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The Rocky Road Less Traveled: Hand-Cranked Ice Cream
Apr 16/13

The Rocky Road Less Traveled: Hand-Cranked Ice Cream Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments


One taste of ice cream can transport us back in time. That first taste of vanilla, chocolate or rocky road can be forever burned in our memories. When I was five, I took swimming lessons at the local pool, which was conveniently located next to a creamery. Trips to the creamery following swimming lessons are my earliest memories of tasting ice cream. I still clearly remember the excitement of having my dad hold me up so I could see the different colors and flavors. With no frame of reference of what to choose, I froze. My dad, clearly a veteran of sweets, confidently placed my order for me. With my hands wrapped around a single scoop of rocky road, I stood on the edge of an epic food memory. Chocolate, almonds, and marshmallows came together into one amazing bite. Looking back with a chef’s eye this is a great use of texture, flavor and temperature. With basic equipment and a little patience anyone can create their own ice cream memory.

Here’s my recipe for Rocky Road South…

Rocky Road South

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon bourbon
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons smoked cocoa nibs

  1. Warm the cream and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan whisking thoroughly to blend the powder. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for a minute.
  2. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, mix in the sugar and pour the cream mixture over the top, stirring constantly.
  4. Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium heat. Heat slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk and bourbon.
  6. Pour into a shallow container shallow container and cool completely. I enjoy using a hand-crank machine. There is something about the hard work that makes the ice cream that much better.
  7. Place the metal canister of your ice cream maker into the bucket then add a few layers of rock salt and ice. Fill the canister with your cooled ice cream mixture.
  8. Place the beater inside and close the lid. Attach the hand crank and lock into place. Fill around the canister with alternating layers of ice and rock salt, replenishing the ice as needed. Begin cranking.
  9. When you’re done, fold in the cocoa nibs, marshmallows and pecans and enjoy!


A naturalized Southerner, Chef Matthew Bell is happy to call North Little Rock, Ark., home. Since moving to the South 8 years ago, Bell has fallen in love with the heritage of southern food. After serving upscale southern in fine-dining for the last 5 years, Bell is looking forward to opening his first establishment, South on Main, where he will serve refined southern food in a casual setting.


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