Marshmallow and toffee. Sounds a little strange, right? Sounds like a sugar-shocked, sticky sweet, caramel covered cavity waiting to happen, right? Wrong! Turns out, marshmallow and toffee are a match made in candy-coated Heaven.
I first discovered the divinity of this delicious combination on a trip to Dairy Queen, of all places. I was experimenting with Blizzard flavors, trying to decide what would pair well with marshmallow topping, which I always request to be mixed into my DQ treats. I decided to try the Heath Blizzard with my usual swirl of mallow, and since then, haven’t ordered anything but that exact dessert. There’s just something about the nutty flavor of the almond and the sharpness and crunch of the burnt-sugary English toffee that pairs so beautifully with the silkiness of the smooth vanilla marshmallow cream, it’s melt- in-your-mouth irresistible.
I haven’t yet visited Dairy Queen this summer, but the delightful duo of toffee and marshmallow has still been ever present in my mind. I decided to create my own frozen dessert using these flavors and textures in a different way. I made a semifreddo/ice cream base, split it in two layers, and incorporated marshmallow and toffee flavors in both layers in different ways. While DQ’s concoction uses the chocolate-covered version of Heath’s toffee pieces, I decided to use plain toffee pieces and add chocolate in other ways throughout the dessert. A marbleized marshmallow swirl runs through rich, chocolate-mocha ice cream, and the almond flavors of the English toffee are found in the crust, along with more chocolate and ground toffee. Marshmallow can also be found in the second ice cream, which is speckled with crunchy toffee pieces and topped with a chocolate-toffee crumb topping to finish off this tempting treat. No hot ovens to turn on and no ice cream machine needed, just an hour or so of free time and a persistent sweet tooth!
Toffee-Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake
Inspired by: Dairy Queen’s “Candy Lover’s Heath Blizzard” with Marshmallow Topping
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s “Frozen Mocha Toffee Crunch Terrine“
8 ounces English toffee pieces
(ex. HEATH “Bits ‘O Brickle” Toffee Bits)
7 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
¼ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
6 ounces of cream cheese
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2½ tablespoons cocoa powder
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup marshmallow fluff (recipe below)
–recipe yield: 9x5x3-inch loaf; 12-15 slices
Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap. In a food processor, grind ¼ cup toffee pieces and 20 wafer cookies. Add almond flour and melted butter and pulse until crumbly. Press crumbs into bottom of loaf pan and place in freezer. Grind together 15 more wafers and ¼ cup toffee. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth. On a low speed, mix in ½ cup heavy cream until the mixture has reached medium soft peaks. In a separate large bowl, whip remaining heavy cream until it has just reached stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the whipped cream cheese mixture and place into the freezer to chill. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together granulated sugar and ¼ cup water and place over medium-high heat. Allow liquid to rapidly boil for 5 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together coffee, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons boiling water in a medium bowl. Set aside. While sugar syrup continues to boil, place egg yolks in a large bowl and beat on high for 3 minutes. When sugar syrup has been boiling for full 5 minutes, remove from heat and pour a small amount of the syrup into the yolks, continuing to beat. Gradually add in the remaining hot syrup to the yolks while beating the mixture. Beat for 8-9 minutes, or until the mixture has tripled in volume.
Divide yolk mixture in two equal parts, pouring one half into a separate large bowl. Remove loaf pan and chilled whipped cream mixture from freezer. Divide whipped cream mixture in half with a spatula, and fold one half into to one of the bowls of the yolk mixture, along with the cocoa-coffee mixture. Continue to fold until mixture is streak-free and chocolate-y. Pour this mixture into the loaf pan on top of the crumb layer. Add heaping teaspoons of marshmallow fluff into the loaf pan onto the surface of the chocolate layer until about 1/3 cup of fluff has been dotted into the pan. Run a butter knife through the fluff and chocolate layer to swirl the two together. Place loaf into freezer to chill.
Add ½ cup of marshmallow fluff to the remaining half of the yolk mixture. Beat well until combined and fluffy. Fold the fluff-egg yolk mixture into the remaining chilled whipping cream, along with 1/3 cup of plain toffee pieces. Remove loaf pan from freezer. Sprinkle half of the chocolate wafer-toffee crumb mixture into the loaf pan on top of the swirled chocolate-mallow mixture. Once the crumbs have been sprinkles in an even layer, pour into the loaf pan (on top of that layer) the marshmallow-toffee ice cream mixture. Place loaf pan in freezer to set up overnight. Remove semifreddo by pulling up on the plastic wrap on the sides. Peel away and discard plastic wrap and sprinkle any remaining chocolate wafer-toffee crumbs on top of the loaf, along with bigger toffee pieces if desired. Cut the ice cream loaf into slices and serve.
¾ cup corn syrup
pinch of salt
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ Tsp vanilla extract
–recipe yield: lots of fluff!
In a large bowl, beat together the egg white, corn syrup and salt for 10 minutes (set a timer). The mixture will be very thick. After ten minutes, gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar on a low speed. Mix in vanilla extract until incorporated. To store, cover the bowl of marshmallow fluff with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic wrap to sag into the bowl and cover the entire surface of the fluff so that it doesn’t develop a skin. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for 2-3 weeks.