rocky road ice cream.

guess what, friends?

july is national ice cream month!

i think right about now, nearly everyone in America is craving cool, creamy frozen treats. we’re in the middle of july now, which means that summer is in full swing. the heat is most certainly on.

so since we’re all sweating profusely and getting sunburns in a matter of minutes, i really think we could all use a little ice cream. okay, a lot of ice cream. we deserve it. we need it. it’s very necessary.

so without further ado, welcome to ice cream week!

well, technically it’s ice cream, sorbet and gelato week, but that’s pretty long-winded. you get the point.

each day this week, i’ll be sharing a new, delicious recipe with you. i feel a little bit like the ice cream man, except i’m not a man, and i don’t drive around in a truck playing “the entertainer” on an annoyingly endless loop. you’re welcome, internet!

today, we’re talking about rocky road ice cream. chocolate ice cream, squishy little frozen marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts! what’s not to like?

i think that rocky road is especially fun, because you can really get creative and make an ice cream that you can call your own. look, i made you a list of potential mix-ins, because i like you.

  • white chocolate chips!
  • peanut butter chips!
  • butterscotch chips!
  • chocolate chunks!
  • miniature peanut butter cups! (can i get a hell yes on that one, pretty please?)
  • hazelnuts!
  • walnuts!
  • peanuts!
  • cashews!
  • chocolate-covered miniature marshmallows!
  • flavored marshmallows, like strawberry!

the list goes on and on. well, not that list, because i ended it with strawberry marshmallows, but you get the idea. it’s your rocky road, so put delicious things that you love in it!

around here, we love tiny chocolate chips, slivered almonds and miniature chocolate chips, so that’s what we used. i must say, these were excellent choices.

this chocolate ice cream base is completely fantastic. it’s rich and creamy, and not overly sweet. the flavor of the chocolate is extremely pronounced, thanks to the combination of melted chocolate, cocoa powder and instant espresso powder. i like it when chocolate ice cream tastes like chocolate ice cream, ya dig? this is the real deal.

i really love rocky road ice cream in a waffle cone. when you get to the bottom of the cone, it’s full of mix-ins and melted ice cream, which is why i think the last bite is always the tastiest. yum.

so what are you waiting for? get thee to an ice cream maker and churn away! in no time at all, you’ll be enjoying the best-tasting rocky road ice cream ever. not a bad way to beat the heat, my friend.

our epic ice cream week saga continues tomorrow. there will be mystery, intrigue, secrets, lies and of course, ice cream! who will live? who will die? stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion!

rocky road ice cream

Yield: 1 quart ice cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling and churning time

Ingredients:

2 cups half & half (you can use whole milk if you like)
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk (if you want, you can totally use half & half instead)
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (use pure vanilla extract if you don't have paste!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup slivered almonds (you can toast them if you like, just cool completely before adding to ice cream)
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions:

in a small saucepan, combine one cup of the half & half with the cocoa powder and instant espresso powder, and whisk thoroughly to combine.

place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, whisking frequently.

once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and cook at a low boil for about 30 seconds, whisking constantly.

remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, whisking until smooth and combined.

stir in the remaining half & half to combine, and transfer to a large bowl, scraping the sides of the saucepan with a rubber spatula thoroughly to get all the chocolate into the bowl. place a mesh strainer over the top of the bowl, and set aside.

in the same saucepan you just used, combine the whole milk, sugar and salt. place over medium heat and allow to come to a simmer slowly, stirring often to ensure the sugar dissolves.

while the milk is heating up, whisk the egg yolks together in a separate small bowl until pale yellow and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

when the milk is steaming and small bubbles just begin forming along the edges of the saucepan, remove from heat and slowly drizzle into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.

scrape the warm milk/egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat.

using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan frequently. the mixture will begin to thicken, and once it registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, remove the pan from the heat.

pass the thickened mixture through the mesh strainer set atop the cooled chocolate mixture. remove the strainer from the bowl and add the heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. stir to combine.

transfer the mixture to an airtight container, and chill in the fridge for at least three hours, preferably overnight.

when ready to churn, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to your manufacturer’s instructions, or about 20 minutes.

1 minute before you stop churning the ice cream, pour the marshmallows, slivered almonds and chocolate chips into the ice cream maker. when the ice cream is done churning, you may want to use a rubber spatula to ensure the mix-ins are evenly distributed through the ice cream.

transfer to an airtight container, and freeze for at least 30 minutes before scooping.

the ice cream will keep in an airtight container stored in the fridge for up to 6 months.

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16 Responses to “rocky road ice cream.”

  1. #
    1
    Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups — July 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I haven’t had rocky road ice cream in so long! I’m usually not a huge ice cream craver (I have more of a salt tooth), but the heat has been so out of control that I’ve been wanting ice cream everyday!

  2. #
    2
    Katherina @ Zephyr Runs — July 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The mix-ins really turn something “boring” like vanilla into something truly special!
    I think my favorite ice creams are not fruity but like birthday cake, butter pecan, mint chocolate… and I have a soft spot for COCONUT! Both coconut milk ice cream and coconut flavored ice cream <3
    I -like- ice cream by itself, but since we have Jeremiah's in the area I absolutely love gelato!!

  3. #
    3
    Kelly of Simply Kelly Designs — July 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    That rocky road looks yummy! My favorite flavor is cookies and cream but every other flavor is a close second! :)

  4. #
    4
    Cicely — July 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    yum!!! that rocky road looks amazing. I love ice cream, my current favorite flavor is this malt thing you can get from Publix. I have always wanted a chocolate-strawberry Neapolitan, sans vanilla. Vanilla is boring.

  5. #
    5
    adventureswithben — July 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I love the bowl the ice cream is being served in! Tres cute!

  6. #
    6
    Carolina @ Peas in a Blog — July 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Confession: I’m kinda obsessed with ice cream. I love all chocolate-centric kinds: chocolate in any form is the way to go!

  7. #
    7
    Velva — July 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    This is amazing. Love it!!

    Happy ice cream month to you.

    Cheers.
    Velva

  8. #
    8
    Tessa — July 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Wow, this sounds ridiculously good right about now. I can’t remember the last time I had anything rocky-road flavored!

  9. #
    9
    Jun — July 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Ouch… This had me stopped doing anything else… I just found myself stared at the photos for about 5 mins and drooling.

  10. #
    10
    Anita Menon — July 19, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Really, here in Bahrain, where the temperatures are soaring like there’s no tomorrow, this is precisely what I am craving for. The rocky road looks smashin’

  11. #
    11
    brandi — July 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Is there ANY chance that this would ship well to Virginia? Probably not, huh? :)

  12. #
    12
    Annalise — July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Love your melty ice cream pics! I haven’t had rocky road ice cream in ages, yours looks divine!

  13. #
    13
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — July 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

    That looks incredible :D Love the list of optional add ins, there are so many things I want to add in! :D

  14. #
    14
    Charissa — July 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Looks so good! I’m on such a smores kick right now!

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