Salted Bourbon Caramel–Cured Egg Yolks with Vanilla Ice Cream
Why This Recipe Works
by Tim Chin
Egg yolks add richness to (and improve the texture of) countless desserts—everything from cakes and cookies to crème brȗlée and ice cream. We are very comfortable with egg yolks in our desserts. But what happens if we put an egg yolk on dessert? At Smyth Restaurant in Chicago, the kitchen offers a dish of a yolk lightly cured in salted licorice syrup served atop a yogurt meringue. At first blush it’s a jarring concept—but the textures and flavors come across as familiar. That dessert inspired us to try curing egg yolks in a salted caramel and using them to top ice cream. The exteriors of the yolks develop a thin, fudgy, caramel-like shell, while the interiors stay soft and runny. And the yolk and caramel sauce ooze over the ice cream adding a decadent layer of richness.
We love custard-based ice cream, which is already rich in egg yolks, and we're big fans of salted caramel in desserts. This recipe combines lots of familiar (and delicious!) flavors and textures in a surprising package. And because all the work is done ahead of time, serving this innovative dessert to your soon-to-be-wowed guests is as easy as scooping ice cream.
In-shell pasteurized eggs can also be used without any changes to the recipe. You can use the leftover caramel to cure another batch of egg yolks. Or try the caramel in your coffee, mixed into cocktails, or drizzled on ice cream. The small amount of corn syrup is insurance against crystallization when making the caramel.
Photography by Steve Klise
Food Styling by Tim Chin