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Rocky Road Ice Cream

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Vanilla and chocolate ice cream are perennial favorites, but you can't go wrong with this Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe! This version of the classic ice cream flavor doesn't hold back when it comes to flavor, as it has plenty of marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chips. If you've never made ice cream before, don't be intimidated. The hardest part of making this easy ice cream recipe is waiting for it to freeze before you can grab a spoon and dig in! This recipe can be modified, too; check out the author's suggestions below.

Rocky Road Ice Cream comes in all different guises though always composed of chocolate (sometimes the ice cream and sometimes pieces), nuts, sometimes coconut and always and most notably marshmallows. Although marshmallows are the most popular campfire treats, few people actually know what they are. Made by mixing corn syrup, powdered sugar, egg whites and unflavored gelatin, this mixture is then left to “harden” for about a day and then, traditionally, cut into bite-sized cubes.

Before the invention of gelatin, an extract from the root of the marshmallow plant was used as a thickening agent. Hence the name. Today, marshmallows are known for their key role in S’Mores as well as a popular topping for hot chocolate. 

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Occasional Fresco, Buffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseDessert

EquipmentIce Cream Maker

MealDinner

Taste and TextureChocolatey, Creamy, Crunchy, Nutty, Sweet

Type of DishIce Cream

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • ½ cup mini marshmallows, chopped if desired
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans, walnuts or almonds
  • ½ cup chopped chocolate chips
  • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the milk, cream and ¼ cup of the sugar in a small pan and cook over low heat, whisking from time to time, until it is warm, about 175 degrees F.

  2. Place the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, the vanilla extract and salt in a small metal bowl and whisk until completely mixed.

  3. Add ¼ cup of the warm milk mixture to the eggs, whisking all the while.

  4. Continue adding milk to the eggs, ¼ cup at a time, until you have added about 1½ cups.

  5. Slowly, whisking all the while, return the now milk and egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and continue cooking until it just begins to thicken or reaches about 185 degrees F.

  6. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

  7. Pour through a medium fine strainer into a metal bowl, discard the solids and set aside until it reaches room temperature.

  8. Cover and refrigerate until it reaches 40 degrees F, about 3 hours. Transfer to an ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  9. When the ice cream is just beginning to come together but has not hardened completely, add the marshmallows, pecans, chocoloate chips, and coconut, if desired, and process for about 5 more minutes.

Variation

For S’More Ice Cream: replace the pecans and coconut with 4 chopped graham crackers.

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