I wanted to title this Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream, but that seems like an oxymoron. It tastes like a warm cup of Mexican Hot Cocoa, in a deliciously refreshing ice cream form. The subtle spice of cinnamon, chile, and cayenne peek through the full and deep chocolate flavor. The marshmallows are swirled in, as opposed to melted on top of a mug, and crunchy almonds throughout. I dub it Mexican Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream instead.
My family are huge ice cream lovers. That's why you can find a good handful of dairy-free ice cream recipes in my first book Against all Grain (Mint Chip, Chocolate Frozen Yogurt, and Vanilla Bean), as well as a few on my blog. Over the past year, I've slipped and taken to buying regular ice cream or frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, my gut has not been fond of that. I also forgot just how wonderful and easy homemade ice cream can be.
My favorite candy bar as a child was a Rocky Road bar so I naturally gravitated to making this a dairy-free rocky road ice cream. I remember going on special little outings with my mom and she would get one for us to share as a treat. I tired of coconut-tasting ice cream from the coconut milk, so I switched to cashew milk for this one. The cashew milk, in addition to the small amount of gelatin added to the mixture, makes this ice cream wonderfully creamy. Both of those ingredients, plus adding lots of air to the “batter” by the use of a blender, prevent it from getting icy in the freezer. It scoops like a dream, and doesn't require an ice cream maker! Just blend and freeze. So easy!
You can omit the mix-ins and just use the base to make a delicious chocolate ice cream, but I highly suggest using them to create that beloved rocky road taste. I like to add small marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, and chopped Spiced Candied Almonds. These mix-ins take the ice cream to another level with the added crunch and sweetness. Plus the almonds add a bit more spice to compliment the cinnamon and chocolate. I use a natural and gluten-free brand of marshmallows called Elyon for ease, but it contains sugar. You can easily make a batch of homemade honey marshmallows beforehand.