An upcoming engagement party in June has my ice cream maker churning. I’m preparing the food for the event and for dessert I plan to pass mini-waffle cones filled with the bride and groom’s favorite ice cream flavors. She hearts mango sorbet. He is a mint-chocolate chip kind of guy.
I grew up celebrating every major childhood accomplishment with two scoops of Baskin-Robbins mint-chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone. So I consider myself a connoisseur of this flavor. Or, at the very least, an expert on that version of mint-chocolate chip ice cream with its never-to-be-found-in-nature green hue and bright mint taste. Take that for what it’s worth.
I went back and forth when it came to my approach for this ice cream. The way I cook today had me dreaming about infusing mint leaves in the cream and milk to make an ice cream bursting with fresh mint flavor, but I worried that I would need to use mint extract to get the bold mint taste that inspires the fanatical devotion of this ice cream’s fans. Ultimately a rapidly growing mint plant in my backyard resulted in me taking the natural approach. I’m so glad I did.
You won’t find any green ice cream here (although there is always food coloring). Instead, you’ll find an irresistible ice cream with fresh mint flavor that, while more subtle than other versions, is far better for it. Happy cooking!
Don’t have an ice cream maker? Click here to find out how you can make delicious ice cream with a food processor.
Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 1 quart
A recipe for vanilla ice cream in The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl inspired the vanilla base for this recipe. Fresh mint leaves infused in the hot cream-milk mixture make for an irresistible version of this classic ice cream flavor.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Heat the heavy cream, whole milk, mint leaves, sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain the mint leaves from the cream mixture and discard. Place the beaten eggs in a bowl and slowly add the cream and milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the temperature reaches 170 to 175 degrees and the custard begins to thicken. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a metal bowl.
Cool to room temperature, stirring often. Refrigerate, covered, until very cold – at least three hours.
Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions. When ice cream is almost frozen, add the chopped dark chocolate while the ice cream maker is running. Once everything is mixed together turn off the ice cream maker and freeze in an airtight container until ready to serve.