I love Rocky Road ice cream, but there's also a special place in my heart for Blue Bell's Dutch Chocolate. This ice cream combines elements of both. Chocolate covered almonds and marshmallows make it Rocky Road, and Dutch processed cocoa gives it a flavor similar to Blue Bell's. As a bonus, this recipe is easy and doesn't take very long.
How to Make
To make this ice cream, you briefly warm condensed milk and Dutch process cocoa powder over the stove and stir until smooth. Let it cool, then combine with cream (or half & half), evaporated milk and vanilla and blend until frothy. You then freeze in your ice cream maker before adding chocolate covered almonds and marshmallows. For such an easy ice cream, this one is surprisingly good. Update: I recently tried just putting all of the ingredients in the blender and it worked! You really don't have to warm the cocoa powder and condensed milk mixture.
Cream vs. Half & Half
The ice cream is pretty rich, but you can lighten it a bit by using half & half instead of cream. I made the first batch with cream, but for subsequent batches I used half & half and enjoyed it just as much. To lighten the recipe further, you can stir in half tub of Cool Whip. The ice cream is perfectly fine without it, but if you want to trick yourself into thinking you have more ice cream, the Cool Whip adds some bulk. It also keeps the frozen ice cream a bit softer so it's easier to scoop. This is an optional step, which I've been skipping lately.
Chocolate Covered Nuts and Marshmallows
The best thing about homemade Rocky Road ice cream is that you can tailor the nuts and marshmallows to fit your mood. We always have roasted almonds, so I coat the almonds with melted dark chocolate, freeze, then chop and add to the ice cream. For the marshmallows, I like the texture of sliced large marshmallows. So you can use sliced Jet Puffs or if you like the smaller marshmallows, just throw in a lot of them.
If seeing the chocolate and marshmallows has you craving Rocky Road but you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make the marshmallows and chocolate as directed and use the Eagle Brand no-churn recipe as the base. If you're leaning toward buying an ice cream maker, I recommend the Cuisinart or the Lello.
Rocky Road Ice Cream Ingredients
- Roasted Almonds and Chocolate -- You can buy roasted unsalted almonds or roast whole raw almonds at 350 F for about 7 minutes.
- Chocolate -- I've tested with Dove Dark and Trader Joe's dark. Melting the chocolate and refreezing it is what makes the chocolate pieces melt in your mouth with the ice cream, so always remember to melt your chocolate, re-freeze and chop before adding. Never add straight chocolate chips to homemade ice cream unless you like the texture of rocks in ice cream. For even softer chocolate bits, you can add a little coconut oil to the melted chocolate before re-freezing.
- Marshmallows -- One of these days I'd like to make this with chopped homemade marshmallows. Wow, that would be good. Until then, Jet-Puffed.
- Condensed Milk -- I use whatever brand of condensed milk is on sale. For the peanut butter ice cream I prefer fat free condensed milk, but for this one regular condensed milk works best -- especially if you are using half & half rather than cream.
- Cocoa Powder -- Dutch process cocoa tastes so good in ice cream. Lately I've been using Ghirardelli brand, but there are lots of good Dutch cocoas out there.
- Cream or Half & Half -- Cream is richer but half & half is still rich and very tasty!
- Evaporated Milk -- Important for smooth texture.
- Vanilla -- Any good vanilla should work.
Easy Rocky Road Ice Cream
- 1 ice cream maker
- 1 blender
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup whole almonds, roasted
- 12 large marshmallows, cut into thirds
- 2 cups half & half or heavy cream or mix of whole milk and cream (448 grams)
- 1 cup evaporated milk (230 grams/)
- 14 oz can condensed milk (389 grams)
- ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (48 grams)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave using 50% power and stirring every minute. Add almonds and stir to coat. Empty onto a parchment lined baking sheet or any kind of tray and freeze until solid.
- Put all of the ice cream ingredients in the blender in the order given. Stir to moisten the cocoa powder and keep it from flying all over the sides of the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute. Scrape sides of blender. Blend for another 30 seconds or until mixture is frothy and everything is evenly blended.
- Pour into the ice cream maker and process as usual.
- Break up the frozen chocolate covered almonds and chop them. Add the chopped almond, shards of frozen chocolate and marshmallows to the ice cream at the very end.
- Scrape into pint or quart containers and freeze until firm.