SALTED PEANUT CARAMEL ICE CREAM BARS
makes about 20 ice cream bars
These indulgent treats are reason alone to celebrate. If you want to skip straight to the celebrating and not mess with dipping them in chocolate you can simply cover the caramel layer in chocolate and serve with a fork. If that’s the case you won’t need as much chocolate as I recommend here.
Next time around I may try dipping in this magic shell recipe to make the chocolate a bit easier to work with but I do love the thick, bittersweet coat this recipe gives. With ice cream, caramel and chocolate it’s really hard to go wrong.
1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
8 oz/ 1 cup / 230 g sugar
6 oz/ 1/2 cup / 170 g Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup water
6 oz/ 3/4 cup / 170 g heavy cream
2 oz/ 4 tablespoons / 60 g butter, soft
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups roasted and salted peanuts
2 bags dark chocolate chips or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons canola, rice bran oil or coconut oil
flake salt, optional
Line a 10×10-inch (or 9×9-inch) square pan with parchment paper in the same way you would when making brownies – with two pieces overlapping each other and a bit of overhang on the sides. This will make it easier to get the bars out of the pan later. Use a bit of non-stick spray to adhere the parchment to the pan.
Let the ice cream sit out until soft and can easily be spread in the pan. Spread into an even layer and then freeze until completely firm, about 2 hours.
While the ice cream is firming up prepare the caramel.
For the caramel: Combine the sugar, golden syrup and water in a large saucepan. Stir gently to combine then wash off the sides of the pan using water and your clean hands to feel if any sugar remains on the side. If stray bits of sugar fall into the caramel it can cause the caramel to crystallize so it’s important to make sure all the sugar is in the bottom of the pan mixed with the water.
Place the lid on the pan and put over high heat. Having the lid on during the first few minutes of boiling creates condensation that further helps to wash away any sugar that may be left on the sides of the pan. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let the caramel continue to boil until it reaches 300 degrees F. If some of the caramel starts to color you can gently swirl the pot to combine.
Add the cream and butter once it has reached 300 degrees F and then continue to cook until the caramel reaches 235 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts.
Let the caramel cool completely before topping the ice cream with the caramel.
Melt the chocolate with the oil in the microwave or over a double boiler.
At this point you can simply pour a layer of chocolate over the caramel if you prefer to keep things simple and don’t mind serving this dessert with plates and a fork. If you want to dip the bars I find it easiest to add a bit of chocolate on top of the caramel layer then flip the bar over, resting the chocolate and caramel on a metal spatula. Hold the spatula over the bowl of ice cream then spoon over the melted chocolate letting it drip down the sides. Carefully paint the sides with chocolate using a spatula or other utensil until all the surfaces are covered.
Finish with flake salt and freeze until firm.