If you haven’t guessed already, I’m an ice cream fanatic. I could eat it pretty much everyday of the year, and I like so many different flavors, that I could probably never eat the same flavor twice. But I’m ready to declare that this mint chocolate chip is my all-time favorite ice cream flavor ever.
I grew up eating mint chocolate chip from Baskin Robbins, in a bright Technicolor green hue with little rectangular chips. But this mint chip, made with fresh mint leaves steeped in the milk and cream, takes the flavor to a whole new level.
And a quick apology to my co-workers: This one is not coming into the office. My roommate and I liked it too much to share.
Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Plain Base
2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
1 3.5 ounce chocolate bar
a pinch of kosher salt
– Wash and drain mint leaves. In small batches bruise leaves using a mortar and pestle to release some of the oil. Set aside.
– Measure out 2 cups of whole milk, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the milk in a smaller prep bowl. Combine the rest of the milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat.
– Add the mint leaves to the milk mixture in the saucepan. Cover and let steep for 25 minutes. Once they have steeped, strain out the wilted mint leaves from the milk mixture.
– Take the 2 tablespoons of milk you set aside originally, and whisk in the cornstarch to create a slurry. Then slowly whisk the slurry into the milk mixture.
– Return saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil. Let boil for approximately 1 minute, until the cornstarch begins to thicken the mixture. Remove from heat.
– In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and salt until incorporated. Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese. Whisk together until fully combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until completely cool.
– While the base is chilling, chop up the chocolate bar in to small pieces. Store in the freezer in an airtight container until you’re ready to mix them in.
– Once chilled, freeze the base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Five minutes before the ice cream maker is done, add in the chopped up chocolate pieces to allow them time to mix completely. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for an additional 2 hours.
Okay, now here’s the play-by-play:
All the ingredients gathered.
You can skip this step if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, but it helps the mint flavor really become infused in the milk and cream.
Give the leaves a stir, then cover and let them sit for the full 25 minutes.
Make sure all the cornstarch is dissolved into the milk. It will take a couple of minutes of whisking. Then mix this into the milk mixture and boil again.
Whip together the cream cheese and salt. I used whipped cream cheese so it was a bit lighter and didn’t take as long to reach room temperature.
Just to be on the safe side, I decided to strain the milk mixture through a mesh strainer to catch any last little bits of mint leaves.
If you use a candy bar you’ll likely get evenly sized pieces like this. When I’ve made this recipe in the past, I’ve just used a hunk of baking chocolate, so the pieces were more like shavings, and were less uniform.
Freezing the chocolate pieces prevents them from affecting the temperature of your ice cream when it’s in the machine.
Once the chocolate is mixed in, and the ice cream is ready to come out of the machine, it’s a good idea to just give it a quick stir to make sure the chocolate is evenly spaced. Then you’ll get something that looks a little bit like this:
Which do you like better: fresh or Technicolor mint chocolate chip ice cream?