Rich and creamy cashew infused ice cream swirled with caramel and packed with cashew halves.
Today it’s supposed to be 106 degrees here in Moab. One hundred and six degrees. This is the first big heat wave of the summer and even though I knew it was coming, I am still so very unhappy about it. To make it all worse, I’ve still got 10 weeks of pregnancy left.
I don’t know who you should feel more sorry for— me or my poor husband who has to put up with so much sweaty grumpiness. No, feel sorry for me.
But don’t feel too bad for either of us, because we’re pretty much living off of ice cream at this point.
My ice cream maker is working overtime lately as I churn up old favorites and new creamy experiments, like this caramel cashew ice cream. I confess there are a lot of store-bought flavors in our freezer too, but this batch of ice cream won the popularity contest this week and disappeared in record time.
It starts with a cashew-steeped custard base, so it’s super creamy. A swirl of homemade (but easy!) caramel sauce and Diamond of California cashew halves completes the winning ensemble. Every spoonful will have you swooning, and if it’s super hot where you are right now, well then I give you permission to have an extra scoop or three.
baking tip:How to temper eggs
Tempering eggs is a critical step in making a custard ice cream base, such as in this recipe. It slowly brings the temperature of the eggs up as they’re cooked. Heat them too quickly and you’ll end up with a scrambled mess.
How it’s done is you heat a milk and cream mixture just until it starts steaming, and then add it in a slow steady stream to the eggs while whisking constantly. After they are combined, you can return the mixture to the stove and continue cooking until thickened. Some eggs may still form lumps as they cook, so straining the mixture before chilling will leave your ice cream base silky smooth.
Caramel Cashew Ice Cream
For the ice cream base:
- 1 ½ cups cashews , divided (170 grams)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk (280 ml)
- 2 cups heavy cream , divided (500 ml)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the caramel swirl:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (85 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
To make the ice cream base:
- Add 1 cup of the cashews and the milk into a medium saucepan and set over medium low heat. Heat until small bubbles appear at the edges and it just starts steaming. Do not boil.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour (see Notes). Strain out cashews and discard or save for another purpose.
- Return the strained milk to the saucepan and add 1 cup of the heavy cream and the sugar. Set over medium low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat until small bubbles appear at the edges and it just starts steaming. Do not boil.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add the hot milk mixture in a small stream while whisking constantly.
- When completely combined, return to the saucepan over medium low heat. Stir constantly while mixture thickens until it coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture through a mesh strainer and stir in the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Chill completely in the fridge, at least 4 hours.
To make the caramel swirl:
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to stir frequently as mixture melts and eventually turns dark golden brown. If butter separates during the process, reduce heat and stir frequently until it comes back together.
- When mixture is golden and smoking, remove from heat and slowly add the heavy cream in a small stream while whisking constantly. Caramel will steam and bubble violently. Return to low heat and stir until any lumps are dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and salt. Cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
To assemble the ice cream:
- Mix the ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. In a large bowl or tupperware, layer the churned ice cream, caramel sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of the cashew halves. Let firm up in the freezer for 2-3 hours before serving.
- The milk will absorb more cashew flavor the longer it is allowed to steep. If desired, place in the fridge and steep overnight.
- You may not need all of the caramel sauce. Use the rest as a topping if desired.
- Makes 1 quart.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Diamond of California as part of a long-term culinary ambassadorship. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are always 100% my own.