When I was a little girl, my two favorite flavors of ice cream were coffee (I was destined for Seattle) and mint chocolate chip. So when I asked our cousins which flavor ice cream they’d like me to make for an upcoming Dad and son birthday party (yes, both born on the same date), I was tickled when the reply was “anything mint.”
Now let me clarify: I am not talking fake, green, creme de menthe ice cream, but rather the REAL thing with fresh mint, which we happen to have growing in a mint box on our back deck (mint can take over a garden in the blink of an eye so I always corral it in a planter box). There’s nothing like mint chocolate chip ice cream made with fresh mint. Zingy and refreshing ice cream with”chocolate chips” made from Seattle’s own Theo’s Ultimate Dark Chocolate bar. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you can’t stop at one scoop.
Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Credit to David Lebovitz for the recipe
Mint Chip Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart (1l)
The bright taste of fresh mint is marvelous with the little bits of bittersweet chocolate. If you are unsure of the quantity of mint leaves, weigh them to the get the exact amount. I just stuck a few mint springs in my rooftop garden box and within a week, they took root and are thriving nicely. It’s not enough to make a batch of mint ice cream quite yet, so for now, I’m buying my mint at the market. Depending on where you shop, you might want to buy two bunches, to make sure you have enough.
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves
- 5 large egg yolks
- For the chocolate chips:
- 5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
How to:1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, salt, and mint.
2. Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.
3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use well-washed hands to do it as well, making sure the mixture isn’t too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.
4. Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).
7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
8. Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. One tip: When you melt the chocolate, make sure the bowl is clean and dry; any moisture or water will cause the chocolate to seize and harden. Place a storage container in the freezer.
10. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.
When finished, cover and freeze until firm.
Want more freshness in your meals? Check out Wanderfood Wednesday!