Saturday, March 12, 2011
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
I’ve had my ice cream maker for a few years now and I love it. But until recently, I stuck to Philadelphia-style ice cream, meaning no egg yolks because I have a horrible track record with tempering eggs. One of my first memories of cooking was in middle school home ec where I made blondies with lovely chunks of eggs in them. Not my finest moment. So I’m conquering my fear this year and it all starts with David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. I bought this for my mom for her birthday and had to go buy one of my own after thumbing through it. It’s the bible of ice cream pretty much. I chose Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream as my first flavor since it’s my absolute favorite!
So, how’s it taste?
Yay me! A little pat on the back for finally getting comfortable with tempering eggs. Now I’ve gone ice cream crazy! This stuff was amazing and pretty darn close to the ice cream shop version I love so much. I started with the recipe for Fresh Mint ice cream, but ended up adding mint extract. I’m not a big fan of the fresh mint flavor. It had an herby undertone that I didn’t care for and smelled really, really awful when I was freezing the ice cream. Luckily that goes away and it mellows out. I like my mint to be front and center, so the subtle fresh mint wasn’t enough for me. The added extract made it fabulous! Next time I’ll skip the fresh mint step altogether.
What really made this ice cream awesome in my book, was swirling in the stracciatella. It’s simply melted chocolate drizzled into the last possible minutes of freezing in your ice cream maker. Once the hot chocolate hits the cold ice cream it shreds it into bits of chocolate, but not enough to blend into the ice cream. In the past I’ve tossed in chocolate chips but it just isn’t the same. This method produced those little flakes of chocolate that melt in your mouth with the ice cream. No more of those big hunks of chocolate chips!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Fresh Mint Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. mint extract
Green food coloring, optional (I used 3 drops)
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate*, finely chopped (I used 1/2 bitter and 1/2 semi)
*do not use chocolate chips
1. For the ice cream, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves and stir until they're immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Press on the mint leaves to extract as much as the flavor as possible, then discard the mint leaves. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.
3. Rewarm the mint-infused mixture. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Add the mint extract and food coloring.
5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
6. For the stracciatella, in a clean absolutely dry bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until it's completely smooth.
7. Drizzle a very thin stream of the warm chocolate into 1 quart of ice cream during the last possible moment of churning. Try to pour it not on the turning dasher, but into the ice cream itself. If the chocolate clings too much to the dasher, remove the ice cream from the machine and drizzle the chocolate into the frozen mixture by hand while you layer it into the storage container, breaking up any chunks as you stir.