Salted caramel has become such a buzzword these days hasn’t it? Salted caramel chocolates, desserts, coffees, ice creams the list goes on…It feels like it’s everywhere we turn and yet the truth is, interestingly , that it hadn’t even been invented until the late 1970s!
Try to imagine a world without salted caramel? We just did and let me tell you it wasn’t great, in fact it was one of the worst moments of our week. There’s just something about that combination of sweet and salty that makes the world a better place.
Not surprisingly it was conjured up by a chocolatier in Brittany, the home of all the best foods ; gallettes, moules frites and of course most importantly Fleur de sel.
When Henri Le Roux an up and coming choclatier looking to make a name for himself in the crowded world of confectionery decided to create a unique flavour combination to stand out from the crowd; he turned to the local delicacy Fleur de sel. (This special sea salt is hand harvested off the coast in Brittany, is known as one of the world’s finest sea salt’s and is used by chefs and gourmets worldwide.) Knowing that salt has the ability to heighten the flavour profile of whatever it was mixed with he had the bold idea of making a caramel out of the much revered local salted butter and voila ; salted caramel was born!
Ice Cream Flavours
Nowadays we are used to spotting salted caramel as one of the many flavours in our favourite ice cream shop; in fact when we were on a trip to Tuscany a few years ago we were met with not 1 but 5 different salted varieties of gelato to sample.
Luckily over here in Ireland (and Dublin) we have also upped our ice cream game (not to forget the salted ice creams) and these days there are so many to choose from during late summer heatwaves like we’re experiencing now!
Here in The Hopsack we pride ourselves on sourcing the best ( and healthiest!) ice creams around, even the salted ice creams;
our current favourites are:
Caramel Salted Ice Cream
Caramel salted ice cream by nobu – this little irish brand is a firm favourite of ours. We have championed their products since they first started out and it has been amazing to see them go from strength to strength. Their products are that rare combination of insanely tasty and also surprisingly healthy.
The ingredients are so simple just Coconut milk, Brown rice syrup, Coconut sugar, Avocado, Vanilla extract, Irish sea salt (1%)
i mean its practically a health food right?
In fact we recently recorded an episode of our podcast where we discuss the relative and sometimes surprising facts around nutrient density in icecream.
Chocolate Salted Ice Cream
Our second pick is the chocolate salted ice cream by Booja Booja. This ice cream tastes sooo creamy and decadent and unlike many chocolate ice creams nowadays is jam packed with great quality ORGANIC cocoa, stimulating serotonin and all those other happy making hormones that will keep you blissed out until the sun goes down.
Another great thing is that this dairy free ice cream uses cashew nuts as its base which means that it contains that magical combination of protein and sugars; meaning we not only store our sugars better but it doesn’t spike our blood sugars as much as traditional ice cream might. A win win all round.
Gluten Free & Dairy Free Salted Caramel Ice Cream
We know that Ice cream gets a bad rep for being one of those guilty pleasures, and in fact all summer long we see beleaguered parents trying to distract their children from the sound of yet another ice cream van touting sugar filled, additive ridden frozen treats guaranteed to send their little ones into a tizzy.
But fear not we are here to help ; Aware that our customers are getting more and more discerning every year and also conscious that many amongst you are avid foodies we have made sure our shelves are stocked with ice creams that cover all the bases; we have gluten free, dairy free, vegan and nutrient dense options to suit your ever changing needs.
Now that allergies are on the rise we’ve noticed in recent years a demand for gluten free ice cream cones and we are constantly trying to source the best of the options as they come to market so keep an eye on our shelves to find ones that suit your taste.
Personally we enjoy making ice cream sandwiches as an ultra decadent treat using our favourite kilbeggan oat cookies for super tasty post bbq treat.
Other pairing suggestions or serving
Or we make ourselves a smoothie bowl style sundae; by heaping our favourite salted caramel flavour icecream into a bowl with a bunch of fresh fruits and topping it with cacao nibs, bee pollen and toasted almonds for a textural treat that is full of health benefits too!
- Cacao nibs are rich in polyphenols which improve brain function and blood flow.
- bee pollen which is great for summer sun kissed skin as it protects from sun damage
- toasted almonds which help curb blood sugar spikes after meals.
Check out this Gluten Free Apple and Cinnamon Crumble for another pairing idea!!
Looking to buy salted ice cream?
We can’t wait to see what delicious desserts we’ve inspired so please remember to tag us in your creations when you post them online on Instagram!