Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Rocky Road Ice Cream

Posted on: November 8, 2009


A Classic!

As plebian as this flavor sounds, it truly is one of my all time favorites. First of all, chocolate and almonds are just plain delicious to begin with. And when you add fluffy marshmallows to the mix you get an ice cream that’s both tasty and fun to eat. In doing some research on this flavor I discovered that it was invented during the Great Depression, a time when our country was undergoing a “rocky road”. In our own times of economic trouble, I recommend that you go out and buy the very best ingredients and make this ice cream at home. How’s that for a stimulus plan?


The Cocoa Base

I started off with a slightly different ice cream base from my usual. I used constarch instead of eggs to stabilize and thicken my ice cream. I have to say that this method worked pretty well and couldn’t have been easier. You just boil milk, cream and sugar together and then add in a slurry of cocoa and constarch, liquified with a bit of milk. The next step is to boil it for a few minutes until it thickens slightly, and cool in the fridge. This ice cream base was very fudgy, and highlighted the cocoa flavor over the cream. Upon tasting it, I thought it tasted a bit like a frozen hot chocolate.



This base was great on its own, but even better with the toasted almonds and mini marshmallows in it. There’s is just something about almonds and chocolate together. They complement each other so well, I think it could be true love. And marshmallows are whimsical and fun. Some prefer a rocky road with marshmallow swirl in it, but I find that with a swirl you don’t get enough of marshamallow flavor in comparison to a tangible, solid marshmallow chunk. I’m also a purist when it comes to nuts, I only use toasted almonds or pecans. I’ve sometimes seen peanuts in this flavor in lieu of almonds, but I would never use them. Don’t get me wrong, I love peanuts in ice cream, but they just don’t belong in Rocky Road.



Ever since childhood, I’ve loved Rocky Road and some things never change. Eating it, I felt like a kid again with its fluffy marshmallows and chocolate milk flavor. I think this ice cream is just as comforting in times of economic turmoil as it was way back in the Great Depression. And how can we not hope in the future, when such a dark time in our nation’s history produced such a scrumptious frozen dessert? So take heart, things will get better, and in the mean time there’s always ice cream.

Rocky Road Ice Cream


2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup toasted almonds, chopped

1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat. Combine 1 cup cream, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a bowl, add to hot milk, and cook until sugar and cocoa dissolve and the base thickens slightly. Add salt and vanilla extract.

2. Set aside to let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Add mini marshmallows and almonds.

Make it a Sundae!–  Amp up the flavor by topping this ice cream with hot fudge and marshmallow sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and chocolate chips. Enjoy!


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