I've been off ice cream for awhile. With all the other fattiness I ingest, something had to go. My go-to favorite had been vanilla or blackberry from Snoqualmie Gourmet ice cream. They make a pretty tasty frozen custard too. Over the years though, a new flavor comes out that draws me away from these standards. Godiva had a vanilla ice cream with chocolate caramel hearts a few years back that was amazing. The caramel in the hearts remained soft, even while suspended in frozen, creamy goodness. Haagen Dazs came out with Dulce de Leche a couple years ago which got me hooked. Now, they have a new "reserve" line of ice cream and have a released a Fleur de Sel flavor.
I've always been a fan of the salty/sweet combo (Kettle Corn, popcorn with Junior Mints for example). Probably the best version of salty/sweet I know are Salt Caramels from Fran's Chocolates here in Seattle. They are squares of light, soft caramel covered in dark chocolate and topped with a little sprinkle of sea salt. They cost about a $1 each, so when I buy them I squirrel them away in hopes Gavin won't find them.
Salted Caramel ice cream has been piquing my interest for many months. I've come across interesting articles and recipes in the blogosphere, but haven't had a chance to make it or for that matter taste it. The one that really made me drool was "The Sweet Life in Paris" by David Lebowitz's. His recipe was inspired by an ice cream from Berthillons. I really need to make it back to Paris. It is on our list, especially since our friends Mary & Greg moved there.
The Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel is kind of a revelation. They took super creamy caramel ice cream in mixed in mini caramel-filled chocolates. The caramel remains soft and has a slightly salty tinge to it. It is one of the most fattening ice creams I've seen (280 calories and 17 grams of fat per 1/2 cup). Ounce for ounce though, it is the most flavorful and satisfying ice creams I've ever had. Hopefully I can stop at just 1/2 a cup...per day.