Simple, but extraordinary. Chef Massimo Bottura conjures edible magic using basic ingredients
For the bread crisps:
• 3 ½ oz (100 g) stale bread, sliced 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and cut into six 4 inch (10 cm) rounds
• 0.35 oz (10 g) edible gold powder
For the bread and sugar cream:
• 3 ½ oz (100 g) stale bread (see note)
• ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
• 3 ⅓ cups (800 ml) milk
• 3 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
For the salted caramel ice cream:
• ⅔ cup (150 ml) heavy (whipping) cream
• ¾ cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• ⅔ cup (150 ml) milk
For the caramel croutons:
• 3 ½ oz (100 g) bread, cut into small pieces (see note)
• 4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
To make the bread crisps:
1 Preheat the oven to 350 (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2 Arrange the bread on the baking sheet ¾ inch (2 cm) apart. Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with the gold powder.
To make the bread and sugar cream:
1 In a medium pan, heat the bread and brown sugar over medium heat and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add half the milk and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
2 Add the remaining milk and the cream, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
3 Strain through a fine-mesh sieve two times. Cover and refrigerate.
4 Once cold, whisk until stiff peaks form and transfer to a pastry (piping) bag.
To make the salted caramel ice cream:
1 In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat.
2 In a medium pan, melt the brown sugar over medium heat until completely melted, about 3 minutes. Add the warmed cream and salt, remove from the heat, and whisk. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan.
3 Add the milk and generous ¾ cup (200 ml) water. Return to the heat and bring to 104°F (40°C) over medium heat, then simmer for 2 minutes until it reaches 176°F (80°C). Remove from the heat and let cool.
4 Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
5 Transfer to an ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, freeze the mixture until hard enough to scoop.)
To make the caramel croutons:
1 In a medium pan, heat the bread and brown sugar over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar caramelizes and coats the bread, about 5 minutes.
2 Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
1 Place a scoop of the salted caramel ice cream on each plate and top with 5 caramel croutons, 1 tablespoon bread and sugar cream, 5 more caramel croutons, and 1 more tablespoon bread and sugar cream. Garnish with 1 bread crisp.
Recipe courtesy of Massimo Bottura, extracted from BREAD IS GOLD. Published by Phaidon. Image credit: Food Editore/Piermichele Borraccia (page 25)