I love all things sweet and salty. Potato chips and dark chocolate, sea salted chocolate chip cookies, pretzel-topped brownies, you name it. The key is to have the right balance between the two flavors, not skewed one way or the other, to create a truly addictive dessert.
Today, I think I’ve done that.
The use of miso in desserts has intrigued me for a while. The salty soybean paste is mainly used for other applications, but I knew it’s salty, savory kick would pair well with sweet desserts, much like how a pinch of flaky salt improves caramel tremendously. In fact, miso caramel has been invented and tried, and it’s one of the genius recipes that inspired me to create the miso dulce de leche in this ice cream. By the way, dulce de leche is definitely the superior condiment compared to caramel. You can’t beat the depth of flavor that comes from slowly simmering milk and sugar for hours on end, and the miso paste adds another layer of flavor, creating a crazy delicious spread that you might just want to eat, spoonful by spoonful, from the jar (not gonna lie, I snuck a few bites).
Try this ice cream out; you’ll be surprised at how good miso tastes in sweet applications!
miso dulce de leche swirl ice cream
miso dulce de leche
- 1 quart (960 g) whole milk
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp red miso or to taste; you may prefer less
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 inch segment vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp water
vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or leftover vanilla bean from the dulce de leche
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- 4-5 large egg yolks use more for a richer ice cream, less for a lighter one
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
to make the miso dulce de leche
Heat milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean (if using) together in a large saucepan on medium heat. While the milk is heating, dissolve the miso paste into the milk through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the grainy bits left over.
Once the milk is simmering, take pan off the heat and stir in the dissolved baking soda. The mixture will bubble up. Return pan to heat and keep at a brisk simmer. Cook it for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until the mix is a light brown color.
Keep cooking, stirring more frequently as time passes, until the dulce de leche is a copper color and has thickened to a honey consistency. Take the vanilla bean out, or if using vanilla extract, mix it in right now.
Dump the finished dulce de leche into a jar or bowl and let cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
to make the vanilla ice cream
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the bean, and add them along with the empty pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for 1 hour.
Set up an ice bath; fill a large bowl with ice and water, and then place a medium-sized bowl on top. Add the heavy cream into the bowl.
Rewarm the milk over the stove. Whisk the egg yolks together, then gradually add some of the warmed milk to the yolks, whisking constantly. Add the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan along with the rest of the milk.
Cook the mixture, scraping the bottom with a spatula, until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Add the vanilla extract, and whisk until cooled. Refrigerate until chilled, preferably overnight.
Freeze the ice cream base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
To assemble the ice cream, add 1/4th of the churned vanilla ice cream to the bottom of a loaf pan or other food container. Swirl 1/4th of the miso dulce de leche on top. Repeat this process 4 more times, then freeze the ice cream for 3-4 hours, until firm enough to scoop.