Homemade ice cream is one of summer’s biggest pleasures, but that pleasure comes at a cost. It takes time to mix up the custard base, temper the eggs in, chill the custard, then churn it into ice cream. And what if you don’t own an ice cream maker? You’re stuck eating store-bought stuff like a sucker!
Have I got a solution for you: ice cream without an ice cream maker. The recipe I’m going to show today is for rocky road ice cream, but you can take the same base ingredients and make your own custom flavors just as easily. It takes just a handful of ingredients, 10 minutes of active work in the kitchen, and a mixer or hand mixer. Here’s what you need:
Rocky Road Ice Cream (Without An Ice Cream Maker!)
yield: about 6 cups of ice cream
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
- 3/4 cup roasted salted almonds (you could also use walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts)
Begin by coarsely chopping the almonds. They don’t need to be in small pieces, but giant whole almonds are a little tough to eat in ice cream, so chop them roughly to make them more manageable. I should also add that you can use roasted unsalted almonds instead of the salted kind–you just don’t want raw almonds, because they don’t have enough flavor or crunch.
Place the condensed milk in a bowl, and add the unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk them together until the cocoa has dissolved into the condensed milk. At first it will be chalky and powdery…
…but as you continue whisking, the cocoa will eventually combine with the milk, and you’ll be left with a shiny, smooth, darkly chocolatey mixture.
Add the miniature marshmallows and the chopped almonds to the cocoa mixture, and stir them together.
Stir until the marshmallows and almonds are well-distributed in the condensed milk, and are covered with chocolate. You might be tempted to forget about ice cream and just eat this chocolate slurry with a spoon, and although I can tell you from experience that it IS delicious, I promise that the ice cream will be worth the self-control.
Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or just any large bowl, if you’re using a hand mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium-high speed until it forms gentle peaks. It should have a lot of body and hold peaks when you drag the whisk through it, but it should still be soft and not firmly whipped or, even worse, curdled and buttery.
Add the cocoa mixture to the bowl of whipped cream…
…and begin gently folding them together. This ice cream gets its texture from the softly whipped cream, so you don’t want to stir it too vigorously and deflate the cream. Just gently, gently stir them together.
When you’re finished your mixture should be without any streaks of chocolate or whipped cream. Now…don’t be mad…but I might have neglected to mention a teensy, tiny detail. You can’t eat it just yet. It has to chill for a few hours. I’m sorry! Don’t throw things! Patience is a virtue!
Scrape your ice cream mixture into a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. You could also just freeze it in the bowl you mixed it in, covered very well with plastic wrap. (That’s not a good long-term storage solution, though, because it doesn’t prevent freezer burn or bad odors from creeping in. So just transfer any leftovers to a sturdier container.) Freeze the rocky road ice cream until it’s firm enough to scoop, which should be about 4-6 hours, depending on the temperature of your freezer.
And that’s it! Five ingredients, ten minutes of work, a few hours of impatient finger tapping, and you have a luscious, rich, chocolatey ice cream packed with soft marshmallows and crunchy almonds. If you want to experiment with this recipe, you can leave out the cocoa and mix in any other fruit, nuts, or other add-ins you can think of. Go crazy!
All images and text (c) Elizabeth LaBau