Monday, July 30, 2012

S'mores Ice Cream

I don't think there's a more quintessential, iconic summer treat than S'mores...  No backyard campfire is complete without melty chocolate and sticky, gooey marshmallows between two graham crackers.

The way a person toasts a marshmallow says something about them, although what it says exactly, I'm not sure.  But it probably does, right?  Toast it too fast and intense and you get a burned marshmallow with an uncooked center.  Take too long, though, and it'll slide right off the stick.

For instance, I'm the patient type.  I will sit for as long as necessary, holding a marshmallow over the hot coals at just the right distance so that it gets a perfectly golden, toasted crust and a perfectly gooey center.

My sister, on the other hand, likes instant marshmallow gratification, and she'll stick hers directly in the flame so it lights on fire and chars it beyond recognition.  She also likes her steak well done (which is absolute murder of a good steak, by the way...), so I suppose the marshmallow thing makes sense.

Jamie doesn't even like marshmallows, although he'll eat a S'more or two.  The irresistible chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker combination seems to trump his dislike of marshmallows on their own.

Since making S'mores cupcakes for a party a few weeks ago, I had leftovers of everything, but an unfortunate lack of a campfire, since we live three floors up.  Not to mention, those mini marshmallows would be awfully hard to toast on a stick.  I've toasted marshmallows over the burners on my stove before, but for the mini ones a couple minutes under the broiler in the oven did the trick.  It was a pretty sweet way to make a S'more without a campfire or the ability to skewer the marshmallows.

And then there's ice cream.  S'mores in ice cream.

The chocolate custard ice cream base is smooth and creamy, a little more salty than you might expect, but when you eat it, you don't think of it as being salty, you just taste so much flavor.  Salt brings out the flavor of sweet food, and the salt enhances the flavor of the chocolate and graham crackers beautifully.

And I didn't just stir in un-toasted marshmallows.  After all, would you put an un-toasted marshmallow on your S'more?  Um, no.  Toasted until golden and gooey, they stick together so that every few bites of ice cream, you get a sticky marshmallowy mouthful.

The only thing I might wish for in this ice cream is for the chocolate to be melted, maybe in the form of a chocolate syrup or ganache, ribboned throughout.  How amazing does ribbons of chocolate sound?  Another time, though...

S'mores (under the broiler)
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate
  • mini marshmallows

There's no science to this recipe - you know the S'mores drill...

Place graham crackers on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Then chocolate.  Then mini marshmallows.

Turn the broiler in your oven on low.  Set the pan under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.  Enjoy the gooey deliciousness.

S'mores Ice Cream
printable recipe
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows, toasted
  • 1 sleeve graham crackers, crumbled into pieces

Cook and chill the ice cream base:
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and salt.  Gently warm over medium-low heat until hot to the touch but not boiling.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cocoa - mixture will be very thick.  When the cream mixture is hot, slowly drizzle about a cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking to temper the eggs.  Then pour all of the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.

Whisk constantly while continuing to cook the custard over medium-low heat, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from the heat.

Add 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate and the vanilla.  Whisk until the chocolate melts and the custard is smooth.  Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the custard through the strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg.  Cover the custard with plastic and refrigerate overnight, or until very well chilled.

Finish the ice cream:
When the custard is chilled, get all your add-ins ready.

First, place the marshmallows in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Place under the broiler on low and toast just until golden brown, about 3 minutes, watching them carefully so they don't burn.  Set aside to cool completely.  Don't worry if they get all stick together when you scrape them off to add them to the ice cream - they're supposed to be sticky.  Just try to add pieces of them to the ice cream so they're evenly distributed.

Crumble the graham crackers and set aside.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a bowl and set aside.

Pour the chilled custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Spoon into a large bowl and quickly fold in the toasted marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate.  Transfer to a container and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.

Yields almost 2 quarts.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen