Thaaaat’s right, pralines and cream. Probably… no, THE best ice cream ever. I mean, can you beat that luscious sweet ice cream, with some caramel swirled in there, and topped off with those sugary pralines? The answer is obviously, no. So it was this love for said frozen creamy concoction that motivated me to try to duplicate it on my brand new ice cream maker (thanks again to Nechemia for getting us one).
Ok, so heres the deal – this was somewhat a disaster…Now I say “somewhat” because in the end it was still ice cream, and it still tasted good, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for, namely an exact replica of the Baskin and Robins flavor. I guess some thing are just better store bought (I’ll have to add this to my list of “Things that are better bought than made” which so far include – tuna fish [obviously from bagels and appetizing], mandelbread, and now pralines and cream…).
I looked around the interwebs to see if there’s some sort of recipe, and couldn’t find one that I was pleased with. For starters, ice cream has two varieties – regular/Philadelphia style, and French style ice cream. Every ice cream is made of milk, fat, sugar, and air. The difference between the two styles of ice cream is solely where the fat content comes from. In regular ice cream, you just mix milk with sugar to dissolve it, and then combine with cream, and then flavor with whatever. In French style, you mix milk and cream and cook it together, and add it to an egg yolk-sugar mixture slowly (so as not to cook the eggs), and you then let it chill in the fridge, and throw it in the ice maker to churn (hence the air in ice cream). Now the French method actually has less fat content than regular, but it’s more work, and I wasn’t in the mood of having to wait for it all to come back to cold temperature to wait to throw it in to ice cream maker, I wanted instant gratification.
So I decided, to make the pralines, and just combine it with a plain vanilla ice cream.
We (and I say we because Yummy helped me out)
– found this recipe for pralines – sugar, brown sugar, chopped pecans, buttermilk, and some salt.
Heat to combine, and let it cook for 3-5 minutes
turn off heat and add baking soda, and butter.
Here’s where it went downhill. It was supposed to harden, and it was supposed to be broken up into pieces, but that never happened, and it just turned into a big syrupy mush of pecans.
Either way, as this was “hardening” we went ahead and started on our ice cream, which I just followed the recipe for plain vanilla ice cream in the manual that came with the machine.
After about 20 minutes, I threw in the pralines, and then someone had mentioned we forgot the caramel. Making caramel is pretty simple, it’s two parts sugar and one part water boiled together to a certain temperature (depending on what consistency you want), and since I don’t have a candy thermometer (yeah, another kitchen gadget you can get me..) I had to go by my gut. So I just watched for color change, and when I deemed it “caramel,” for some reason I decided, let’s put some butter in there. Honestly, I have no idea why I thought that, but you know what happened? As it was cooling down (which wasn’t much…we’ll get to that in a sec) it was progressively hardening into a brittle caramel candy, so I decided, heck – now’s a great time to pour it into the ice cream mixture. Two things happened. 1) because the caramel was getting colder, it formed one hard ball of caramel (which stopped my machine from churning, so I had to take it out, and try to manually break it up…) and 2) because the caramel was much hotter than the ice cream, it started melting it all. Two birds with one stone baby. Yeah, I know, I’m awesome.
After it was all mixed up, I put it in the freezer to harden up, and today after my home made sushi (yet another disaster but we won’t go there), I took out my ice cream and went to town. It tasted pretty good, and the caramel fiasco actually gave the vanilla ice cream some caramel flavor, but like I said before, it wasn’t “Pralines and Cream.” Oh well.