03 Jun Tahini Ice Cream with Honey Caramel
I can hardly believe it’s been two months since these feet were last on Turkish soil. It seems that just yesterday I was spending my mornings crowded around a tiny kitchen table with the best of company, feasting on elaborate Turkish breakfasts fit for a sultan, planning our days around stops at the best lokum and döner kebab stands in Istanbul.
Today, I’m fully back in the swing of my normal old American life – a nine to five job, carb counting, and (the best part) mashing together butter and sugar to share with you fine folks. (Yes, I realize those last two are contradictory, but such is my life.) So, in an effort to never let go of that dreamy vacation feeling, I took my favorite, vacation-learned toast toppings and turned them into my most beloved of all desserts –> may I introduce you to my new best friend, Tahini Ice Cream with Honey Caramel.
Tahini ice cream might just be the most intensely rich, creamy ice cream of all time. I mean, let’s be real, we’re basically adding fat to fat with this recipe (I never promised it was low-cal), and since as humans who once roamed the Earth in search of food, we’re programmed to love fat. Do your taste buds a solid and make you some of this creamy dreamy, stat. With every bite they will let out joyful shrieks of praise. It’s evolutionary science, or something like that.
Oh, and let’s not forget about tahini ice cream’s best friend, honey caramel. Did you know that you can make caramel with honey instead of sugar? Me either, until now! It’s less sweet that its sugar-based cousin, with a lighter caramel flavor and an unmistakable depth that is unique to honey. As I photographed this recipe, I found myself sneaking little tastes here and there until, whoops, my shutter button was covered in a sticky layer of what just might be the most addicting caramel I’ve ever made.
I also feel the need to throw out there that both parts of this recipe are sweetened 100% with honey – which makes it not only the most delicious ice cream + caramel combo on the planet, but also refined sugar free. That counts for something right?
So, pull down the ice cream maker from the top shelf and let’s take a flavor trip back to Turkey, shall we?!
A Few Notes About This Recipe:
Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, is widely available in supermarkets and is generally found on the international food aisle. Note that it often settles and separates while on the shelf so make sure to shake and stir your tahini until smooth before measuring.
The bourbon in this recipe is added to help keep the ice cream smooth and scoopable even after living in the freezer for a while. Its addition is optional but recommended — the recipe only calls for a very amount and it cannot be tasted in the final product.
- 1/2 cup tahini, well mixed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the honey and tahini over medium heat. Cook until just bubbling, about 5 minutes, then whisk in the cream and milk and bring to a simmer.
- While waiting for the ice cream base to heat up, lightly beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the cream mixture has come to a simmer, reduce the heat and temper the egg yolks by slowly adding about 1/2 cup of hot cream to the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Transfer the ice cream base to a separate bowl and place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill thoroughly.
- When ready to churn, stir in the vanilla and bourbon then transfer the chilled mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Combine the honey and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 238F on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and salt. Let cool.
- When the caramel cools to room temperature it may become too thick to pour and you may need to reheat before serving. To do this, microwave the caramel in 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until it reaches drizzling consistency. To serve, pour/drizzle over tahini ice cream and eat immediately.