This is next level caramel gelato. Undertones of burnt sugar add a layer of smokiness and depth of flavor without being overly sweet. A soft, scoopable gelato that dissolves in your mouth with a little salt kicker. Yes please.
Make the burnt caramel (see recipe below) and let cool to room temperature. Make an ice bath – place a few ice cubes and a few cups of water in a large bowl. Set aside. Have a clean bowl or container and a fine mesh strainer standing by.
Combine sugars, non-fat milk powder and tapioca starch in a bowl. Combine milk and cream in a large bowl. Whisk in the dry ingredients (except the salt) until there are no lumps. Add corn syrup and egg yolks, whisking until fully incorporated.
Place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Do not let it come to a boil. Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks. In the last few minutes stir without stopping as the mixture begins to thicken – you will feel a subtle difference.
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl that is standing by. Add burnt caramel and vanilla paste (if using) to the gelato and blend using an immersion blender (or regular blender) on a low setting until the mixture is completely smooth with no streaks.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the gelato to prevent a skin from forming. Put the bowl of hot gelato into the ice bath.
After the gelato has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
Give the gelato a quick stir then process in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before it’s done sprinkling in the salt a little at a time while it’s churning. The gelato is finished when it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes) Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (4 hours minimum)
Gently warm the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Place sugar in a small heavy bottom saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Stir the sugar until it is almost all melted then allow it to cook undisturbed. Let the sugar turn an almost black brown. If the sugar foams up give it a quick stir to settle it.
When it’s black, smokey and there’s with a few big bubbles on the surface it’s ready. Immediately take it off the heat. Take your time and work carefully while wearing an oven mitt – the sugar is very very hot. Stir in the corn syrup. Stand back and add the warm cream (the mixture will foam up)
Keep stirring the caramel, scrapping the bottom. Add in the butter one chunk at a time, stirring until fully incorporated. Carefully pour the hot caramel into a container.
Wearing an oven mitt is highly recommended while making the burnt caramel. The sugar gets HOT. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for gelato. Store the extra in the fridge. The cold caramel will firm up and separate. Just bring to room temp and stir before using.