I have experienced several firsts in my kitchen this week, two of which are related to this week's ice cream recipe. I made homemade marshmallows for the first time and bought/used a kitchen torch for the first time (to toast said marshmallows). How did I live without either of these things in my life?
The process of making homemade marshmallows is a little messy but well worth it. The worst part is waiting to eat them until they sit overnight, although I wasn't shy about eating the soft marshmallow right out of the bowl (this would make a great ice cream topping!). Once the marshmallows were ready to eat, my kitchen became even more fun. Out came the kitchen torch. Fill the torch and flick a switch and you have the power of controlled fire at your finger tips. After toasting the marshmallows I wanted to toast other things in my ktichen, but sadly there wasn't anything around. Maybe next I will complete another first and try my hand at creme brulee?
If you follow me on twitter, then you know I have been excited to share this ice cream recipe. Particularly to tell you about my escapades with the kitchen torch, but also because this ice cream is perfect for Thanksgiving and full of flavor. I first came upon this ice cream flavor while visiting a friend in DC. She had just received a shipment from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. She was kind enough to share a bite with me and I was sad I couldn't eat more. Rich, sweet, complex, tastes like pie. When Jeni came out with her cookbook a couple months ago I was excited to see that the recipe was included. I hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing it all with you. It's just too good not to share. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Marshmallows
Recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled sweet potato
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 ounces (3 Tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Bean Marshmallows (recipe below)
In a medium saucepan, combine diced sweet potatoes and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced by a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, cinnamon, and salt.
Once potatoes are cooked, transfer to a food processor and puree. If pieces still remain, return to pan and puree using an immersion blender. Add heavy cream, sugars, and molasses to potato puree. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a rolling boil until the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and gradually whisk into cream cheese mixture until smooth. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. While base is chilling, spread the marshmallows on a baking sheet and brown the tops of the marshmallows using a kitchen torch (yes!). Cool for a few minutes, turn over, and toast other side. Let cool.
Once ice cream base is chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle a layer of toasted marshmallows on the bottom of a plastic ice cream container. Lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of marshmallows and ice cream until the container is full. Sprinkle a few more marshmallows on top. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
Makes about 4 cups (I cut the recipe in half and it turned out just fine)
1/2 cup cold water
Three 1/4-ounce packets gelatin
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and reserved
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil. Line with parchment paper and generously grease the paper. Attach whisk attachment to a stand mixer. Put 1/4 cup water in the bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. Insert candy thermometer in the pan and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 236 degrees F.
Break up the gelatin by turning the mixer onto low speed. Keep the mixer running and slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatin, avoiding the whisk and the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium and then to high and beat mixture until it is very frothy, thick, and cool, about 12 minutes.
Spoon the mixture out onto the prepared pan. Wet your hands and smooth out the marshmallows to an even layer. Cover with a sheet of greased parchment and let stand overnight.
Cut the marshmallows into 1/2-inch cubes (a pizza cutter works very well) and toss with powdered sugar to coat.