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Sep 24, 2011 03:31 PM

Marshmallow swirl in ice cream--need a recipe

I'm hoping to make rocky road ice cream and would prefer to use a marshmallow swirl rather than whole marshmallows. The problem, though, is that I can't seem to find a recipe for this so-called "marshmallow swirl." I know it is essentially egg whites, sugar, and vanilla, but I'm not sure what else. Marshmallow fluff is not going to fit the bill, as it is too thick and chewy. I'd like something thin (about the viscosity of corn syrup) that won't freeze firm--something that tastes and behaves like the marshmallow swirl in commercial ice creams. I'm also looking for something that doesn't have gelatin in it, (there is no reason for that to be there), as I don't eat gelatin. I have vegan mini marshmallows that I'm prepared to use if I can't figure out how to make the swirl, but the swirl would be ideal. I have the rest of the recipe so this is all I need to figure out before I can make it. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Laura D. I know this is going to sound crazy and it's a bit labor intensive but the way inwhich we incorporate a marshmallow swirl into our rocky road batch is to literally work regular sized marshmallows (commercial brand) between our fingers to soften the squares to a pliable mass. We stretch the mallow on waxed paper and set it aside until we are ready to fold it into the ice cream. After the ice cream is done running thru the machine and at that semifirm stage, we take out the paddle and fold the stretches of softened mallow pieces into the rocky road. It's the only way that's worked for us without using the mini marshmallows.

    3 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Hi HillJ...thanks for the advice! I am working with vegan marshmallows (I don't eat gelatin so don't eat the "regular" ones) that are miniature. I can try the stretching but since they lack gelatin they don't stretch that well, in addition to the fact that they are fairly small. It is an interesting idea though! However, do the marshmallows become as "liquidy" as the layer of marshmallow swirl in a commercial ice cream, or do they remain more solid? I'd love to get that liquid, similar in consistency to something like condensed milk (with perhaps a bit more spring). Thanks!

      1. re: Laura D.

        a few other "crazy ideas"
        cake bakers use pourable marshmallow fondant that might be worth researching
        commercial Fluff can be warmed to thin the consistency
        you can make rocky road brownies and once baked & cooked break them up into small pieces to fold into a base ice cream recipe.

    2. I've just had a "revelation" and am thinking of approaching this from a different angle. Some ice cream shops have a marshmallow sauce, similar in consistency to the marshmallow swirl I am looking for. I know that many of these sauces are made without gelatin or melted marshmallows, despite the fact that many of the recipes online call for melted marshmallows to be an ingredient. I'm thinking of making this sauce, and then swirling it into the ice cream once it is cool.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Laura D.

        I'll be curious to see if the sauce holds its own once folded in or disappears into the ice cream base and becomes another layer of sweet flavoring.

        1. re: HillJ

          I don't fold thing into churned ice cream. I layer the churned cream with ribbons of my inclusions. If you wanted to you could always run a spatula through that to "marble" it into the mass before it all freezes firm.

          Done that way (probably with a piping bag fitted with a generous tip), I see no reason why this marshmallow sauce wouldn't retain it's integrity. The question to me is how firm and potentially rubbery would it get at freezing temperatures.

          Still, it sounds like a promising technique/recipe. I hope we'll get a report about how it works in practical application.

          1. re: rainey

            Or how deflated sweetened whipped, uncooked egg whites (essentially) will hold up to being layered and frozen. I can't say I've every tried the Epi recipe in ice cream so I'm equally curious. I am also curious about the flavor since Laura D is looking to create a marshmallow swirl.

            1. re: HillJ

              I'm not a chef and not a food scientist so I don't know the phenomena but I do know that when you freeze food many of the ordinary relationships get slowed to a crawl. Altho marshmallow that's not carefully set to the proper crystal will be unstable at room temperatures, I doubt that deflating or returning to a liquid state would be a problem in short-term freezer storage. ...and homemade ice cream doesn't tend to languish at my house. ;>

              I am basing my assessment/projection of the marshmallow sauce holding up on this fascinating recipe in which cinnamon toast retains its crunch in a frozen liquid ice cream base. I held onto this recipe for about a year before I tried it out. I'm glad I did because it's terrific as much for the surprise of biting into crunchy toast as for it's wonderful comfort food flavor.

              But I hope I've been clear all along that i'm speculating. That's why I'm so interested in an actual report of how the Marshmallow Sauce recipe tastes and behaves. ;>

              Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream
              Yield: Makes 1 1/4 quarts

              This might also be called "Bread Pudding" ice cream because you'll recognize that buttery comforting flavor as well. In fact, if it ever lasts past those first couple days when the toast is still crunchy, you can start calling it Bread Pudding Ice Cream and it will still be so good no one will know it wasn't intended to have a conventional softer ice cream texture.

              • 2 cups whole milk
              • 2 3-inch cinnamon stick
              • 5 slices firm white sandwich bread
              • 1/4 cup butter, melted
              • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
              • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
              • 6 large egg yolks
              • 1/2 cup sugar
              • 1/4 teaspoon molasses
              • 1 cup heavy cream

              1. Bring milk and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let steep, covered, 30 minutes.

              2. While milk steeps, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 300°F.

              3. Cut 3 slices bread into 1/4-inch cubes and transfer to a bowl. Quarter remaining 2 slices and pulse in a food processor to make bread crumbs. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in another bowl. Drizzle 3 tablespoons butter mixture over bread cubes and stir to lightly coat. Spread in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan. Add bread crumbs to remaining butter mixture and stir to evenly coat. Spread crumbs evenly in another shallow baking pan.

              4. Bake bread cubes and crumbs, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes total. Cool in pans on racks, then transfer bread crumbs to a bowl.

              5. Return milk to a boil, then pour over bread crumbs and let stand 10 minutes. Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve into saucepan, pressing hard on solids, then discarding them.

              6. Whisk together yolks, granulated sugar, molasses, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Return milk mixture to a boil and add half to yolk mixture in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. Add yolk mixture in a slow stream to milk in saucepan, whisking, then cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and thermometer registers 170 to 175°F (do not let boil).

              7. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream, then pour custard through fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Quick-chill custard by setting bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, about 15 minutes. Freeze custard in ice cream maker until almost firm. Fold bread cubes into ice cream, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.

              1. re: rainey

                I hope Laura D gives it a try so we learn first hand what happens when she adds the Epi recipe to the ice cream.

                And thanks for sharing the recipe above. I don't believe I've ever tasted cinnamon toast ice cream but bread crumbs (yummy ones at that) are not the same texture as firmly whipped sweetened egg whites. I guess my curiosity comes from whipped natural of the homemade marshmallow sauce.

                Laura D started out describing rocky road which we know is traditionally a hard ice cream full of hard-ish chunks of flavor mix ins. The marshmallow swirl is a diff. texture altogether.

                I may give this recipe a try myself if only to learn a thing or two. :)

        2. re: Laura D.

          That sounds promising. I hope you'll report back how it works.

          I'm not making ice cream now but I *am* reading this with interest and hoping to add the right recipe for this interesting variation to my recipe data base for some future batch.

          I'm curious about the inclusion of vanilla in the syrup that's boiled to 240˚. Surely it will totally evaporate and, I suppose, that accounts for the second addition of vanilla to the beaten and cooled sauce. Still, why bother with the first 3/4 teaspoon???

        3. Simply make your own marshmallows, and leave out the step where you put it in the fridge to chill.

          Prior to chilling the marshmallow is still very pliable and like thick caramel in consistency. Just swirl it into your ice cream base after it's been in the freezer for about 4 hours or so.

          Or, you can just use marshmallow fluff.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Hi ipsedixit,
            I would do this, except trying to find a worthwhile vegan marshmallow recipe is really hard (I'm not vegan, but the concept of a vegetarian marshmallow doesn't really seem to exist, despite the fact that this is what I'd prefer). The one vegan recipe I made with minimal success (Faulkner's recipe) didn't have a great flavor, so I probably wouldn't spend the time trying to use it here. Thanks for the suggestion and hopefully others willing to eat gelatin can use it.


          2. Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I will definitely share my findings. I made my chocolate custard base tonight, but there is a strong possibility that I won't be able to make the marshmallow sauce recipe this time around, as I'm leaving for 10 days this coming Wednesday and have a hectic few days (and nights) between now and then to prepare. If I can get the sauce made and chilled in time to swirl into the ice cream tomorrow night I will, but otherwise, it might need to wait until I return. The only reason I actually went ahead with the base was because my cream was coming close to its expiration date (and of course because I never turn down the opportunity to make ice cream, even if it isn't exactly the kind I want). Anyway, I will definitely let everyone know once I do proceed with swirling the sauce in. Thanks!

            1. Reporting back...

              I made the marshmallow sauce recipe I found on Epicurious. I had a little bit of trouble-- (as I always do with Italian meringues)-- when I added the hot sugar mixture to the whipped egg whites. This resulted in a lot of the sugar being "lost" to the sides of the bowl (as you can imagine, it was great fun to clean up). Anyway, I allowed the "sauce" to fully cool, and as I had suspected, it was quite thick. I would equate the viscosity to marshmallow fluff. Because I lost some of the sweetness from the sugar I found that it also lacked much flavor. So, I gently heated it with some additional corn syrup (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup) until the corn syrup was mixed in, which resulted in a slightly thinner and slightly more sweet/flavorful marshmallow sauce.. Meanwhile, I churned my ice cream. When it was done churning I scooped out dollops of marshmallow and tried to swirl it very gently with the chocolate ice cream as I was putting in a storage container. This part worked out great, since I love getting those tunnels of marshmallow. Anyway, the end result is that this ice cream was phenomenal. No, the marshmallow wasn't quite as thin as I was hoping for, but it didn't get tough/chewy as I worried fluff would;. It tasted fantastic with the chocolate ice cream and chocolate covered peanuts that were blended in. I'm happy that I went this route. Now I just need to get better at the whole process of making Italian meringues. Thanks to everyone for their input!

              8 Replies
              1. re: Laura D.

                I've tried Alton Brown's marshmallow recipe (sugar & gelatin, no eggs) and thought they were easy and great! I remember thinking while whipping the sugar it looked like "fluff" and was not convinced it would solidify to cut into cubes. (it did, after cooling overnight)
                Can you substitute agar agar for the gelatin, and maybe only use half the amount to have a less solid product?

                1. re: nerdigrrl

                  There doesn't seem to be a way to make an easy substitution of agar agar for gelatin in order to make a vegetarian marshmallow. My one attempt at this years ago failed miserably, and I do think there is a reason why the two main vegan marshmallows on the market use various gums, rather than agar agar, as their gelling agent. If anyone knows of a recipe using agar agar in place of gelatin gelatin I'd love to hear it, but I've pretty much given up on this idea. Good suggestion, though!

                2. re: Laura D.

                  I 'm glad to see you did this, I love marshmallow and chocolate together. When you said that you used a vegan marshmallow recipe, I take it you used agar agar? I knew you were going to have to add the corn syrup as that and other things like chocolate sauce need it to get that nice consistency. If you have a pastry bag, how about next time as you load your ice cream into a container, put a layer of ice cream and use the bag with a large tip to make a bulls eye, then more ice cream, and etc....anyway that's what I'm going to do. I'm not vegan so will be making a non-vegan version. Also thinking will add some dark chocolate fudge like swirls in there too.

                  The swirling technique has been successful with berries, but I can see I might need to get aggressive with the marshmallow! Good luck!

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Hi Chef Chicklet,
                    The vegan marshmallows that I was going to use in the event the marshmallow swirl didn't work out were actually not homemade. They were dandies brand. They're pretty good, though not great. I'd be willing to put in the time to make a homemade vegan/vegetarian marshmallow for just this purpose if I could get a recipe to turn out, but I've failed at making vegan marshmallows in the past and have yet to see a "viable" recipe online.

                    I like your idea of the pastry bag! The "dumping" method I used worked out fine, as the marshmallow mixture was loose enough to easily drop from the spoon, but I think your idea would work even better. I look forward to trying it next time. Thanks!

                  2. re: Laura D.

                    Thanks for the report, Laura D!

                    I'm adding a 1/3 cup of corn syrup to the recipe and the recipe to my database in the ice creams tab.

                    I really appreciate your assessment. ;>

                    1. re: rainey

                      I hope you'll try it. I'm not sure whether it's worth increasing the corn syrup when making the soft ball sugar mixture (I'm not sure whether increasing the proportion of liquids would change the ability of the mixture to do what it needs to do from a chemical perspective), but I would definitely try adding it at the end/after the mixture has coming together.

                    2. re: Laura D.

                      Did you find out anything about the vanilla being added at two different points -- one being while the syrup is still hot? That part is curious to me.

                      1. re: rainey

                        I'm not sure why this was the case, though I can only imagine it imparts a deeper vanilla flavor. When I have made Italian meringues in the past the vanilla was always added at the end. I was actually a little bit worried in this case about adding it while cooking, but it wasn't a problem (though may have been pointless, flavorwise).