There’s marshmallow, and then there’s toasted marshmallow. Two entirely different beasts. Toasting brings out the best in an otherwise bland puff, caramelizing the sugars and giving the marshmallow a delightful crunch.
But how to get that tell-tale toasted flavor into ice cream?
Turns out it’s as easy as throwing some toasted marshmallows into a blender with the warm custard base. Well, not quite that easy, there were some issues with my initial process I needed to resolve, but the result is a rich and creamy ice cream that tastes like it just came off a campfire.
My first attempt was a bit of a mess. I didn’t spray the baking sheet before broiling, and what I ended up with was a sticky mass that could not physically be removed without bringing half the aluminum foil with it. The second time, I used parchment paper and generously sprayed it with cooking spray. After cooling for 10 minutes or so the marshmallows came off fairly easily. Still messy, but at least this time they were usable.
My second mistake was the marshmallow swirl. For the first batch I used straight marshmallow fluff. In theory it seemed like it would work, the fluff texture was about what I wanted for my swirl. Except it wouldn’t really swirl. I dropped dollops of fluff into the ice cream container with the freshly churned ice cream. The fluff floated to the top, barges of gelatin that were far to thick to swirl and froze harder than the ice cream itself. Oh don’t worry, we definitely ate that batch, but the top half of the container was basically solid frozen fluff.
Plan B. This time I used marshmallow topping (you can find it in the ice cream aisle of the grocery store with the other ice cream toppings). You can also make your own by microwaving some marshmallow fluff with water and stirring until smooth. You want it to be about the consistency of honey, so it can easily be drizzled in to the soft ice cream. When you transfer your freshly churned ice cream into the freezer container, alternate spoonfuls of ice cream with drizzles of marshmallow topping. The result will be scoops of toasted marshmallow ice cream with ribbons of gooey marshmallow throughout.
I borrowed a technique from Jeni’s for the ice water bath, since I mistakenly got rid of an excess set of mixing bowls that were the best water bath bowls I had. Jeni’s ice cream recipe is much different than what I used here, but her technique of putting the ice cream base into a zip-top freezer bag is quite convenient and cools the mixture down much quicker than a traditional ice water bath and prevents a skin from forming on the custard with no extra layers of plastic wrap needed. And once it’s thoroughly chilled, it is very easy to just snip a corner and pour all the base into the ice cream maker without any drips or mess.
I had big plans for this ice cream, exactly what I won’t share just yet because I may see it through to fruition. But the ice cream itself was so good it deserved a post of its own.
Toasted Marshmallow Swirl Ice Cream
- 2 cups (6 ounces) mini marshmallows
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup marshmallow topping*
*Marshmallow topping is a thin sauce that can easily be drizzled into the ice cream base. Do not substitute marshmallow fluff (it’s too darn thick). You can make your own topping from scratch or by microwaving marshmallow fluff with a few tablespoons of water (as needed) and stirring until it is the consistency of warm honey.
- Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray liberally with cooking spray. Spread mini marshmallows in a single layer on baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes until toasted and golden brown. Watch them very carefully as they can go from golden brown to ON FIRE in a matter of seconds. Remove from oven and let cool, then transfer to the canister of a blender.
- To make the ice cream base, combine 1 cup of the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly ladle in some of the warm cream mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until about half of the cream mixture has been incorporated and yolk mixture is warm to the touch. You want to do this gradually; doing so will temper the egg yolks rather than cook them.
- Pour yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan as you do, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes (it will measure approximately 170ºF on a thermometer). Do not let it to boil. Pour mixture into blender with marshmallows and blend until smooth. Add remaining 1 cup cream and vanilla extract and blend until combined.
- Pour ice cream base into a zip-top freezer bag and seal. Place in a bowl filled with ice water, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Pour out ice water and refrigerate base at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.
- Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, spoon a bit into to a freezer safe container. Drizzle with marshmallow topping. Repeat, alternating a spoonful of soft ice cream and a drizzle of marshmallow topping until none remains. Freeze overnight until firm.
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
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This turned out great! I was skeptical that the toasted marshmallows in the blender would work, but it did! We added graham cracker crumbs and mini chocolate chips for a “s’mores” vibe, and it turned out amazing. I’d add a touch more salt to balance out the sweetness from the fluff. Will make this again!
Can this be made without an ice cream maker? This sounds so yummy, but I don’t have the ice cream maker
Wow, awesome marshmallow ice cream. Looking at pictures I’m already wanna taste it with honey instead of sugar!
Could you clarify if this is really 2 cups of mini marshmallows or 6 oz? I weigh out 6 oz of mini marshmallows and it’s about 5-6 cups, not 2. Am about to make this recipe but now I’m not sure what to do since the difference is so large. Thanks.
That’s what I measured, though ‘cups’ of mini marshmallows is somewhat subjective. Are you using standard mini-marshmallows, like Jet-Puffed/Kraft brand? According to Kraft, 1 10oz bag should be about 6 cups. Half a bag should be perfect. Luckily the marshmallow quantity won’t make or break this recipe, since it’s just flavoring, so feel free to go with whatever you feel comfortable with.
Thank you for the quick response. And I really do appreciate you having the weight measurements on the recipe as many things (like marshmallows) are hard/subjective to measure by volume. I am using Walmart’s Great Value brand of mini marshmallows. They look the same size as others. So I took your advice and used 5 oz–half the bag. I should’ve probably heeded your advice better on the parchment paper to spray “liberally” with cooking oil spray as toasting the marshmallows did melt them down and made them stick–even to parchment with a coating of spray. But they peeled off ok with a spatula. The custard is now cooling so hopefully we’ll have some toasted marshmallow ice cream tonight. Thanks again.
Glad you were able to make it work! And yes, marshmallows are sticky buggers. :) Enjoy!
Excuse my ignorance but what is marshmallow “fluff”?
Mmmm that looks tasty. Ice cream is the best. So many things that can be added along with the marshmallows. Endless possibilities
I need to get out my ice cream maker now that it is finally warm again.
I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m dying to know, though: where did you get the freezer container? Thanks!
It’s by Tovolo, got it at Williams-Sonoma: http://bit.ly/1lodhgS, but it also comes in cute colors here: http://amzn.to/PKLz1u.
I would love to have some of the texture of the crunchy/chewy toasted marshmallow as well. Think I would toast up some extras to throw on top when serving. Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe…can’t wait to try!
Lovely recipe! I don’t think I can (easily at least) find marshmallow fluff in my nearby food stories, but at least I can dream about it… Looks so delicious! I love marshmallows…. *sigh*
I am all about the marshmallows. Funny I didn’t even know I liked them that much until I ate and entire bag in one day… I hope I can keep enough around for this ice cream. Sounds heavenly!
Toasted marshmallows are my idea of heaven. Love how you’ve added them to ice cream here. What more could a girl ask for??? :)
Well, this is definitely worth trying to track down some marshmallow topping in the UK!
I’ve made toasted marshmallow ice cream before but love the idea of making it a swirl! Concentrated yumminess.
I seriously die for your pictures Linds, AND this ice cream!
Homemade ice cream seems like it’s ten times more fun to eat! Love the toasted marshmallow, must have tasted great!
This looks amazing – can you imagine how delicious it would be on a graham-flavoured waffle cone with a chocolate drizzle? It would be like smore amazingness in my mouth. I love that you shared your trial and errors too – it’s super helpful!!!!
This is absolutely GORGEOUS!! My favorite flavor.
Oh my this ice cream sounds amazing! Toasted marshmallows is the way to make me happy and it takes me back to my childhood!
Woo! Marshmallows! And I love Jeni’s cookbook. Lots of gems in there.
there are no words
Great work with all the experiments, love the double dose of marshmallow!
Looks amazing! Where did you get your freezer container? I need to make this ASAP!
I am a marshmallow lover through and through! this is the perfect summer evening dessert. You bet I will be making this. And I would have done the same thing – thrown straight up marshmallow fluff into the mixer. Thanks for solving the problem for me :)
wow. This looks dangerously delicious – so excited about fun ice-cream ideas now that Texas is heating up. Thank you!
UGH. Toasted marshmallows are practically my favorite thing on the planet, so this looks absolutely perfect to me!!
That’s such a great trip about chilling down the ice cream base. Mine is never cold enough and my machine then struggles. So making this this weekend!
Marshmallow ice cream! Wow probably amazing taste!
I was so excited to see this becaue i git stuck with some extra bags of marshmallows from a bonfire two nights ago. But I found that have a few questions:
1. Is the marshmallow swirl a must?
2. Can I use pasteurized egg whites from a carton? What would be the equivalent?
3. How do I complete the final step without an ice cream maker?
WOW. I’m not really an ice cream person, but this is THE best-looking and -sounding ice cream I think I’ve ever seen. Drooling.
This ice cream looks so yummy!! I loooove the looks of this ice cream!
I am SO pumped about this Lindsay. My favorite ice cream shop in Minneapolis sold a toasted marshmallow ice cream I fell in love with. Ever since we moved away, I’ve been dreaming about it. Love that I can recreate it myself! (and yes TOASTED is a whole different camp of delicious!)
Ohhh this sounds delicious! Toasted marshmallow ice cream? Genius. Sounds like you went through quite some trouble to create this recipe too. Thank you for sharing ^^
Toast marshmallows are the bomb and this is such a wonderful idea for ice cream! Love that there’s a marshmallow swirl in addition to the toasted ones. I’m really curious to see what you’re going to do with this ice cream. :)
I love the looks of this – wow! Toasted marshmallows, and real ice cream, no cheater’s shortcuts methods here. Mmm, I bet this is to-die-for! Pinned
So glad you were able to make this ice cream recipe a success Lindsay. It looks mouthwatering. I’m in love with anything toasted marshmallow. As much as Kevin is in love with sandwiches.
This ice cream looks amazing. Love that sweet mallow swirl.
This ice cream looks perfect for a summer evening! So good!