Yes, this is in fact the second ice cream recipe I've posted in less than a week. I'm going through a phase, bear with me. Tomorrow we'll get back to something savory, promise :)
So, for at least a week now, I've been randomly craving toasted marshmallows. Something about their charred, toasty exteriors and gooey centers just renders me completely powerless. I tried to wait it out, but eventually it became clear that craving wasn't going anywhere. I made a point to add marshmallows to the shopping list, and grabbed them the last time I was at the grocery store. Originally I'd thought I'd make a toasted marshmallow milkshake, but at the last minute I found myself on Google searching for ice cream instead, and luckily for me, someone else loves toasted marshmallows just as much as me and had already figured out how to create this magnificent ice cream flavor!
As you might have guessed, toasted marshmallow ice cream starts with a whole bunch of toasted marshmallows. An entire bag, in fact. I used my kitchen torch to do the job, and when they were done, it was all I could do to resist the intoxicating scent. I'd only bought one bag of marshmallows, though, so it wasn't an option to devour a bunch and then toast more... A pretty basic vanilla ice cream custard is made and then blended with the toasted marshmallows to create the base.
I waited until the next day to churn the ice cream, and in the meantime, pondered what I would do with it. I ran the idea of a s'mores ice cream sandwich by Shane, and he was the one to suggest calling them s'morewiches (though in fairness, a quick Google search reveals that is sadly not an original idea) :) Toasted marshmallow ice cream sandwiched between two graham crackers with some chocolate thrown in for good measure? Sign me up! I used store bought graham crackers for this project, but if you're feeling ambitious, I'm sure homemade would be even better. I decided to press mini chocolate chips into the side of the s'morewiches for the chocolate component, but a layer of ganache would be tasty too.
The flavor of the marshmallows is prominent in the ice cream, and if you've really charred them while toasting, you'll pick up on that too. This recipe makes a lot of ice cream - my 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker was pretty much maxed out, so consider halving it if you don't need a ton. I'm pretty smitten with the cuteness factor of the s'morewiches but if you don't feel like taking the time to assemble them, just top a few scoops of ice cream with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips (or chocolate sauce). The flavor profile is just as good. Oh, and that craving? Consider it satisfied in the best possible way!
Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream S'morewiches
ice cream from Roasting Rambler
10 oz bag marshmallows
1 vanilla bean
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
5 large egg yolks
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
graham cracker squares (homemade or store-bought)
mini chocolate chips
Spread the marshmallows in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast the marshmallows with a kitchen torch, flipping them to toast all sides (be careful when flipping, they'll be hot). If you don't have a torch, you could probably also toast the marshmallows using the flame on a gas stove or under the broiler in your oven. If you use the broiler, keep a close eye on the marshmallows. Set the marshmallows aside.
Use a small paring knife to split the vanilla bean down the middle. Scrape the bean with the back of the knife to remove the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean to a medium saucepan along with the milk. Set over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl. Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 170-175 F on an instant read thermometer). Strain the custard into a heatproof bowl.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes (you can stir it vigorously to cool it faster). Add the toasted marshmallows to your blender, and once it's cooled slightly, add the custard to the blender too (my blender was almost filled to the top, but it worked out fine - you could do it in batches if you'd rather). Blend until the marshmallows are completely broken down and the mixture is smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla to the blender and blend to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is best). Before churning, whisk the mixture vigorously until the custard is smooth and has a pourable consistency (it might be slightly spongy when you first pull it from the fridge). Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
To make the ice cream sandwiches: Spread some slightly softened ice cream in a layer of the thickness you want for your sandwiches. Freeze until fairly solid, then use a cookie cutter roughly the size of your graham cracker squares to cut blocks of ice cream. Sandwich the ice cream between 2 graham cracker squares, and if necessary, pop in the freezer briefly to firm up. Press mini chocolate chips into the sides of the ice cream before serving. You can wrap the sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.