Salted Caramel Ice Cream Milkshakes

January 22, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 quart of ice cream and, in turn, many child-sized milkshakes
Author Notes

This past Christmas, “Santa” brought my 3-1/2-year-old twins a battery-operated blender (apparently fashioned by his elves at Bright yellow with a plastic “blade,” it whirred along excitedly when I added some dried beans to the container – whap! whap! whap! And for a few days this entertained my kids with occasional bursts of loud fun (and beans ending up in the strangest places.) About a week ago, I decided it was time to take the dried-bean training wheels off the blender and put it to work in the kitchen: it was time for milkshakes! We set the blender on the floor. I pulled out some salted caramel ice cream I had in the freezer, some milk and some breakable Illy espresso cups I’d had for years thinking they’d be perfect for when we had children (until I actually had children, saw how often their cups plunged to the floor, and decided to let the cups sit in the cabinet for a few more years).

Together Walker, Addie and I scooped the ice cream, poured the milk, put on the lid, and then turned on the little plastic blender-that-could. It chugged and struggled and whirred and in a few moments the lumps of ice cream began to slowly unmoor from the sides of the container. Without a blade, the “blade” swished the ice cream until it broke down and the blender filled up with slushy foam. It never occurred to me that you could make a milkshake without intensely blending the ingredients. But it turns out that all you really need to do is emulsify the milk and ice cream until they achieve a texture that’s not quite milky and not quite solid but “ploppy” as I explained to my kids.

The milkshakes have since become a nightly ritual (which means, for me, a 7 pm milkshake aperitif has replaced the Lillet or scotch -- but things could be worse). The Salted Caramel Ice Cream portion of the recipe is adapted from Nicole Kaplan at Eleven Madison Park in New York City; it originally appeared in the New York Times on October 8, 2006 in an article by Christine Muhlke. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 cups whole cream, preferably organic
  • 2 cups whole milk, plus more to blend the milkshakes
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for serving
  1. Place 3/4 cup sugar and the corn syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar. Deglaze with the cream; then slowly add the milk. The caramel will harden. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring, just until the caramel has dissolved.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, yolks and fleur de sel. Whisk a little caramel cream into the egg mixture to temper, pour the egg mixture into the remaining caramel cream and mix. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve. Cool completely, preferably overnight, then freeze in an ice-cream maker. If not using for milkshakes, sprinkle with fleur de sel before serving.
  3. There is no need for a recipe for milkshakes. All you do is add 1 large scoop of ice cream per person. Drop the scoops into the blender and add enough milk to almost cover the scoops. Turn on the blender -– bbrrrrrrrrr! Done!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • fo
  • ukimmeru
  • lapadia
  • dymnyno
  • nannydeb
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

11 Reviews

fo October 11, 2012
simply adorable!
ukimmeru May 22, 2012
Oh my! This sounds so amazingly decadent and delish! Can't wait to try!
feathers October 5, 2011
amazing!!!! this was a huge hit with friends and family last weekend! thank you!
lapadia June 29, 2011
Your twins are so cute, Amanda! OH...and love the recipe :)
Amanda H. June 29, 2011
Thanks! They're so much bigger now!
lapadia June 29, 2011
Yes, a whole year later, they grow so fast! But I am sure still so adorable! I can see you in both of them :)
jlyn April 25, 2011
whew! "deglaze the caramel with the cream" is an understatement! The caramel immediately hardens and sticks to the bottom of the pan. I thought it had totally screwed it up, but I just stuck with it and kept stirring and it melted into the cream/milk mixture nicely. The base is chilling in the fridge and I can't wait to make ice cream tomorrow!
Amanda H. April 25, 2011
Glad it all worked out!
jlyn April 26, 2011
Thanks Amanda! This was my first foray into making caramel and making ice cream. The salted caramel was a huge success. Thank you for the recipe!
dymnyno January 22, 2010
My favorite flavor...Bi-Rite in San Francisco makes a great salted caramel ice cream!
nannydeb January 22, 2010
I will definitely try this! I love my ice cream maker AND caramel!