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Fresh Mint Chip ice cream is made with real mint leaves and dark chocolate ~ eating in the summer doesn't get any better! The creamy flavor of fresh mint combined with an extra amount of dark chocolate makes it the best mint ice cream I've ever tasted.
The moment the weather starts to heat up, I start to dream ice cream flavors. My youngest daughter and I took our first trip of the season to our favorite ice cream parlor the other night after dinner, they gave me Bourbon & Coffee, they gave me Chocolate Gooey Brownie, and I'll have fabulous ice cream flavors running through my brain from now until end of august when i will finally rest until next season.
This fresh mint chip ice cream is a fancy ice cream shop made in your own kitchen.
Mint ice cream made with fresh mint has a very different flavor than ice cream made with mint extract or other flavors. I was amazed at how little mint I needed for this recipe: a handful of good-sized mint leaves, soaked for 2 hours in hot cream, was all it took to give a really nice mint flavor. The refreshing sensation of fresh mint makes this flavor one of the most refreshing. If you're a chocolate chip mint lover (and aren't we all?), This is going to rock your world.
You can pluck fresh mint leaves from your garden or get them from the herb section of your supermarket. If you have any patch of soil available, peppermint grows like a herb as long as you get enough water. I used a combination of about half peppermint and half mint, which I have grown in small containers in my garden. The flavor is very refreshing and bears little resemblance to the mint ice cream in the freezer aisle.
The chocolate melts with a little oil and then drizzled with the ice cream during the last few minutes of shaking, giving it that delicate and almost lace effect. There are no hard and frozen pieces of chocolate to bite into, but there is plenty of chocolate flavor!
The technique, if you are curious is called stracciatellaor fragments in Italian, and the beautifully speckled stracciatella is one of the most popular gelato flavors in Italy.
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Tips for growing peppermint in containers ~
You don't need a large yard to grow your own fresh herbs, many herbs grow very well in containers. Peppermint is an especially good choice for container gardening because it tends to spread out of control in the garden.
- There are many varieties of mint to choose from these days. Spearmint is what you normally find at the grocery store, and it is what you most commonly think of when you think of the classic "mint" flavor. You can also get mint, which has a slightly different flavor that you'll recognize as the mint flavor that's often used to flavor desserts. You can even buy chocolate with mint, With the chocolate flavor incorporated!
- Mint likes the sun, but it can take some shade, so take advantage of the places in your garden or on your patio that have a little shade during the day.
- Harvest mint sprigs regularly by pinching the top of 1/3 of a stem. This will encourage more growth. Do not take more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.
- Water regularly. Peppermint plants like water and containers can dry quickly on hot summer days.
- Do you want to grow your mint indoors? You can look these tips
Which ice cream machine do I recommend?
They ask me all the time about what machine I use. I use and recommend Cuisinart. I have had my machine for years without a problem, I think because there are no demanding electronic parts to break down ~ it is a simple motor that turns the freezer bowl to whip the ice cream and works fast and perfectly every time.
- The machine I use, and is the base model. It works great for ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets, and makes them in about 2 minutes. Click HERE or click on the image for more information.
Slightly adapted recipe from Eat seriously
Fresh mint ice cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves about 1 cup, lightly packaged
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons of neutral canola oil, sunflower
Heat the cream and half and half in a saucepan until simmering.
Remove from the heat, add the mint leaves, cover and let stand for 2 hours.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar and set aside.
Strain the mint leaves from the cream, pour back into the saucepan and add the egg yolk mixture.
Place back on the stove and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and covers the back of a spoon.
Strain again to remove any chunks of cooked egg yolk and cool well (preferably overnight).
Whisk according to the instructions of your ice cream maker.
While the ice cream is whisking, melt the dark chocolate with the oil in the microwave or in a double boiler and mix until smooth.
Pour the chocolate in a thin stream over the ice cream when it is almost ready to whisk, you can break any large piece of chocolate that is formed with a spoon.
Place it in a safe freezer container and freeze for at least a few hours before serving.
Make it yours ~
- METERmake it greener If you are one of those who loves that green color from the store bought things, add one or two drops of green food coloring.
- Make it more perfect ~ Tear and crush the mint leaves as you add them to the hot cream, this will release more of the essential oils.
- Make it lighter ~ use half thick cream and half whole milk.
- Do it without the fresh mint ~ use mint extract. The amount will depend on the brand you are using, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.
fresh ice cream mint