Chocolate Concrete with Caramel

June  2, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

In St. Louis, if it's Christmastime, you go to pick out your tree at Ted Drewe's. If it's summer, you go to Ted's to pick out your concrete. Not the stone stuff for your patio, but the creamiest most wonderful cold treat ever. And don't call it an ice cream--this is frozen custard.

If you've never had frozen custard--stop what you are doing, run to the store and get eggs, cream, milk, some sugar and vanilla. Grab a big bag of ice and a box of rock salt, because this just needs to be done right....Come back and fire up that old fashioned crank ice cream maker.

Now if you must cheat and substitute ice cream, get the french vanilla will have a little better flavor. Mix in the homemade chocolate and caramel syrups and the toasted, salted pecans. This will elevate the ice cream to dizzying heights. And when you finish combining these magical ingredients, turn it upside down for a moment to awe your friends, family and neighbors before they snatch it out of your hands. - lorigoldsby —lorigoldsby

Test Kitchen Notes

I found the frozen custard creamy and rich, and it was really delicious all on it's own. The chocolate sauce was very thick, rather like a pudding. The caramel sauce was also quite thick and I found it a bit harder to work with when making the concrete because it was already really thick and then when I tried to mix it in, it clumped up. The concrete was good and the salted caramel pecans really added a nice crunch to the dessert. Yum! - Marcal —Marcal

What You'll Need
  • For the Frozen Custard
  • 8 fresh egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups half n half
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • For the Chocolate and Caramel Sauces
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 stick of butter, divided
  • 2 pinches french grey salt
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans
  1. Make your custard. Simmer cream and half and half. Wisk egg yolks and sugar. Temper cream into eggs 1/4 of mixture at a time.
  2. Cook custard until it reaches 170 degrees
  3. Take off burner immediately, allow to come to room temp. Add vanilla. (You don't want vanilla to burn off, so wait until it is cool) Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until custard is close to 40 degrees.
  4. Follow ice cream maker's directions. When ice maker is finished, you will probably have a "soft serve" consistancy. For a concrete, you need to freeze it for 4 hours. (sorry:( but you can lick the container!)
  5. Make the chocolate sauce by mixing the cocoa powder, sugar and corn starch in a small heavy saucepan. Add the evaporated milk and whisk to encorpoate. Add 1/2 stick of butter. Bring to a low boil for 5 minutes. Cool then refrigerate to allow mixture to thicken.
  6. Make the caramel sauce by heating heavy cream, brown sugar and butter and bring to a soft stage boil (238 degrees and then add salt and vanilla. Cool, then refrigerate to allow mixture to thicken.
  7. To make salted caramel pecans: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle a little of the warm caramel sauce on the pecans and then sprinkle the french grey salt on top. Bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes, until fragarant.
  8. Chill metal mixing bowl in freezer
  9. To make the concrete: Put scoops of frozen custard in chilled metal mixing bowl. Add drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauce and smash in some of the salted caramel pecans.
  10. Fold into serving dish. Turn dish upside down right before presenting it, "a la Ted Drewes" to show everyone your masterpiece of summer.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lorigoldsby
  • dymnyno
  • boulangere
  • inpatskitchen
  • mrslarkin

Recipe by: lorigoldsby

I learned to cook with my Gran. I can still see her reading a recipe and figuring out how she would make it better. She was fearless about substituting ingredients--but also knowledgeable. She approached food in the same way she built her antique business--appreciate quality ingredients and workmanship, but don't be a snob. I think I carry those same beliefs in my approach to cooking. I love family style dinners, I love a fancy ladies' luncheon with my wedding china, or a backyard seafood boil to celebrate my husband's birthday...I love to share food with others.

20 Reviews

jph September 8, 2013
I know it's a little late, but could you list the sugar and butter quantities needed individually for each sauce? I tried to separate the ingredient lists out for each sauce based on the instructions given for each sauce, but I couldn't figure it out.

From the combined list of ingredients for the two sauces I come up with:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salted butter, then 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 stick of butter, divided.

That's a total of 1 cup sugar (granulated?), and 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, and a total of 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter between the two sauces. Does that mean that whatever is not specified for the chocolate sauce goes into the caramel sauce? I'd really like to make this, but am not confident (or experienced) enough to figure it out.

The instructions:
"Make the chocolate sauce by mixing the cocoa powder, sugar and corn starch in a small heavy saucepan. Add the evaporated milk and whisk to incorporate. Add 1/2 stick of butter..."
"Make the caramel sauce by heating heavy cream, brown sugar and butter..."
lorigoldsby January 4, 2012
there was a hotline question about the half n half...i think it was answered correctly but it reminded me I should have made a note about the thickness of the caramel and chocolate sauces. In step only want it to refrigerate 10 minutes or so, just to really chill the mixture--any longer and it will get too thick.
dymnyno June 7, 2011
This sounds delicious...seriously a contender!!
lorigoldsby June 7, 2011
thanks dynamo! there were so many wonderful entries this week--I don't envy A & M...between the booze and the sugar....they are going to be on a manic trip!
boulangere June 3, 2011
Holey moley, this is one fantastic creation.
lorigoldsby June 3, 2011
Thanks boulangere! Praise from you is always humbling...but yeah, this is a "summer sacrifice"....thank goodness for all of the fresh summer salads to balance these calories!

Concretes are usually vanilla with your choice of mix-ins...any candy bar, candy or cookie imaginable, but i have an affection for my chocolate-caramel-salted pecan which is a riff on the Dutchman from TD...his other 2 popular mix-ins were the "Fox Treat" with hot fudge, raspberries and macadamias and the "Cardinal Sin" with cherries and hot fudge.
inpatskitchen June 3, 2011
I too wasn't familiar with concretes..looks and sounds fabulous!
lorigoldsby June 3, 2011
Thank you! It must be a Midwestern specialty like the east coast egg cream--most people here haven't heard of those. They have concretes in Dallas, Chicago and Milwaukee now. Ted Drewes' concrete is the likely inspiration for Dairy Queen's "Blizzard" and McDonald's "McFlurry"--but of course those are made with ice milk.
mrslarkin June 2, 2011
so THAT'S what a concrete is. I never heard of it before. Sounds yummy!
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
Yes, I was so thrilled when they referenced it in the contest notes! And a little sad that I was the only one to submit a concrete. Where are my fellow St. Louisans?
gingerroot June 3, 2011
Yes, thank you Lori for the completely delectable education! This island girl knows about tako poke and guri-guri but had no idea where to start when they referenced concrete in the contest notes! I'm off to buy some eggs!
lorigoldsby June 3, 2011
Ginny--can't wait to hear about your island inspiration! You may like the "Fox Treat" combo which has macadamia nuts. You are so lucky to have access to the fresh ones! The macadamia nuts here always taste just a little bit off....which I never knew until we had the fresh ones when visiting Oahu.
hardlikearmour June 2, 2011
Wow! That's one thick concoction. The flavors sound delicious. Frozen custard is HUGE in Wisconsin - believe it or not ;)
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
We lived in milwaukee for a short time...spent a few hours in the summer days at Culver's. But I think the one you have first is your true love.
TiggyBee June 2, 2011
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
Thanks Tiggybee! I also am enamored with your dreamscicle recipe.
wssmom June 2, 2011
I am dizzy already ... :)
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
I would say to put your head between your knees but usually the dizziness stops after you turn your head back right side up!! LOL
inpatskitchen June 2, 2011
Really...hurry back!!
lorigoldsby June 2, 2011
Thanks...needed a few minutes to pull everything together! Custard was in the freezer but I had to make the sauces and salted caramel pecans.