I set out yesterday to make espresso ice cream, thinking that perhaps I would try to teach myself how to make an ice cream with chocolate bits in it (mint chip is my favorite, and I am hoping to make some this summer with fresh mint and lots of really good dark chocolate). However, reaching into the cupboard for the espresso powder, I noticed a tin of dulce de leche I bought at the Mexican grocery a few weeks ago when I was making a flan, and I decided to try it out instead.
Good idea, Lisa! It's really good, and the more I make this ice cream (Jeni's eggless recipe from this month's Food & Wine), the better the texture seems to be. This probably had the best texture yet and was rich without being too cloying. You should try it! It does require just a little extra mixing, but it's still finished in about 15 minutes (minus the chilling and freezing time, of course).
Please click through for the recipe; here are my adaptations:
1/2 can (about 7 ounces) dulce de leche, available in the Mexican section of large grocery stores
Mix this in the mixer with the cream cheese, stopping and scraping every few seconds to ensure it is completely mixed (it took me 3 scrapings to be perfect)
Reduce the sugar by half.
Increase salt by a few pinches.
I used 1 tbsp vanilla bean extract (the good stuff, please) instead of vanilla pods; however, if you go overboard on the amount, this can theoretically cause the ice cream to have a slightly more loose texture, because of the alcohol content in the vanilla.
Proceed as normal, beating the hot cream slowly into the cheese/leche mixture to be sure everything is nicely incorporated; scrape down as needed.