I know we had you at brown butter... or bourbon, and likely no additional explanation is needed here! But this gelato is truly one of our all time favorite flavor combos! The Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato is made using a homemade caramel sauce mixed into the base as well as swirled throughout, so you get tons of deep, rich, decadent caramel flavor in every single bite!
This is one of those flavors that is really quite perfect for every season! Most people transition away from frozen desserts around Fall, but this flavor never goes out of season. Just imagine a slice of warm apple or pecan pie with this on top on a brisk Fall evening.
Are you drooling yet? I am as I'm typing this. **Brief typing break to get a scoop of gelato.**
Ok. Where was I? Ah, yes, this Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato will be your go-to flavor for the entire year! Go ahead, prove us wrong.
Gelato vs Ice Cream
We never have ice cream in this house anymore, but for a very good reason. Gelato is just better! It is creamier, more flavorful, and has an amazing texture.
Don't you just hate it when you take ice cream out of the freezer and practically break your arm trying to scoop it out of the container??? Well, gelato will never ever do this to you. It is the perfect scoop-able texture immediately out of the freezer!
There are quite a few differences between gelato and ice cream, although they both contain three basic ingredients. All ice cream and gelato have dairy, sugar and air as base components. They have different proportions, however, and are churned differently, which results in the main differences in mouthfeel. The short version is gelato has less fat and less air, making the tastes more vibrant and the texture creamier. We will break this down further at another time, but for now, just trust us that gelato is a superior dessert. Just give it a try, and you will understand.
Do I need an ice cream machine?
We always use a machine to churn our gelato, and if you are gelato (or ice cream) lovers like us, having one is a must. Most stand mixers have attachments like THIS but a standalone ice cream machine can be a good option too.
If you don't have or don't want to purchase a machine, you can still make this Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato by hand. The texture will be a bit less smooth when making it by hand, but it pretty easy to make. See our post for Passion Fruit White Chocolate Mint Gelato for details on how to make gelato by hand.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
If you are looking for more recipes like this, check out some of our other popular desserts below:
- Pumpkin Mascarpone Cheesecake with Candied Cinnamon Pecans
- Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Brown Butter and Pecan Rum Cake
- Pecan Tassies (Tarts)
- Pumpkin Spice Butter Cake aka “Crack Cake”
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Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato
FOR THE CARAMEL (makes about 1.5 cups of caramel sauce)
- 8 tbs (113g) butter (1 stick)
- 1 ¼ cup (260g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15g) water
- ⅔ cup (160g) Heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoon (28g) bourbon (or any whiskey/whisky)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon course sea salt
FOR THE GELATO
- 1 cup (240g) cream
- 1 cup (240g) milk
- 1 cup (200g) sugar, divided
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 5 (75g) large egg yolks
MAKE THE BROWN BUTTER
- Cut the butter into 4-8 pieces. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a stainless saucepan.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to keep the milk solids from sticking hard to the bottom. Keep an eye on the color – once the milk solids turn light brown and the smell is nutty, take it off the heat.
- Pour into a bowl and let it cool some while you work on the caramel.
MAKE THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- Heat the sugar and water in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir the sugar often as it melts with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Stir and cook until the sugar is not lumpy and it is an amber color. This may take 15-20 minutes and you may need to turn your heat to low if excessive clumping occurs until the sugar melts completely. Eventually it will all melt and become a medium amber color.
- Turn heat to low and whisk in the brown butter and thoroughly combine. This will take a couple of minutes.
- Slowly (and carefully) add the cream whisking as you pour. This will bubble significantly, so pour slowly to try to keep it in the pan and not on your stovetop to clean up later!
- Once whisked in completely, add the bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt and continue to whisk until completely combined for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Once cooled, pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge; the caramel will thicken as it cools.
MAKE THE GELATO
- Combine cream, milk, ¼ cup (50g) sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the pulp into the milk mixture then add the pod in as well. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs and ¾ cup (150g) sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. Pour about ½ cup of the milk mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture and whisk until incorporated. Then add the remaining contents of the milk mixture and stir to incorporate completely. Whisk in 3 tablespoon of the caramel sauce into this gelato base. It doesn’t have to dissolve completely.
- Place the contents into your ice cream or gelato machine and mix per your machine’s instructions until thickened and creamy. Our gelato machine takes about 30 minutes to churn this flavor.
- Once your gelato is done, remove to a cold bowl and quickly, but gently, pour and stir in about ⅓-2/3 cup of the refrigerated caramel sauce. Stir gently and then transfer to a freezer safe container. The quicker you work the better the texture will be when finished. Freeze overnight for best results.