If I had paid attention in law school instead of doing crack in the computer room and tearing pages out of legal dictionaries I would be aware of the liability I incur when I hypnotize you in the next paragraph and make you buy an ice cream maker. Oh well, I throw caution to the wind…
YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY SLEEPY SLEEPY…watch the sheep jump jump jump…lean into your computer screen…can you see the little spiral spiraling round and round and round…
Good, now listen up. Study this picture:
This is the most delicious thing you will ever make in your WHOLE LIFE. It’s sinful, you’ll go to Hell for it, but now that you’re hypnotized you must give up all religion. Throw away that yarmulke, Yitzak. When I snap my fingers you’re an atheist–an atheist who eats ice cream.
This is the Barefoot Contessa’s caramel chocolate pecan ice cream: I made it last year and didn’t give you the recipe. Well I made it again–it’s in my freezer right now–and every time I open the freezer door celestial music plays and I hear a voice that says: “GIVE THEM THE RECIPE. THEY DESERVE TO KNOW.”
“Fine then Lord!” I plead. “But none of them have ice cream makers!”
“Tell them the recipe and I will grant you the power to hypnotize them across the internet. Once hypnotized, tell them to buy ice cream makers. Also: tell those people that stick a hyphen in between the G and D when writing my name it’s a waste of time. Ok, I’m outtie…bye!”
That’s why you’re hypnotized right now–God made me do it. So propel yourself to your vehicle and/or other mode of transporation and get thee to Williams Sonoma or Target or Bed Bath and Beyond and buy a Cuisinard Ice Cream maker for $50. That’s what I did last year and I’ve made THOUSANDS of pints of ice cream since then. You’ve heard of a beer gut? I have ice cream breasts. They’re adorable!
Now for the recipe. Do you want to know the BEST thing about this recipe? Are you ready? It gets better as it freezes! This is unheard of in the ice cream world. All the fresh homemade ice cream I’ve made gets rock hard in the freezer. But this one–because it’s made entirely of cream (no milk!)–stays soft in the freezer and you can eat it for days and weeks after and it will still be soft. In fact, when you make it you can’t eat it right out of the ice cream churner (ok, I did) because it will be too soft. You have to put it in tupperware and freeze it. Got it?
This ice cream could be renamed turtle ice cream. That was Contessa’s inspiration–Turtles, ya know, the ones with caramel, chocolate and pecans? They’re her friend Barbara’s favorite. They invented this ice cream together. [Click below to see the recipe…I’m scared to post it verbatim on the main page. That Contessa’s married to a lawyer! And he didn’t smoke crack in law school!]
I’m halving the recipe for you because half is plenty. If you want 2 quarts, double it. Here we go:
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
1.5 cups pecan halves (5 oz)
3 oz best-quality sweet chocolate, diced***
***(she recommends that you use Lindt Lindor truffles–a 3.5 oz package. I found this at CVS and it worked perfectly. The insides of the truffles are gooey, but that’s good when you add them to the pecans and stir around and put in the freezer. If you can’t find the truffles, use Lindt Swiss Milk Chocolate or, according to her, “any good milk chocolate is fine, too.”)
Place 1/4 cup of water and the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cook over low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the sugar turns a warm mahagony or caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir, but swirl the pan occassionally so the caramel cooks evenly.
Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel is very hot, and the mixture will bubble up violently, then solidify. Don’t worry. Return it to low heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla. Pour into a container and refrigerate until very cold.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roats the pecans on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes until crisp. Cool, chop, mix with the diced chocolate and store in the freezer until ready to use.
Freeze the caramel mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (It may take several batches.) When it is frozen, add the cold chopped pecans and chocolate and mix in completely. Transfer to quart containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
It’s a rich, sweet, decadent ice cream that you can cherish for weeks after you make it. (Or, if you’re compulsive: days.) What a great dish for summer!
Ok, when we snap our fingers you’ll wake up, find an ice cream maker in your kitchen, all the ingredients, and you’ll be ready to go. Are you ready? Quick: take your clothes off. Done? Excellent. Here we go… SNAP!