While I was making regular vanilla bean ice cream using my old-standby recipe, I thought, "hmmm, I wonder how this would taste with brown sugar instead of white sugar...", and it was a great decision! I don't think I can go back to the old standby anymore; it was THAT good!
Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
adapted from Ice Cream!; it is my go-to recipe for vanilla-based ice cream
1 1/4 (300ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean (if none, add 1 more tsp of vanilla extract to below amount when you add the cream)
4 large egg yolks (save egg whites for macarons, meringues, or omelettes!)
1/2 cup (100g) BROWN sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1 1/4 (300ml) heavy cream
1-2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean
Put the milk, vanilla seeds, and vanilla bean (if using) in a medium saucepan, and heat gently to near-boiling point. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow the vanilla to infuse for 15 minutes.
In a separate, heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar, using a whisk or electric beater, until thick and pale. Gradually beat the milk into the egg mixture.
Slower method: Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and continue stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (book's instructions)
Quicker method: Pour the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, and stir the mixture until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. (this is what I did). This took about 5-10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Transfer the hot mixture into a bowl (you can put the bowl over a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly); stir in the cream and vanilla extract or paste.
Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the custard to cool completely by refrigerating mixture for 4 hours to overnight.
After the custard has chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately as a soft serve, or transfer to a freezer container; cover the surface directly with waxed paper or foil, and put in the freezer.