As I’ve mentioned before, ice cream was/ will probably continue to be one of my vices while away at school. Needless to say, when we studied Ben & Jerry’s in my international business class (and consequently enjoyed a day of free Cherry Garcia, among other flavors) that class was solidified as my favorite of second semester.
I don’t know how many times I restocked the freezer of my mini-fridge with ice cream… probably a shameful number of times. I distinctly remember reading the case study about Ben & Jerry’s strategy of taking its products to Japan, stopping 5 pages in, running to the supermarket to pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s “Half Baked” froyo, and returning to my dorm to simultaneously devour said froyo and finish reading about the company’s strategy.
We’ve made quite a few frozen desserts before: strawberry ice cream, vanilla bean semifreddo, and a greek yogurt and honey semifreddo. Three words: nom nom nom. Be adventurous! Break out the ice cream maker! Make frozen desserts!
This frozen yogurt is super simple to make – just whisk together a few ingredients and let the machine do the rest of the work (just be sure you freeze the ice cream maker’s bowl and blade well in advance). The Amaretto caramel sauce makes this froyo even more decadent; it’s very similar to the sauce in this toasted almond bread pudding.
This frozen yogurt is part healthy, part indulgent. The greek yogurt is thick and full of protein. The heavy cream rounds out the tanginess of the yogurt and makes it, well, more creamy! I went with crunchy almond butter, to add an element of texture. This froyo is not overly sweet and the almond flavor it definitely present, but subtle. And finally, the sauce lends a bit more sweetness and a hint of rich almond-infused caramel flavor.
Almond Butter Froyo with Amaretto Caramel Sauce
- 2 C. plain Greek yogurt
- ½ C. almond butter (I used Blue Diamond, crunchy)
- ¼ C. packed brown sugar
- 1C. almond milk (I used Vanilla Almond Breeze, also by Blue Diamond)
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ C. packed brown sugar
- ¼ C. Amaretto
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
Freeze the ice cream maker bowl and blade the night before.
Start out by making the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Let cook for about one minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Prepare to flambé the sauce with Amaretto: turn off the heat, carefully add Amaretto. You can either light the mixture with a match or return to the stove over low heat; you MUST be careful with either method as the sauce WILL flame up. Do not panic; allow a few seconds for the alcohol to burn off and the flames to subside. Once the flames subside, return to medium low heat and cook for about to minutes. Add in cream and cook until the mixture just starts to bubble. Remove from heat, transfer to a glass bowl, and cool in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken significantly once it cools.
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients for frozen yogurt base until smooth. Start up the ice cream maker and pour in frozen yogurt base with the machine on. Let churn until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble frozen yogurt, about 20 – 30 minutes (timing will vary with your machine). Transfer to a freezer-safe container (I like to alternate layers of frozen yogurt and some of the caramel sauce, but that is entirely optional). Freeze until hard.
To serve, remove the frozen yogurt well before you are ready to eat so that it has time to soften and become easy to scoop. If you find that it is still too hard, microwave in 30-second intervals, keeping a close eye not to over-soften. Top generously with caramel sauce.