cut them in half if large. Roughly chop the rest. Bring the stock syrup to the boil and add the chopped cherries and lemon balm leaves. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 15 minutes, then remove the lemon balm.

    Whiz the fruit and syrup mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth, then pass through sieve into a bowl, rubbing through with the back of a ladle. Chill the soup.

    Posted by keiko | 27 March 2005 #
  • Hi Lynn - you are so sweet :) I look forward to your report... no rush though!

    Posted by keiko | 27 March 2005 #
  • Keiko,
    Just looked at your site again last night while working on mime.
    One word - Elegant!!

    Posted by Chefdoc | 31 March 2005 #
  • Hi Chefdoc - thank you for coming back, I think your desserts are exquisite and your photos are beautiful.

    Posted by keiko | 1 April 2005 #
  • Keiko,
    I tried the recipe for the gelato, because it sounded sooooooo good, but I was wondering, how did you mix the caramel and cream mixture together before freezing? I had a lot of trouble with that, so I took the caramel and about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture and heated it slowly over a double boiler until they were smoothly mixed. After I cooled it, I added the rest of the cream mixture and it turned out great. Best tasting homemade gelato I’ve ever made!

    Posted by Maddy | 27 March 2007 #

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