As the last big weekend for summer grilling approaches, what's the ultimate summer dessert? The ice cream sandwich? The s'more?
I had a thought this week... why not combine the two? Behold: The Ice Cream Smore'wich!
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I've done a bit of (rich, tasty, chocolaty) experimentation, and I'm here to tell you, there's the fast and easy way, and then there's the longer (but rewarding) way. Your choice.
Ice Cream Smore'wich — The Easy Way
Chocolate fudge sauce
Vanilla ice cream
Plastic wrap or wax paper
1. Select two graham crackers and slather one side of one graham cracker with chocolate fudge sauce (or go crazy with Nutella, if you're so inclined).
2. Open a carton of your favorite vanilla ice cream and cut or portion a 1" slice of the ice cream to match the length and width of the remaining graham cracker base.
3. Place the ice cream slice/portion atop the remaining graham cracker base and move both graham crackers to a tray or plate in the freezer to chill.
4. Use a skewer/stick to toast the marshmallow to your liking.
5. To assemble, gently compress the cooled toasted marshmallow between the chocolate fudge and the ice cream-layered graham crackers. Return the completed smore'wich to the freezer for 15 minutes to firm, then wrap snugly in plastic wrap or wax paper and keep frozen until ready to consume.
Ice Cream Smore'wich — The Homemade Way
First, you'll need homemade graham crackers. Rather than repainting the Mona Lisa, I will merely refer you to Smitten Kitchen's Awesome Graham Cracker Post.
For the chocolate fudge sauce layer:
Simple Chocolate Fudge Sauce (Makes about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped 60% chocolate (or good quality chocolate chips)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or brandy
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring to blend. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Gradually blend in the milk (or cream). Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the vanilla (or brandy) and salt. Serve immediately or store, chilled. (Can be rewarmed in the microwave.)
Finally, the toasted marshmallow ice cream:
Although the Torani company makes a very exciting-looking Toasted Marshmallow Syrup, I wasn't able to secure any for this test. Instead, I've gone with a classic ice cream base with a toasted marshmallow swirl.
Toasted Marshmallow Swirl Ice Cream (Makes 1+ quart)
For the Toasted Marshmallow Swirl:
15 large-sized marshmallows
1/2 cup milk or water
Place the marshmallows and liquid in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the marshmallows melt and the sauce attains a rich brown color (about 20 minutes). Add a little hot water if the mixture seems too thick and scrape the edges and bottom well to pick up the caramelized sugar.
When the sauce is thick and caramel colored, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool.
For the Ice Cream Base:
2 free-range eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1. Whisk the eggs 1-2 minutes.
2. Whisk in the sugar.
3. When blended, pour in the cream and milk. Blend well.
4. Pour this blend into your ice cream machine and prepare as directed.
5. When the ice cream is very thick and nearly ready (about five to ten minutes before completion), fold in the toasted marshmallow sauce.
6. Pack the ice cream into pints and freeze overnight.
To assemble the homemade Smore'wich
1. Select two graham crackers and slather one side of one graham cracker with chocolate fudge sauce.
2. Slather a thick portion of the ice cream across the length and width of the remaining graham cracker base.
3. Gently compress the coated sides of both graham crackers together. Wrap the sandwich snugly in plastic wrap or wax paper and keep frozen until ready to consume.
While my toasted marshmallow swirl ice cream is pretty tasty, it's not quite as toasty as I'd like it to be.
I still want to try out the toasted marshmallow syrup, but in the meantime, if anyone knows a foolproof method for getting that rich caramelized flavor into ice cream, please let me know in the comments!
Have a lovely long weekend, and happy eating!