I’ve been on an ice cream kick lately. If you don’t believe me, come check our freezer. A myriad assortment of ice creams sits there, surrounded by things like caramel and fudge sauce, all of them just waiting for someone to stumble upon them.
I can’t help it; you wouldn’t be able to, either, if you tasted homemade ice cream, if you tasted the difference between the ho-hum flavors at the store and the ones you could make yourself, with the freshest cream and milk.
Believe me, you would be obsessed too.
This is not to say that all the ice creams I’ve made have been successful: there was a peanut butter one that didn’t set up properly, and the s’mores one that I so desperately wanted to love, but couldn’t.
You see, it wasn’t really reminiscent of a s’more at all. It’s base, while being a wonderfully creamy chocolate ice cream on its own, was not at all like the dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor I expect from a s’more, and the graham crackers that were crumbled in during churning somehow had their flavor buried beneath the ice cream’s cold milkiness. The marshmallow fluff, too, which was added in towards the end, only left us with slightly sticky mouths, and none of the flavor of toasted marshmallows.
We finished the ice cream, but I wanted something more. And after extensive research online, I realized that my dream ice cream did not exist. I would have to create it.
So I started with a simple vanilla ice cream base from my new ice cream book. I reduced the sugar, added marshmallow fluff, toasted marshmallows, and removed the vanilla completely, to let the marshmallow flavor come through. I concocted a graham cracker crumble that would stay crunchy and retain its flavor even while frozen, and drizzled in little bits of luxurious, melted dark chocolate.
When I tasted this ice cream, I knew: I had found it. I’d created an ice cream that I could proudly label as tasting like s’mores- the ice cream base has all the flavor of marshmallows, with a little hint of toastiness, and the graham cracker crunch and chocolate pieces complete the whole trifecta- and I knew that I could take it all one step further, by turning the ice cream into a sundae.
Topped with a dark, chocolate shell that cracks delightfully when you break into it, extra crunch and a little pile of toasty marshmallow fluff, this sundae is the real deal, a perfect translation of a favorite summer treat into cold, creamy goodness.
Around this ice cream, no one showed restraint. The entire batch was devoured over the course of a weekend, with multiple sundaes being had by all, and I was asked to replenish the stock almost as soon as it was finished. I want to try something new- I really do- but I know I’ll be making this one again. It is that good.
Once you taste this, you will know: it bears repeating and repeating again, and I know it will be in our freezer all summer long, maybe with a real s’more or two on the side.
Here’s to almost summer! And here’s to s’mores EVERYTHING!
Yield: a little over 1 quart
Ice cream base highly adapted from Big Gay Ice Cream
Why I love this recipe: with both marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows in the base, this ice cream is reminiscent of the gooey marshmallows that are the highlight of every s’more. A cinnamon-y, crumbly graham cracker crunch is folded into the ice cream and yields deliciously crunchy and chewy bites, while little pieces of melted chocolate, drizzled into the ice cream while it churns, complete the s’mores trifecta. Topped with a chocolate magic shell, more graham cracker crunch and toasted marshmallow fluff, this ice cream is taken to a whole new level and turned into the perfect summer sundae.
For the marshmallow ice cream:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 cup marshmallows
For the graham cracker crunch:
- 1 sleeve honey graham crackers (9 crackers)
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the chocolate pieces:
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
For the chocolate magic shell + topping:
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- reserved graham cracker crunch
- marshmallow fluff
- Spread the marshmallows out in a single layer on a foil pan. Using a kitchen torch, begin toasting the marshmallows. If the marshmallows catch fire, blow them out. Rotate the marshmallows to toast each side, being careful as the marshmallows become extremely hot. Set aside.
- Place the milk, salt and heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they lighten in color.
- Slowly drizzle the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat.
- Add in the marshmallow fluff to the ice cream mixture. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the marshmallow fluff dissolves into the mixture and it thickens slightly, coating the back of a spoon.
- Pour the warm custard mixture into a blender and add the toasted marshmallows. Process until completely smooth.
- Let the mixture cool in an ice bath for 30 minutes. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the graham cracker crunch: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients and lay out in a single layer in a 9×13 pan. Toast for 15 minutes.
- When the crunch is done, remove from the oven. Break up into pieces and clusters and freeze until needed.
- Once the ice cream mixture is chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- While it churns, make the chocolate pieces. Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil (quick 15 second bursts in a microwave, stirring in between heatings, until melted) until smooth.
- When the ice cream looks like soft serve, slowly drizzle in the chocolate and let the process of the churning break up the chocolate into small bits.
- When the ice cream has finished churning, fold in 1 1/2 cups of the crunch, reserving the rest. Freeze the ice cream for 2-4 hours, until it has hardened.
- To assemble the sundaes, make the chocolate magic shell: break up the chocolate in a bowl. Cover the chocolate with boiling water for one minute. Then, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the hot water, mixing to combine it with the chocolate, which will melt smoothly. Add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
- Scoop 3-4 scoops of ice cream into each bowl. Top with chocolate magic shell and quickly sprinkle with reserved graham cracker crunch. Top with a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff and torch the marshmallow fluff, taking care not to burn the chocolate shell or the graham cracker crunch. Serve immediately!