Toffee (caramel) ice cream

Toffee ice cream
toffee ice creammakes about a litre of ice cream

one large can of sweetened condensed milk, unopened - about 400g (US: 14oz)
[OR one large can of dulce de leche, similar size]
50g soft brown sugar (US: 1/4 cup)
400ml milk (US: 1 3/4 cups)
250g whipping cream (US: 1/2 lb)

Note: you need an ice cream maker for this recipe

Place the can of condensed milk on its side in a pan of water, which should cover the can completely. Bring to the boil, gently, then cover and simmer for about three hours. Check from time to time to ensure that the water level still covers the can, and top up with more boiling water as needed. Do NOT let this boil dry!

Turn off the heat, and leave the condensed milk in the water until it has cooled to room temperature. Inside, the milk will have turned into soft toffee, otherwise called dulce de leche.

(If you are in a hurry you can use a can of pre-prepared dulce de leche instead, and omit the boiling stage).

Several hours before you want to make the ice cream, open the can, and scoop the dulce de leche (soft toffee) into a saucepan. Add the soft brown sugar, and about 200ml milk. Stir gently with a balloon whisk, while heating gently on the stove. Stir constantly until the soft brown sugar has dissolved, and the toffee has softened and blended with the milk.

Add the remaining cold milk, stir well, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool for about half an hour, then place in the fridge for at least three hours (or overnight).

When the mixture is well chilled, take another mixing bowl, and whip the cream until it stands in stiff peaks. Pour it all into the toffee mixture in the other bowl, and fold in very gently with just a few strokes. Don't worry about blending it completely - that will happen in the churning stage.

Carefully transfer the mixture to the ice cream churn. Switch on, and churn until the sound changes, or the mixture becomes too thick to churn (about 20-30 minutes). Place in a freezer-proof container, and freeze until needed.

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We came across this recipe many years ago, when - as a joke - my father asked if I could make toffee ice cream. I searched online and found a recipe similar to this, which seemed fairly simple. I tried it, and we thought it excellent. Unfortunately I can no longer find that page - most of the online recipes for toffee (or caramel, as they call it in the USA) ice cream includes several egg yolks.

I usually buy and simmer about three cans of condensed milk together, then keep them in the cupboard for this or other recipes involving dulce de leche. Note that it must be the thick, sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk (which is unsweetened, and much thinner). We buy a brand of condensed milk called 'Nounou'. Please, please be very careful with the simmering stage. We have never had a problem using a low heat and gentle simmer, but if the water boiled dry, or if you boiled too rapidly, it could potentially explode.

This ice cream is much more compllicated than most of my ice cream recipes, which require little more than whipping a can of evaporated milk and adding some sugar and other optional ingredients before churning. But we feel it's well worthwhile for special occasions. The taste is quite amazing.