Ice Cream For Jefferson & 4th July

My food passion is ice cream. In fact, I make ice cream, publish and share my ice cream recipes and write an ice cream blog. One particular thing I love to do is make interesting ice cream related connections. It’s great fun! I have written about ice cream in literature and entertainment, ice cream in the movies, famous people and ice cream and even Scooby-Doo and ice cream!

I am delighted therefore that we are now into July as it is National Ice Cream Month. Moreover, I am thrilled that I was asked to  write this article for publication on the 4th of July, because it has some truly fascinating ice cream connections.

Thomas Jefferson1. Americans make more ice cream for 4th of July celebrations than on any other day of the year. From over 2 million visitors to my ice cream site every year, the 4th of July is the day that always gets most traffic!

2. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, loved ice cream and is believed by many (including me) to have been the first American to ever write down a definitive ice cream recipe. This is attributed to the influence of European culture during his time as U.S. Minister to France.

3. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence.

4. Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July, 1826.

So in honor of this great man on this Independence Day, when so many people are looking for a good ice cream recipe, let me share with you an ice cream my family loves. I would like to think President Jefferson would have approved!

Rocky Road Ice Cream

Rocky Road Ice Cream (Serves 6 to 8)


3 egg yolks
3 ounces (75g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon corn flour
1/2 pint (250ml) full cream milk
3 ounces (75g) milk chocolate
1/2 pint (250ml) whipping cream
2 ounces (50g) dark chocolate
2 ounces (50g) almonds (or pecans or walnuts)
2 ounces (50g) mini marshmallows
2 ounces (50g) glacé cherries


chocolate custard base for ice creamStep 1 – Make the chocolate custard base.

Method:  In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour until thick.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, break the milk chocolate into pieces and place in the milk. Heat slowly over a low heat, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Do NOT boil.

Pour the hot chocolate milk mixture into the egg yolks/sugar/corn flour mix whilst stirring. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently, stirring until the custard thickens – do NOT bring to the boil or it will probably curdle.

When you can see a film form over the back of your spoon it’s time to remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave to cool. When cool, place in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.

NOTE: If you want to cool your custard more quickly, as soon as you remove it from the hob, place the bottom of the saucepan into a bowl of ice-cold water and leave for up to 1 hour. Keep stirring occasionally so that a skin doesn’t form on the custard. Then refrigerate as mentioned above.

whipped cream chocolate custard for rocky road ice creamStep 2 – Preparing the whipped cream.

Method: Whip the cream until it holds its own shape then chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

Step 3 – Remove the chocolate custard base and whipped cream from the refrigerator.  Fold the whipped cream into the custard.

Step 4 – Transfer the complete mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Generally, it’s a 20 to 25 minute cycle.

Step 5 – Whilst the machine is freezing the ice cream, prepare the dry ingredients which need to be added 5 minutes from the end of the cycle:

a) Roughly chop the dark chocolate into small pieces
b) Roughly chop the almonds
c) Halve the marshmallows
d) Quarter the glacé cherries

Step 6 – Five minutes from the end of the ice cream maker’s freezing/batching cycle, gently drop the chopped chocolate, almonds, marshmallows and glacé cherries into the mixture through the top opening in the machine lid.

NOTE: This produces quite a soft, gelato-type ice cream. For a firmer texture, spoon the ice cream into a freeze-proof  container with lid and freeze for about 30 to 45 minutes.