Posted by Miss Lilly
As promised — Pop Rocks Ice Cream!
Looks yummy, right? It turned out very well, one of my dinner guests even commented that he believed it was one of “the best things ever invented” but I personally think he would have been happy just eating the chocolate covered pop rocks.
So my adventure into making pop rocks ice cream began with a hunt for pop rocks.
Yes, they were actually difficult to find.
My first inclination took me to Archie McPhee, which I swore up and down carried them. Yet, when we arrived they had strangely sold out of them prior to the Christmas holiday, M theorized that there was a new cult that celebrated the holidays with pop rocks, I wasn’t so convinced of that explanation but didn’t have a more likely scenario to offer. So after the guys at Archie McPhee told me to try Bartells because they have “weird candy” that’s where we ended up and successfully found two flavors – strawberry and watermelon (both of which tasted about the same).
After researching for several days how the best way to go about suspending pop rocks in a liquid base without setting off the chemical reaction we all love so much (after all what is the purpose of pop rocks ice cream if it doesn’t pop?), I decided to go with covering them in a high quality dark chocolate (I felt I had to make up for the deficit in good product somewhere). Although, when I have more time I really want to experiment with these unflavored pop rocks from Willpowder – actually I just want to play with all of his products and recipes.
This was relatively easy after some trial and error, although I would love to have been able to get individual covered pop rocks like these, though I wish they had them in dark chocolate, I think that’s impossible for the home cook due to the nature of the “rock.”
So what I ended up with was pop rock bark which I then smashed into tiny pieces in order to suspend in a good vanilla ice cream base adapted from a few different recipes.
For the Chocolate Covered Pop Rocks:
8 oz of 80% dark chocolate
16 packages of pop rocks
Melt chocolate in double boiler (or the microwave will do in a pinch), pour over pop rocks, spread as thinly as possible onto silicone covered silpat or parchment paper. Let set. Then put in plastic ziploc and smash with a rolling pin (or another object – a dumbbell, the bottom of a juice bottle, whatever) until you have smallish chunks.
For Vanilla Ice Cream:
3 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cups heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat the half and half, heavy cream, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and add the pod. Remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks until light yellow and thickened.
Gradually pour some of the cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Pour back into saucepan and cook on low heat stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
Add vanilla extract and refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chocolate covered pop rocks about halfway through, so they are thoroughly incorporate and suspended throughout the ice cream.
Freeze finished product for at least a few hours before serving.