Posted by: Erica Retrochef | January 27, 2014

Chocolate Marlow

I have been spending the past few weeks buried so deeply in my masters thesis that I had very little time to spend in the kitchen. Yesterday, I finished the draft — and my brain was immediately in desperate need of some distraction and relaxation. This sounded like just the ticket.

A marlow is a melted marshmallow dessert dating back to the late 1800s, and a popular early recipe for ice cream. Its texture is like a luxurious mousse with a very rich, lingering mouth feel. (Source)

Oooooh, a luxurious mousse. Yes please.


Chocolate Marlow

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup White House Milk
16 marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup White House Milk, chilled

Shave chocolate into top of double boiler. Add one cup milk and marshmallows. Heat over boiling water until well blended. Beat with rotary egg beater. Cool mixture; add flavorings. Whip chilled White House Milk until thick; fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into cold freezing tray. Freeze with temperature control set at coldest setting. 5 servings.


I’ve never bothered to shave my baking chocolate squares before, but it melts incredibly fast if you do!


If you’re making a marshmallow dessert and only have mini’s, you can either weigh them and estimate a reasonable conversion scientifically — or, if you’re fed up with being scientific because you just wrote dozens of pages about science, just dump a bunch in.


The marshmallows make the resulting chocolate milk nice and frothy.


Now this step is important: you have to use either heavy cream or evaporated milk. Anything else just won’t whip right.

Well, full-fat canned coconut milk probably would. I didn’t try that. I just told lactose-intolerant daughter she didn’t have to taste this recipe, and she’s on an anti-retro bender right now so she didn’t mind at all. (I didn’t tell her it was supposed to turn into a luxurious mousse, though.)


ANYWAY. Fold the whipped dairy and chocolate-marshmallow dairy together, and put it in the freezer.


Don’t go in the freezer an hour later to see if it’s done. It won’t be, but you may be tempted to poke the surface to see how solid it’s getting, accidentally crack through the top frozen layer into the still-liquid center, and in your surprise spill a bunch of chocolate marshmallow milk all over your foot.



But enough of the stuff stayed in the bowl and froze properly that we could get a good idea of what this was supposed to be.

It wasn’t what I’d generally call a luxurious mousse. It also wasn’t very sweet. (Were marshmallows sweeter fifty years ago?) It needed a sprinkle of sugar on top to be really enjoyable.

It was a sort-of ice cream. While the recipe did call for some fiddly steps with marshmallows and so on, it was easier than making real ice cream would have been, especially in decades and centuries past. I’d be interested to make this again with some minor variations (more sugar, maybe non-dairy substitutes), but it certainly is a lot of work to go through.

Original advertisement found online at The Gallery of Graphic Design


  1. Oh, I’d forgotten that little trick for whipping coconut cream!!! That’s what I’d do next time, indeed. Scientifically, adding vanilla to things fools the senses – we smell, and think the dessert is sweeter. However, with baking chocolate in the mix, you’re really stretching it without adding sugar. Maybe a nice 70% dark chocolate with added sugar would make this a reasonably tasty ice cream sub. On, and that coconut milk…

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