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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Honey Almond Praline Ice Cream

When I purchased my ice cream maker, I knew I didn’t want to fall into the habit of only using the thing once a year.  I actually ended up using it a lot during the summer, mainly using recipes from David Lebovitz’s cookbook.  I’d been loving the ability to make unique flavor combinations, or just high quality basics.  And then the winter came…

But in the last couple of weeks I put the ice cream maker base back in the freezer so it could get into rotation again.  Now to find a recipe to inspire me to make it… That’s where A Spoonful of Sugar comes in.  They came up with the idea to add a honey almond praline to a basic ice cream base (recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams cookbook – one I’ve been meaning to pick up and this online recipe gave me a good preview of what’s in store).  The honey almond praline is similar to a brittle but it’s so easy to make!  Just watch your oven because the stuff spreads.  Combined with the creamy ice cream – I wouldn’t quite call it vanilla but maybe it’s more of a sweet cream? – well, it’s heavenly.  I seriously don’t want to make any other flavor of ice cream again.  The combination of the two flavors is so unique… with my first bite I was surprised… I’d never quite had that flavor in an ice cream.  The honey, the caramelized sugar, the cream, the almonds… it was a party in my mouth.  So I had another bite… then another… well, let’s just say that you’re lucky there are pictures.

So, if you have an ice cream maker, you’ve got to try this!  If you don’t? Well, now’s as good a time as any!

Honey Almond Praline
Recipe from A Spoonful of Sugar
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1 cup slithered almonds
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1.    Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.
2.    Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat nuts.
3.    Spread out on baking sheet lined with baking paper, and bake for 8 mins. Stir, and bake for another 5 mins, stirring a couple of times. Let cool completely, stirring the nuts every few minutes to break up any clumps.

*If your baking pan doesn’t have edges, be careful as this stuff spreads far more than you think it would.

4. Once the nuts cooled, I put them in a Ziploc bag while the base was being prepped.  This way, you can easily crumble the brittle into bits with your fingers through the bag.  Then, you just pour it into the mixture at the end of the ice cream base cycle.

Ice Cream Base
Recipe from Saveur

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened

1.    In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside.
2.    In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
3.    Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture.
4.    Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled.  *I did this initial process, then stuck the mixture in the fridge for a few hours, just to really get it cold.  I’ve found that having a well-chilled base is the secret to having homemade ice cream that’s the proper consistency.

5.    Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer's instructions. In the last couple of minutes of mixing, pour in the honey almond praline.

6.    Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set.

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  1. I have an ice cream maker too, and now that we can see spring around the corner (and I have this delicious looking recipe to try), I'm inspired to drag the cylinder out again. Hmmmm....

  2. This sounds delicious!


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