the moveable feasts

“Baracky” Road Ice Cream

with 20 comments

baracky road ice cream

This space is pretty apolitical, as I think are most food-centered spaces on the internet are. But it’s not hard to guess, sometimes, how one leans politically. For example, take a random person who has a food blog: if that person cares about food and how it’s made, what goes into it, what it does to us, and so on, then there’s a pretty good chance that person also happens to care about things like the environment, education, market sustainability, basic civil and human rights,  the United States’ precarious balance with the rest of the world, and, you know, other very useless stuff like that. Not to simplify you down to some deterministic algorithm, but that’s just how these things tend to go.

Now, take me, who is twenty-one, a student (of politics, no less) at a liberal arts college, and who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Once again, it’s not hard to guess how I’m politically aligned. I hit all the marks—check, check and check, I’m a liberal!  Or something along those lines. Once again, it’s just how these things go.

in a shallow pan to cool

Anyway, we all know the election is now less than a week away (!). This will be the first general election I’ll have voted for (I was 6 months too young to vote last time, and yes, I know I’m young!), and I have become quite antsy about it. A couple months ago or so, back when I was brazenly overconfident that my candidate would be re-elected—something I am not quite so sure of at the moment—I was planning how I would celebrate on election night. I remembered how my favorite ice cream shop of all-time, Molly Moon’s in Seattle, sold rocky road ice cream at the time of the ’08 election with the name “Baracky” road ice cream. The fact that Molly Moon’s recently came out with a cookbook that contained the recipe sealed the deal for me. To go alongside Baracky road ice cream would be Mitt chocolate chip. Get it? Like mint chocolate chip, ha, ha! (I came up with this one myself, and if you can’t tell, I’m pretty proud of it.)

eat from the tub

But, as how most things go with me, I had to kind of be realistic and set my sights a little lower. Time and resources, just like our economy, haha!, are limited and I realized I could probably only manage to make one of the ice creams.  To be honest with you, I don’t even really like rocky road ice cream that much. But, I knew I would have felt guilty going with Mitt chocolate chip, as if it would have been a bad omen and set the election in a way unfavorable to my preferences (as if I had the power to decide how the election goes by choosing which ice cream flavor to make!). So, Baracky road ice cream it was.

molly moon's rocky road ice cream

The ice cream itself was easy, easy, easy to make. This one doesn’t have a custard base of egg yolks, so it ended up being a matter of bringing the liquids to a slight simmer, whisking them in with the chocolate, chilling that, and then churning it. An odd thing happened to this batch of ice cream, though, that I’m hoping you guys can help me out with. Instead of the ice cream being dense and heavy, it had a soft and airy whipped-like quality to it, almost as if I had folded in whipped cream before freezing it. My friends said they like it better this way, and I suppose I don’t have to worry about the ice cream getting any icy or hard edges to it while it sits in my freezer. But I’m a little irked by it, seeing as I love the way homemade ice cream has that extra-dense smoothness to it that can’t be found in even the best store-bought kinds. I also just don’t like feeling like I don’t have a grasp in controlling what I cook or bake, in general. I’m hesitant to credit this occurrence to the recipe, because I have family friends who have made it without this happening, but I’m just as hesitant to put the blame on my KitchenAid mixer ice cream maker attachment, seeing as I’ve made ice cream before without this happening. So… any ideas? Did I leave the mixture in the mixer too long, so it aerated it more than usual? Did I not let the mixture get cold enough to be able to immediately start freezing in the maker?

Anyway, I suppose I shouldn’t obsess too much about it, seeing as the impending election is quite larger than any single batch of ice cream could ever be. And, just as an annoying reminder, even if the election feels far too much bigger out of your own hands to matter (especially if you’re not from Ohio, Florida, Iowa or Wisconsin), please, please vote! Come Tuesday, I hope we’ll all be eating some version of Baracky road ice cream to celebrate.

molly moon's baracky road ice cream

One Year Ago: Butternut Squash Soup, sans cream or the oven

(Ba)Rocky Road Ice Cream
From Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Creams
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks (about 1 1/3 cups), divided
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Place 7 oz (about a cup) of the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally to make sure all the sugar dissolves. After a few minutes, the mixture will start to steam and little bubbles will form around the edges. At this point, watch out: just before the mixture comes to a boil, you’ll want to remove the mixture from the heat. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. After 5 minutes, whisk until the hot cream and chocolate are completely combined and the mixture is homogeneous. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours.

When the mixture is cold, whisk in the vanilla. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers instructions. During the last minute of processing, add the chopped hazelnuts, the remaining 4 oz of chocolate chunks, and the marshmallows. Once combined, transfer the ice cream to an airtight glass or plastic freezer container. Cover tightly and freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 4 hours.

Written by Amy

October 31, 2012 at 6:03 am

20 Responses

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  1. rocky road was my favorite growing up, and i probably haven’t had it in 5 years! it’s still 80 degrees here in texas, so i think i’ll make this before it gets too chilly! thanks! xx

    marie matter

    October 31, 2012 at 7:18 am

  2. Love this!


    October 31, 2012 at 2:57 pm

  3. I love the name Mitt chocolate chip! I don’t know, I may have to make a batch just because of its name, regardless of who wins.

    I wonder why your ice cream behaved that way. Maybe because of its lack of custard?

    Anyway, enjoy participating in your first presidential election!


    October 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    • Yeah, I really do love mint chocolate chip ice cream. Maybe I’ll make some after the election when, assuming Obama will win!!, it’ll be some sort of triumphant smug gesture. Right now I’m a little too superstitious to go with it though, haha.


      November 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      • Whoo hoo! It was celebratory ice cream after all!


        November 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  4. I’m not an ice cream expert so I can’t help you with the light and fluffy issue (but it sounds super yummy that way, so I just say just embrace it – no apologies).

    it’s funny being abroad for this election and eye opening too. I’ve had at least five Europeans – Swiss and Germans – ask me directly who I’m voting for, and in their mind there is only one right answer – OBAMA! One woman even said, “Think about us here in Europe, we need/want Obama.” I think Bush pretty much scared the f-ing pants off them and forever tainted their view of Republicans, which is fine my me, I’m forever tainted too.

    ps. I might never eat Mint chocolate chip again because I’ll forever associate it with Mitt! ha! absentee ballot is in for barack!


    November 1, 2012 at 9:00 am

    • It must be interesting seeing the election from the “outside.” It is crazy how that simple action of who is president is changes the rest of the world’s view of us so much. Haha, and I’m with you on the Bush thing…I’m pretty freaked out at the idea of having Romney in office at the moment. Here’s to Obama!


      November 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

  5. Hooray for Baracky road ice cream, very glad you made this rather than the Mitt chocolate – I love mint but I’m less keen on him ;-)

    With the texture, did you whip the cream and chocolate using an electric whisk? If so, perhaps next time try doing it by hand to incorporate less air?


    November 2, 2012 at 1:10 am

  6. Haha love this!
    Have fun voting for the first time! The last presidential election was my first time to be able to vote and I was so proud that I voted for Obama and he won (even though technically my vote had nothing to do with it living in Alabama and all), and I stuck my I Voted sticker in my journal. It’s such a great feeling though to be able to vote. :)


    November 2, 2012 at 5:04 am

  7. I, like you, am not quite so sure how the voting is going to turn out this year, even in our area. It feels all up in the air at this point, which is really kind of scary. Congrats on voting for the first time, though! Fun stuff, huh?

    As for the ice cream, I haven’t made any, but using my trusty friend Google it sounds like maybe it was churned too much. The cream has a tendency to turn whipped cream-esque when it doesn’t have eggs around. Might be worth playing around with!


    November 2, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    • Thanks Michelle for your comment– I think you’re right about how it not being a custard base made it easier for it to be over-whipped. And yes, sending in my ballot was very exciting! Let’s hope we’ll be celebrating his win though on Tuesday.


      November 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

  8. I think you should contact Molly Moon’s with your Mitt Chocolate Chip idea, (after the election that is). Love this post!


    November 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

  9. I can’t vote in this election, but baracky road ice cream all the way!

    And I can corroborate Talley’s experience with Europeans. I was talking to a grad student visiting from the Netherlands at a party a couple of weeks ago, and he was just floored by the fact that someone with Romney’s views even had a chance at winning the election.


    November 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    • Yeah it is a bit crazy, isn’t it? As a student sometimes I like thinking of how funny America is with their politics. That is, I think it’s funny up until elections come around and then that just turns more into fear…


      November 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm

  10. Hey, your ice cream making and eating helped. I checked the news right after getting up this morning, and was quite relieved to see Obama won.
    Anything else really would have been unbelievable for me, and I think most of the people I know.

    The ice cream sounds delicious, with or without the election party. We seem to have just regular single flavor ice cream here in Switzerland, at least until we got Ben and Jerry’s, so I have never had any road ice cream. I dont have an ice cream maker, though, maybe I have a try at it without one. I always wanted to see if the version of making ice cream by freezing and scraping really worked.


    November 7, 2012 at 3:15 am

    • I know! My friend and I were finishing the last of this ice cream last night, after we were already full from dinner. We kept eating until it was gone, telling ourselves that we were doing it for Obama, ha! And yeah, at one point last night I stopped and realized I hadn’t even considered the thought of Romney winning. I think I wouldn’t have known how to react. But yes, phew! Thank goodness it’s over (for now).

      You should try that out! Let me know if you do, I’ve always been curious. The mix of marshmallows, chocolate chunks and nuts may be an American combination, but it is very good.


      November 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

  11. This recipe sounds awesome!! (And not just because I completely love the name of it). What a great way to bring in the good news :) I one had ice cream that turned out foamy and airy too. It happened once when our freezer had just gone though a defrost cycle without me knowing it so my ice cream mixer bowl was not nearly cold enough. Why must ice cream be so finicky.


    November 9, 2012 at 5:17 am

    • Hi Katie! And that’s interesting– I thought I had put the ice cream maker in the freezer for long enough, but maybe it just wasn’t cold enough to churn the ice cream in time before it got a whipped texture. Thanks for letting me in on that. And yes, hooray to Baracky road ice cream! :)


      November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

  12. That ice cream looks so yummy, especially covered with chocolate sauce! And yay for voting! Although I must say, I was super bummed that nobody gave me a sticker like last time. :P hehe


    November 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  13. Hi Amy Amy – Right so my blog is getting a revamp (YAY!), weve been living in a house with super dodgy internet connection, Ive been working like 60 hour weeks copleting my internships etc etc. As a result of all this my blog commenting (and even reading sob) fell way by the wayside these past few months. BUT I just wanted to say that I love everything about this post – its totally adorable and yay for Baracky ice cream! Have you seen the polls that explain how the rest of the world feel about the american election? Essentially there isnt a single other nation that would have wanted Mitt to win and many (liek France etc) are like 98% obama and 2% mitt. I cant even begin to think how polarised (not to mention polluted/ high crime and just totally terrifying) the US would have been had he been elected. My 2 cents worth anyhow! anyhow anyhow – super loved this post and so looking forward to getting back to blogging and communicating and all of that. I so admire you for keeping it up so well! Take care love xo

    Em (Wine and Butter)

    November 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

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