There’s a scene in the movie Garden State (good movie, terrific soundtrack; check it out) where Zach Braff and Natalie Portman are hanging out after Zach meets her in/gives her a ride home from the hospital. Natalie reveals her belief that all awkward moments can be banished by doing something completely unique; some motion, or sound, or anything, really, that no one has ever done before. Then she does something random with her arms, they both laugh, and everyone feels better. Now, I didn’t make this ice cream because I felt awkward, but it did make me feel a little more confident about my ice-cream-creation skills. Because it is unique, and I really hope maybe it hasn’t been done before. This recipe is not a Momofuku Milk Bar original (except for the cornflake crunch and cereal milk, which are recipes adapted from the book), but rather an ode to how much I am inspired by the flavor combinations contained in that precious tome. I worked hard on it, and I hope you love it as much as I do; so now, I give you Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Ice Cream.
Have you had the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie? I know several of you have made your own in the past few months, and judging from most of the conversations i’ve had, you liked them. In a pretty major way. This is the freezing-cold liquid version of that. Like a cookie, with milk, spun magically into ice cream. And you get to eat it. The best part? It’s not even what i would consider to be a “summer” ice cream, which means you can totally make this all year round. Because cornflakes don’t have a season, people. Neither do chocolate or marshmallows.
So let’s get right to it. Remember Jen’s coffee custard cream that I stole for my awards thank-you post? I used that as inspiration for this ice cream base. It worked wonderfully, because it’s a rich ice cream which can handle all these add-ins. Did I mention this isn’t just cornflakes? Oh heavens, no. I made the cornflake crunch for this; it needed to be more sturdy to stand up to all that creaminess, and the crunch gives it a more malty, toasted flavor than cornflakes alone would have. I took my adapted version of the recipe and adjusted the bake time up a few minutes to really get a good toast on it, and somehow that crunch stays crunchy even after freezing.
When you make this, don’t be scared: the flavor of the base will be intense before the spin time in your ice cream maker and the subsequent chill-down to set everything up. It’s okay. If you like the cookies, you’ll love this, and you have to have that “pow! in your face!” flavor to really get the essence of the cookie to come forward in this ice cream. It really is important to refrigerate the mixture prior to spinning it; it melds the flavors and makes it easier on your ice cream maker to do its thing, I promise.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- Add your cornflake crunch, chocolate chips, and marshmallows in the order I give them to you. Trust me, it’s the best way. Chocolate chips are heavy, so they go in first. The marshmallows go in after because then they don’t get in the way of the chocolate chip distribution. Cornflake crunch gets added in last because you want to do the least amount of stirring possible with it in order to keep the flakes as intact as you can. You can almost use a ribbon technique with the crunch if you choose to do so.
- The extra toast on the crunch is important. Don’t get all anxious and pull it out ahead of schedule, because some of that baked cookie flavor is going to come from the crunch. You can do things to the ice cream base to mimic this, but toasted flavor is hard to duplicate. The extra few minutes and some close watching towards the end will mean better ice cream for you to enjoy.
- If you do the recipe components in the order I give them to you, it flows pretty well. For instance, if you make your cornflake crunch and then make your toasted cornflakes for the cereal milk, you can simply cook your crunch, remove it from the oven, turn it up to 300˚F, lift your crunch off the sheet pan using the parchment paper, place a new parchment, and pour your cereal milk cornflakes on the sheet without missing a beat. “spit-spot,” I believe Mary Poppins would say.
- Don’t feel like you need to stick with my measurements for add-ins; you make it how you’d like. I like the quantities you see in the above photo because it’s packed with stuff, very much like the cookies. Filled to max capacity. If you like your ice cream less chunked with things, try reducing your chocolate chips to 1/2 cup, your marshmallows to 3/4 cup, but leave the cornflake crunch the same.
I know one of you may ask me if I’ve eaten this with an actual cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie alongside it. I haven’t, because the thought blows my mind. But I’m hoping one of you out there try it and tell me what it’s like. If I can get around to it, I’ll be making another batch of this and the actual cookies at the same time, so if I get to it before any of you do, I’ll let you know how it goes.
You know what this ice cream would be good for? Anything. I just went through all the holidays in my head, and i can’t think of one it would be inappropriate at. Although – is it too early to say this? – I do feel like, given all the toasty cookie-flavored goodness, it may be pretty amazing for Halloween parties. Think about it.
The cornflake crunch and cereal milk recipes are adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi, and the overall flavor of this ice cream is inspired by their very own cornflake chocolate chip + marshmallow cookies.
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Ice Cream
for the cornflake crunch:
- 3 cups of cornflakes
- 1/4 cup of milk powder
- 2 tablespoons tightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 3/4 cups cornflakes
- 3 3/4 cups cold whole milk
- 2 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
for the ice cream base:
- 1 2/3 cup cereal milk (made the same)
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
for the add-ins:*
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 3/4 cup cornflake crunch
*these add in sizes are for what i would deem a pretty “loaded” ice cream. If you’re the sort of person who, upon heading to the self-serve fro-yo place, can’t seem to find a container large enough for your fro-yo and toppings, then these measurements are for you. If you prefer a little less pizzazz in your ice cream, then opt for 1/2 cup chocolate chips, take down the marshmallows to 3/4 cup, and reduce your cornflake crunch to anywhere between 1/2 to 2/3 cup. If you don’t want to take down all three, just reduce the chocolate chips and see what happens. This is your ice cream; you make it how you want, but avoid the “I’ll just add a little and keep adding” method, or you run the risk of over-mixing and over-smooshing your add-ins.
Preheat oven to 275˚F.
Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to half of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar and salt and toss with your hands to mix. Add the butter and toss with a spatula to coat, making sure everything looks even when you’re done. The mixture should form small clusters.
Spread the clusters on to a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 23-35 minutes, until toasted and buttery-smelling. I’m giving you a few extra minutes on the toast because this is going into ice cream, not cookies; since they won’t be toasted again during cookie-baking, it’s good if you can get a nice toasty crunch on them now.
Cool the crunch mixture completely before adding to your spun ice cream.
cereal milk time:
Turn your oven up to 300˚F.
Spread the cornflakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely.
Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher or bowl. Pour the milk into the pitcher (or bowl) and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Stir the mixture gently, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. The milk will drain off quickly at first, then become thicker toward the end of the straining process. Using the back of a ladle or large spoon, wring the milk out of the cornflakes, taking care to not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. Store in a clean pitcher or glass milk jug, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. But you’re not going to store this, are you? No. You’re going to make ice cream.
ice cream base time:
Your finished cereal milk should, by now, be all strained out in a large bowl. Add to that cereal milk your heavy cream, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir together until incorporated, making sure the sugar and salt have dissolved into your liquid and nothing is hanging out on the bottom. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or up to overnight to chill thoroughly.
Once chilled, spin ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once spun, the ice cream should be very similar to that of frozen custard, and soft-frozen.
Have your mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and cornflake crunch ready to go. Remove ice cream from maker and place in large bowl (or, if your ice cream maker is a KitchenAid, like mine, you can do this in the bowl itself by hand). Add chocolate chips and stir using a rubber spatula or spoon to evenly distribute. Once incorporated in the manner which makes you happy, add your marshmallows, stirring again until marshmallows are all over the place. Grand finale; add your cornflake crunch, stirring gently to incorporate/ribbon amongst the other add-ins. Once you have everything added and stirred, place your ice cream in an airtight container and throw in the freezer to set up prior to serving, about 4-5 hours. It will, yes, be difficult to wait that long, but no one said you can’t accidentally leave some out to eat ahead of time.
This will keep, if stored in a tightly sealed container, about 2-3 weeks in your freezer.