Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
I made this last summer, especially for Nick, and I have been saving it for now. This was going to be a dead in the water post, because I seem to have misplaced the pictures on the computer when I was trying to download them. As luck would have it they seem to appear a year later just in time to premier in the Nick issue.
This is a basic ice cream in a traditional sense and it is as versatile as any custard that you will make that needs to be churned in an ice cream maker. The point for churning custard, [ice cream] in an ice cream maker is to incorporate air into the mixture. This will give your finished product a fluffy texture instead of a dense and solid texture. If you do not have an ice cream maker you can make this ice cream just the same with a few extra steps using a stainless steel bowl in the freezer. I will explain the process, [see *note*] for that method later; however, it will yield a denser texture.
*NOTE: When the custard has cooled and you have added all of your additional ingredients put the custard into a frozen stainless steel bowl. In the case of this mint ands chip ice cream don't add the chocolate candy until later. Place bowl in freezer. About every 15-25 minutes scrape around edge of bowl as the custard will start to freeze from the outside of the bowl to the inside. Scrape the frozen parts into the center of the bowl. The reason for scraping the edges down is so that the custard will not freeze into too solid of a mass. By not doing this, the custard will freeze so hard that it will nearly be impossible to scoop of the ice cream.
Continue to do this until the mixture is about 50 percent frozen and 50 percent liquid. At this time, gently fold in the chopped Andes mints incorporating the chocolate completely. Continue to check and fold mixture until ice cream it is frozen to a soft ice cream consistency. I will be best to serve and eat the ice cream made with this technique before the custard gets too hard.
3 cups of fresh mint leaves (not stems), rinsed, drained, packed
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream (divided, 1 cup and 1 cup)
2/3 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
6 ounces semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped fine, keep in the freezer until used
1. Put the mint leaves in a heavy saucepan with the 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of the cream. Heat until just steaming (do not let boil), remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Reheat the mixture until steaming, remove from heat and let stand for 15 more minutes.
2. While the mint is infusing in step 1, prepare the remaining cream over an ice bath. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set in ice water (with lots of ice) over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.
3. Strain the milk cream mixture into a separate bowl, pressing against the mint leaves with a rubber spatula in the sieve to get the most liquid out of them. Return the milk cream mixture to the saucepan. Add sugar and salt to the mixture. Heat until just steaming again, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm mixture, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
5. Return the saucepan to the stove, stirring the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.
If the custard base does not coat the back of the spoon, it is not ready. The custard base coats the back of the spoon. You can run your finger across the coating and have it not run. It is ready and should be removed from heat immediately, and poured through the sieve over the ice bath to stop the cooking.
6. Pour the custard through the strainer (from step 2) and stir into the cold cream to stop the cooking.
7. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least a couple of hours) or stir the mixture in the bowl placed over the ice bath until thoroughly chilled (20 minutes or so). Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
8. Once the ice cream has been made in the ice cream maker it should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate. Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.
Note that there is no alcohol in this recipe. A few teaspoons of some spirits such as rum or bourbon will help keep the ice cream soft over several days. Even the alcohol in vanilla extract will help. If you have no added alcohol in a homemade ice cream recipe, we recommend that you eat it up quickly, in a day or two; beyond that point the ice cream will quickly get very very hard.
Note that if you do not have fresh mint, you can make this mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe with peppermint extract. Skip steps 1 and 2, instead heating 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of cream and the sugar and salt until steaming. Continue with step 3. Add 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract in with the chilled custard mixture in step 6.