Rocky road ice cream dates back to the Great Depression, when this ice cream combination was named "rocky road" to put a smile on the consumer's face during tough times. Even today, I'm pretty sure a spoonful of homemade rocky road ice cream is bound to put a smile on just about anyone.
This is a custard-based ice cream, so the final product is exceptionally creamy — but for great texture, pay attention when you are cooking the eggs, since with just a little too much heat it can curdle in a flash. For the chocoholic in me, I added extra chocolate chips to the traditional marshmallows and pecans. Put a smile on your face when you keep reading for the recipe.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao), chopped and melted
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/3 cup mini marshmallows
1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/3 cup bite-size chocolate chunks
- In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175° to 180°F at this point. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle.
- Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Stir in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Cool the custard to below 70°F by stirring it over the ice bath.
- Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Fold the marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chunks into the just-churned ice cream, transfer to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 1 quart.
- Desserts, Frozen