Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I have been on a mint chocolate kick after making some super-awesome chocolate mint brownies, and some peppermint bark over the holidays and thought I would make some mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Most recipes I've found use fresh mint so I made the custard base and steeped the milk with a cupful of chopped fresh mint.
It smelled green. Herbaceous. Like a salad, and not at all like the mint chip ice cream of my youth.
A little downhearted, I proceeded, nonetheless, and added the egg yolks, and then 2 cups of cream hoping it would dilute the earthiness. And diluted, the ice cream base was better, but still herby. Maybe freezing it will soften the flavour, I thought. Having made the entire recipe I wasn't going to throw it out without churning it in my ice cream maker just to see.
So into the ice cream maker it went, and came out light and fluffy, and the herby flavour dulled by cold, the chocolate chips went in and the mix was put in a container in the freezer to harden for a hour.
And you know what? it worked! The ice cream was delicious. The herbaceousness was subtle at best and the play of the crunchy chocolate with the mint was very tasty. I would go out of my way to make it again, in fact. Sure it's still not the way I remember my mint chip ice cream, but this is good in its own way. Someday, I will probably attempt another batch using peppermint extract instead of fresh mint to get back to that flavour that I remember, but in the meantime this is a tasty fascimile and a very happy accident.

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Makes about 1 quart ice cream

Time: I hour

  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped mint
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips

    1. Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, and stir in the mint. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean saucepan, pressing firmly to extract all the liquid; discard the mint.
    2. Bring the milk back to a simmer. Beat the egg yolks together in a bowl, Slowly whisk about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Then stir the egg mixture into the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard reaches 175 on a thermometer and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Strain if desired.
    3. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold. Stir in heavy cream and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
    4. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions, when the ice cream is almost frozen stir in 3-4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped.

Adapted from: Joy of Cooking 2007

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