Hello boys, I'm backkkkkkk!!! After three weeks away from the blog, I am happy to report that my little "break" is over, and I can't wait to get back into the swing of things in my (vivid) kitchen.
In case you don't follow me on instagram (@shawnasellmeyer), I explained in a post that I wanted to focus all my time and energy into my sister's wedding, which happened this past Saturday! With family flying in from around the country for the big day and the fact that I was in charge of the desserts, I knew that in order to keep my sanity, I had to put The Vivid Kitchen on the back burner. Even though I was honestly pretty sad about not being able to blog, I think it was the best decision I could have made. The week leading up to the wedding was complete chaos with me, my mom and aunt prepping and baking for about 6 hours each day.
In the end, we baked: 75 carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting, 130 salted dark chocolate chip cookies, 50 tartlets with a sweetened cream cheese filling topped with a mixed berry sauce, and a four-layer homemade funfetti vanilla cake with a vanilla buttercream frosting. My sister and her husband (it's going to take a while to get used to calling him that) aren't the biggest fans of cake, so they luckily only wanted a small, one-tier cake for them to cut into. Additionally, my grandma baked Mexican wedding cookies as well as shortbread cookies. It was definitely all hands on deck when it came to the desserts.
Although there were a number of mishaps and accidents along the way, I think all of the hard work was well worth it. To say that I made the desserts for a 110-person wedding is an incredible feat, and something I will always be proud of. And to make matters BETTER, I was getting compliments all night long at the wedding at how delicious the desserts turned out. Now, would I ever do this again? Be in charge of the desserts for a wedding? Short answer: no. Long answer: no, definitely not. Just being honest!
After the wedding was all said and done, my intention was to come back to the blog offering you one of the recipes I used for the wedding. But in all honesty, I am so bored with making those desserts that I needed to switch it up and I figured ice cream was the perfect route to take. But don't fret; I will share the recipes for everything served at the wedding eventually, if you all want them that is! Comment below and let me know which recipe you would want first.
Another big reason I wanted to make ice cream is because my (fourth) cousin, Tereza, from the Czech Republic is visiting! Little side fact about me: my mom's parents were both born and raised in the Czech Republic and emigrated to the United States back in 1956. They eventually made their way to Los Angeles, California where my mom was born, and the rest is history!
Growing up with Czech grandparents, it was always a dream of mine to someday visit their home country and meet all the family members that were still living there. This dream eventually became a priority when sadly both of my grandparents passed away by the time I was 12 years old. I finally made it out there in 2016 with Alex (it was part of the same trip when we went to Berlin, Germany) with the only goal of traveling to Nespeky, a small village just outside of Prague, where most of my family resides to this day. It was there that I met Tereza, who is just a few years younger than me and speaks perfect English. So when I heard she was visiting my family here in California, I was very excited to show her around my neck of the woods.
One thing that I quickly learned about Tereza is that she LOVES sweets, especially chocolate. When my mom took Tereza to the grocery store to stock up on her favorite foods to have while visiting, Tereza made a beeline for the ice cream section and picked up a carton of rocky road ice cream. It was then that I knew I had to recreate this flavor of ice cream for Tereza at home, and show her how homemade ice cream is better than store-bought.
Rocky road ice cream is simply chocolate ice cream mixed with fluffy, soft marshmallows and crunchy, toasted almonds - it is perfect. The ice cream I am giving you today begins with, quite frankly, the ONLY chocolate ice cream recipe you will ever need in your life. And to that, we will add the mini marshmallows and almonds, as well as chunks of dark chocolate thrown in for good measure. If you just want plain ole chocolate ice cream, which you might, due to nut allergies or because you like it plain, just leave out the additions. But I will say, those additions compliment the ice cream very well and will only make you happier. I promise.
P.S. I want it to be known that Tereza LOVED the ice cream, and I know she wouldn't lie to me because when we took her to In-n-Out for her first time, she straight up said she didn't like it. The girl does not hold back!
Rocky Road Ice Cream / Chocolate Ice Cream
Yields about 1 quart of ice cream
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz (forever my go-to ice cream guy)
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used a blend of both)
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
If making rocky road ice cream, add:
1 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
3/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
In a medium saucepan, warm one cup of the heavy cream with the cocoa powder, making sure to whisk thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the 5 oz. of chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth, and then add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream. Transfer the mixture, trying to not leave any remnants behind in the pan, into a large bowl set with a mesh strainer. Set this whole bowl in a prepared ice bath.
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a clean saucepan over medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Just as the milk mixture is beginning to simmer, gradually add some of it to the bowl of egg yolks, whisking constantly as to not scramble the eggs (this is called tempering). Once the egg yolk mixture temperature has raised, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of your spatula or spoon.
Pour the custard over the strainer into the prepared bowl that has the chocolate mixture from earlier and stir the two together. Add the vanilla extract and allow the ice cream base to cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating until thoroughly chilled.
Churn the ice cream in your maker according to the manufacturer's instructions (mine took about 20 minutes to finish). The mixture will be a bit thick after chilling, so I suggest whisking it before pouring into the maker.
Transfer the finished ice cream into a bowl and stir in the marshmallows, almonds, and chocolate (if you are making rocky road ice cream). Freeze in an airtight container and enjoy!