Brown Sugar Balsamic Swirl Ice Cream

What’s your favourite food?

It’s always either a really easy or really tough question for people to answer. For me, it’s easy.

Ice cream.

If you made me pick a flavour, that’s when it gets tough. Really, if you just make it cold, make it smooth and make it sweet, I’m there. Although the “sweet” isn’t necessarily required, and can be unexpected, but good.

This one is definitely sweet, but it also has a little tang. It’s a little different. It’s got vinegar in it. It’s no vanilla soft serve, but don’t worry, it still tastes pretty good in a cone.

I love how versatile balsamic vinegar can be, at one moment dressing my salad, the next, reducing down to a sweet but sharp syrup, drizzled over my strawberries. Now, it’s dressing my brown sugar.

You’d think with how much I love brown sugar, I wouldn’t need to dress it with anything to make it better. But you know that magic about contrasting flavours? How salt makes chocolate taste more chocolatey? The tang of the balsamic compliments the darker flavours of brown sugar and it somehow makes the sweetness taste sweeter.

Not to mention, that deep, rich, glossy ribbon looks quite pretty, swirling through all that ice cream. Just make sure you don’t stand over the pot while it reduces. Those fumes will punch you in the face. If you’re trying to take a close up photo of bubbling vinegar and you don’t take a step back, it may punch you hard enough that you have to juggle your camera to avoid dropping it into the pot. Maybe. Don’t worry about it.

Whether you’re full of chocolate or vinegar, I love you, ice cream. I really do.

Brown Sugar Balsamic Swirl Ice Cream

Recipe from Bon Appetit


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar


  1. Combine heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and 1/2 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until very thick, about 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour hot cream mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and thermometer inserted into custard registers 180°F, about 3 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into large bowl set over another bowl of ice and water. Cool custard completely, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cover and chill overnight.
  4. Boil balsamic vinegar in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Cool syrup in pan.
  5. Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is done, spoon in balsamic syrup and churn 3 to 4 seconds longer to swirl. Transfer ice cream to container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

4 thoughts on “Brown Sugar Balsamic Swirl Ice Cream

  1. I was looking at my ice cream bowl in the freezer this morning and though it’s about time to break it out. This recipe is definitely fueling that flame!

  2. What kind of ice cream maker do you have? My boyfriend is getting me one for my birthday and I’m not sure which ones are the best and reasonably priced. Thanks so much!

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