Mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream, and this is made entirely from scratch. This mint chocolate chip is fresh mint, from the garden folded into sweet cream and studded with dark chocolate chunks.
I used two kinds of mint, peppermint and sweet mint, both growing in my garden. Mint takes off and grows like crazy in the summer, and keeping it healthy means frequently cutting it back. Most recipes call for peppermint extract, and that’s fine but I was looking to use what I have, which is fresh. I let the mint steep for about 48 hours, but the longer, the stronger, of course.
This was minty in an herby way, fresh and sweet, just slightly milder than store-bought but unmistakably minty. Use lots of mint, I used about 3 cups- stems and all.
You’ll give the mint a rough chop and fold it into the warm cream base. As it cools, the fresh mint will wilt and the oils will seep into the cream and flavor it. Let it soak in the fridge for a day or two, maybe three if you can wait. Strain it, smash it, wring the liquid out and get all the minty goodness. I used a fine mesh sieve and pressed it through, getting every drop I could.
Don’t have fresh mint? You can just skip that step and use peppermint extract. Just a couple drops will do it, add a little and taste it. Get good quality chocolate, the best you can buy. Dark chocolate. Break it, chop it. Fold it in.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Fresh Mint
3 cups fresh mint
1 1/2 cups cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 good quality dark chocolate bar
In a medium saucepan, slowly heat cream, heating just until boiling (bubbles begin to form, do not allow it to boil, remove from heat). Stir in sugar and dissolve. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs. Temper the eggs: add some of the hot cream mixture to the eggs while whisking to bring the eggs up to temperature. Add this mixture (the eggs and cream) to the remaining cream and whisk to combined and thick. Return to heat (medium-low) and heat slowly until mixture thickens (should coat the back of a wood spoon, like a thin custard), remove from heat and allow to cool. Give the mint a rough chop and add to the still hot cream base. Once cool, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or more) to steep the mint.
When ready to churn ice-cream, strain mint from cream base, press or wring the mint to extract all liquid. Add 1 cup milk and pinch of salt. Begin churning this liquid in an ice cream maker. As the ice cream starts to set, add your roughly chopped chocolate and continue to churn until mixed and firm. Store in an airtight container and freeze for a few hours to set before serving.