Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Caramel Matzah Crunch Ice Cream: A Passover Dream Come True

Oh yes I did. I just put two of my favorite things (and I know they are also favorites for many of you!) together and it's all kosher-for-Passover!

You can call me a hero. Start celebrating a Happy Go Marni Day in your city. Post cardboard cut outs of me on your lawn. Write me onto the next presidential ballot. I just made Passover dessert more than simply tolerable! Hip Hip Hooray!

Made-from-scratch vanilla bean ice cream gets a Passover-themed flavor enhancement with the addition of tiny pieces of caramel matzah crunch, that chocolate caramel-covered matzah candy that the world can't live without on Passover. A-mazing! Both of these things are things I've blogged about separately before. So all they needed was a little love and marriage.

I knew I wanted to make ice cream for Passover, but I thought it would be more special if it had a distinctly Passover feel to it. I can't toss in regular candy pieces because of the corn syrup or other no-no ingredients. But caramel matzah crunch is something I make annually regardless, and broken up into tiny pieces, they resemble toffee bits! Sort of like Skor or Heath Bar bits.

The result is an ice cream that feels special for the holiday, but if you don't finish the batch by the end of Passover, it's perfectly delicious to continue consuming post-Passover. And you can't say that's true for a lot of other leftover desserts you might have when Passover ends. I see you through the computer screen, nodding in agreement. Try this!

Caramel Matzah Crunch Ice Cream
This recipe is my (very) successful attempt to marry Caramel Matzah Crunch by Marcy Goldman and Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream by David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk (honestly, 1% will work fine)
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon Passover vanilla extract
Approximately 1 1/2 cups Caramel Matzah Crunch, broken up into little 1/2-inch pieces (see recipe below)

Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk) and the Passover vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use. I recommend straining the mixture into a new bowl because there might be tiny pieces of bark from the vanilla pod that you don't want in the ice cream. Then churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

During the last 3-5 minutes of churning, when the mixture is pretty thick and almost of perfect consistency for soft serve ice cream, pour in the caramel matzah crunch bits and let the ice cream maker incorporate all the pieces. Transfer the ice cream to freezer containers and freeze for a few hours before serving to allow the ice cream to firm up a bit.

Caramel Matzah Crunch
4-6 unsalted matzahs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large (or two smaller) cookie sheet completely with foil. Cover the bottom of the sheet with baking parchment — on top of the foil. This is very important since the mixture becomes sticky during baking.

Line the bottom of the cookie sheet evenly with the matzahs, cutting extra pieces, as required, to fit any spaces.

In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter or margarine and the brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (about 2 to 4 minutes). Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour over the matzah, covering completely.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°. Bake for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove the pan from the oven, lower the heat to 325°, and replace the pan).

Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzah. Chill, still in the pan, in the freezer until set. Break into squares or odd shapes.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Note: Additional photos can be found on my original posts for Caramel Matzah Crunch and Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream.

After the ice cream mixture has chilled in the fridge overnight, remove it from the fridge...

Strain the mixture into a new bowl to catch the vanilla pod and any tiny pieces of vanilla bark...

Pour into the ice cream maker...

When the ice cream is almost done, and thick but still moving easily in the machine, pour in the Caramel Matzah Crunch bits...

Churn with the candy bits for about 3 minutes, until fully incorporated...

Transfer to a freezer container and place in freezer to allow the ice cream to firm up...

Scoop and serve! You are in for a real Passover treat!


David M said...


David M said...

well, I suspect it's yummy anyways, I have never had matzah before.

Anonymous said...

i love your recipes marni our family does passover every year nad i am super exited about sharing theese recipes with them.i have on happy go marni request
can you make a dessert that has toffe in it or birthday cake ice cream with real icing ? thanks marni for showing me cooking is not as scary as it looks :)

Carolyn Jung said...

I'm going to start a petition to get "Happy Go Marni Day'' an official holiday. Heck, the world would be a better place if that happened. After all, your good cheer and good eats would make everyone forget their troubles and their conflicts. Now, that's a holiday we should all be so lucky to have.

Legume said...

looks so delicious...thanks

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