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Sugar Cake and Caramel Frozen Custard

Sugar Cake and Caramel Frozen Custard is made with a homemade Spanish sugar cake called bica gallega and homemade dulce de leche. The vanilla custard, bica gallega, and dulce de leche make for an all day affair in the kitchen. Grab a friend and split the duties. The results will be worth it! 

A few notes: 1. Don't forget to free your ice cream bowl about 24 hours in advance! 2. A thermometer will be helpful for the custard. 3. Plan to let your finished custard freeze for 4 hours to overnight.

This recipe is in collaboration with mad scientist and ice cream aficionado Jeff Callahan of @theicecreampost. Jeff provided the recipe for the frozen custard base. The bica gallega recipe is lightly adapted from The Spruce and the dulce de leche recipes is lightly adapted from Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Spanish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 575 kcal
Author Jeff Callahan and Danielle Cushing

Ingredients

For the bica gallega (Spanish sugar cake)

  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar plus more for finishing
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons ghee room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

For the dulce de leche (caramel)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frozen custard

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder

Instructions

For the bica gallega:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F degrees. Coat a 9x9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Add a few tablespoons of flour to the pan and tilt or rotate until all the surfaces are lightly coated. Discard any flour that doesn’t stick.
  2. Place eggs, sugar, and ghee in a large mixing bowl and blend with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy and the color turns light yellow. Reduce to low speed and slowly pour in the whipping cream.
  3. Continue to mix on low speed and gradually add the flour and baking powder. Mix until batter is thoroughly blended.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining sugar create the characteristic crunchy crust.
  5. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The sugary crust should be golden brown. You may have to adjust baking time if you use a different size cake pan. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes on a cooling rack before cutting into crouton-like pieces.

For the dulce de leche:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine butter and sugar over medium heat and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture is thick and frothy or “lava-like,” about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream until thoroughly incorporated. Let cool 10 minutes then add vanilla, vinegar, and salt.

For the frozen custard:

  1. Place sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a medium-size bowl and whisk just until combined. Set aside.
  2. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add milk and cream. Do not scaled or boil, but once warm, add milk powder. Lightly whisk until combined. Continue to heat until small bubbles form along the sides.
  3. Now you will temper the egg yolk mixture: Pour about 1 cup of the milk into the egg mixture and stir. Add another cup of the milk into the egg mixture and stir. Now pour the “tempered” egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
  4. Continue to stir over medium heating, making sure not to boil Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature stays below 180 degrees F. The custard is done cooking when it coats a spoon or when you can draw a line in it with your finger. When done, pour the custard through a sieve or strainer into a bowl. Place that bowl inside a larger bowl of ice water. The quicker the custard chills, the better. Stir and continue to chill to room temperature. Add more ice to the larger bowl if necessary. Once it is cool enough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Once your custard is chilled and your freezer bowl is frozen, set up your ice cream maker. Pour the custard into the freezer bowl and churn about 15 minutes or until a soft-serve consistency. If your custard is too thin, the ingredients will fall to the bottom. Gently mix in the cake pieces. Transfer some of the custard to a freezer container. Drizzle with dulce de leche. Layer in more custard and drizzle again with dulce de leche. Repeat in layers. Cover and place in the back of the freezer 4 hours or overnight.