Mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, but the quality of scoops varies wildly. The ice cream should never be green – no food coloring, thanks – and naturally flavored with real mint. Dark chocolate is a requirement, but gigantic hunks are too hard and chalky when frozen. I prefer mini chips. And then I thought, why isn’t there a stracciatella-type mint ice cream, with thin streaks of chocolate ribbons flowing through, some shattered into tiny chocolate flakes? The more I thought about it, the more I knew that this ice cream must come to be. I even strategized a totally unique way to get the chocolate drizzle of my dreams (pouring melted chocolate into the ice cream as it churned), but it turns out that great minds must think alike, because that’s exactly how stracciatella is made! The mint growing in my Aerogarden finally reached a critical mass, and I’ve been lavishing myself with this ice cream ever since.
To make it, get 2 cups of fresh mint. Then, to a small pot, add 1 cup of milk (I always use fat free milk and my ice cream turns out great, but whole milk is usually suggested), 1 cup of cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Heat the pot until the milk begins to steam and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the pot from the heat, and stir the mint into the mixture, making sure it’s submerged. Put a lid on the pot, and let the mint infuse the liquid for 1 hour. Use a slotted spoon to strain out the mint, squeezing as much liquid and flavor from the mint as you can.
Heat the pot of minty milk again until it steams. Meanwhile, separate 5 eggs, and whisk the yolks together in bowl (save the whites for breakfast). Ladle some of the warm milk into the bowl of yolks, and whisk the yolks to warm them up. Repeat a few times, and then scrape all of the warmed yolk mixture into the pot. Stir the pot constantly with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape along the bottom, until the custard has thickened enough to easily coat a spoon. Pour the custard over a strainer into a clean bowl. The strainer will catch any bits of egg whites that made it into the custard. Pour 1 cup of cream into the custard, and stir it together. Then, chill the custard. I put an ice pack into a plastic bag, put it into the bowl, and then transfer the bowl to the refrigerator.
Once the custard has cooled, freeze it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. While the ice cream churns, melt 5 ounces of dark chocolate. I had an inedible sea salt Godiva bar, so I used half that and half normal dark chocolate. The now-edible, pleasantly salty chocolate was fantastic in this ice cream, so feel free to add about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to your regular chocolate. Let the chocolate cool down for about 5 minutes.
When the ice cream is done churning, at the point when you’d normally transfer it to a container, it’s time to add the chocolate. With your ice cream maker running, slowly pour a thin stream of the chocolate onto the ice cream. The chocolate will harden as soon as it hits the ice cream, and it will break up as the ice cream churns. If the chocolate starts bunching up around your ice cream maker, break it with a spoon to help it flow more smoothly. Once all of the chocolate is incorporated, transfer the ice cream into containers and freeze them.
The chocolate will form ribbons and flakes of varying sizes that are irresistible. If you’ve never had mint chocolate chip ice cream made from real mint before, then the flavor of this one will definitely make your tastebuds tingle. It’s so refreshing that it only feels a tiny bit decadent.
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.
- Mint- 2 cups
- Milk- 1 cup
- Cream- 2 cups
- Sugar- 1/4 cup
- Salt- 1 pinch
- Egg yolks- 5
- Dark chocolate- 5 ounces (plus 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, optional)