A month or two ago, I received a card in the mail from Josie that read, “Rocky road can be an obstacle or an ice cream…and I’m willing to help you make either one disappear.”  Even though it’s been over three months since Dad passed away, it’s still extremely tough.  Some days are okay and some are just horrible.  A lot of people maybe forget, or maybe think I’m fine because I look okay on the surface.  Josie knows about the good days and the bad, and she also knows that a greeting card involving ice cream is a pretty perfect way to cheer me up.  Of course, an added side effect was that I ended up really craving rocky road.

As I was making this ice cream, Ben and I were talking about rocky road and how it seems to be referenced in so many kids’ books and stories.   We both feel as though it was built up to sound like something truly amazing and then when we first tried it as kids, we were totally let down.  Chocolate ice cream that probably would have been fine on its own, but it had all this other junk mixed in – blah.  Well, this may not be the most appealing ice cream flavor to our former selves, but we certainly enjoy it now.  Ben says it ranks right up there near his all time favorite, milk chocolate with brownie bits.  I knew it had to be great because it starts with the same base as my favorite chocolate ice cream and gets a boost from the additions of crunchy honey-roasted peanuts and fluffy marshmallows.  It can definitely put  a smile on my face.  Josie, I wish you could be here to share it with me because when we are together, we can talk, laugh, and smile till our faces hurt, and that is good for my soul.

  • Yield about 1 quart


2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  • 01

    In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder.  Warm over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the cocoa.   Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.  Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.  Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.  Transfer this mixture to a medium-large mixing bowl.  Set a fine mesh sieve over the top.

  • 02

    In the same saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt and warm the mixture over medium-high heat.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  When the milk mixture is warm, gradually whisk into the egg yolks, beating constantly.  Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan and continue heating over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, until the mixture is slightly thickened and reads 170-175° F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from the heat, pour through the mesh sieve into the chocolate-cream mixture and stir to blend.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

  • 03

    Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  (Alternatively to speed chilling, stir the mixture frequently over an ice bath.)  Once the mixture is well chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Stir in the marshmallows and peanuts until evenly incorporated.  Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.