Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

20 Jun

Where I come from, ice cream is important.  We have giant ice cream cones that adorn the parking lot of schools.

Note to self: Pose next to this bad boy next time I'm in St. Louis...

We were the place where ice cream cones were invented.  Seriously!  At the 1904 World’s Fair, as any schoolchild in St. Louis will tell you after the obligatory study and field trip about the Fair.  It’s now our official state dessert!  Check it:

And pretty much our top tourist destination, after a Cardinals game and maybe before the Bowling Hall of Fame, is Ted Drewes, home of the frozen custard concrete.

It's really popular.

It really is good, guys.  Double S has the shirt!

Then there were my early dalliances with ice cream makers.  Backstory: When I was a kid, my mom and I would often lunch at our local’s mall’s department store restaurant.  Yep, restaurant.  Back in the day (circa the early 1980s) department stores still had restaurants!  I was born just in time, because said department store was bought by Dillard’s in 1984, when I was a mere whippersnapper of 9, and the restaurant was gone.  But in those 9 short years, I became acquainted with cinnamon ice cream.  Stix did it the best!  My parents bought an ice cream maker for the sole purpose of attempting to replicate this supreme cinnamon ice cream.  Wouldn’t they have been great early 80s food bloggers?  They were avid participants in lotsa 80s food trends: sourdough starters, making your own egg rolls at home, using eggplant (even though we lived in the midwest!), wine and cheese parties, and so on.  Here’s to my parents, and especially my dad, who made me the crazy foodie that I am today!  Your card’s in the mail, pops!

So needless to say, I grew up eating a lot of ice cream,  especially when you throw in all the DQ Blizzards I ate after softball games and the like.  And, Butterfinger, if you must know.

Now that I have my own ice cream maker, I’m drawing on my ice cream upbringing.  Another one of my favorites was from local St. Louis ice cream institution, Velvet Freeze, owner of aforementioned giganta-cone.  They sold what they called Swiss Chocolate Ice Milk in grocery stores, and we often had that as our at-home ice cream.  This was, although we didn’t think of it at the time, a healthy ice cream before the healthy foods craze had hit the middle of the country, and it was delicious with it’s still creamy texture and it’s extra fine chocolate shavings.  My family still talks about it, and I plan to try to replicate it for them this summer at our family vacay.  Stay tuned for results.

It was with this ice cream in mind coupled with the glut of mint in my garden AND the delivery of my new ice cream maker AND June’s Spice Rack Challenge that made me want to try my hand at a Fresh Mint Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream.  Here’s what I did!

First, I picked mint.  I know, usually at this point in a blog, there’s be a picture of me with a cute garden hat and fancy gardening basket harvesting the fruits of my labor, but I’m street, yo!  I find that gathering up one’s t-shirt into a makeshift basket is the best way to harvest my produce.

I used a few different kinds of mint for this ice cream.  I used a lot of chocolate mint.  Double S and I bought a lil’ chocolate mint plant years ago, and never did much with it other than try it and say how crazy it was that it tasted so much like chocolate. I finally used it!  I also used a lot of the mint that we just recently planted a cutting of.  If you don’t have mint on your garden, just buy one little plant or get a good cutting from a friend who has mint, and you’ll have your own mint patch in no time.  To round it out, I also used some nameless mint that grows wild in another forgotten part of the yard, so that I had enough mint for a minty ass ice cream.

We do our mint in 5 gallon buckets to control the sprawl.

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Adapted from here for the milk proportions and here for the genius chocolate idea.

Ingredients:

2 cups 2% milk

1 cup half and half

3 cups, or approximately 80 g of fresh mint

3/4 cup sugar

2 pinches salt

2 large egg yolks

4-5 oz bittersweet or dark chocolate

Storage container for the ice cream.  Put it in the freezer the day before or at least while your ice cream is churning.

Steps:

Combine milk, half & half, mint and a pinch of salt into saucepan over medium high heat.  Heat to 180%.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat then let the mint steep for one hour.

Steeping mint.

After an hour, pour milk mixture through sieve.  Use back of wooden spoon to press down and extract all liquid from mint.  I actually used my hands to squeeze the excess milk from the mint, because the milk had cooled significantly by then.  Set aside.

I squeezed that mint dry!

Then place sugar, other pinch salt and 2 egg yolks into a bowl.  Stir constantly with whisk.  My was thick and grainy.  Pour into pan with milk mixture.  Cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly.  Bring mixture to 160 degrees.  This took me about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Refrigerate over night.

At this point, it was a nice light green color.

The next day, run the mixture through your ice cream maker by following your maker’s directions.

Wow, ice cream thickens up so fast. What an improvement over the old school churn ice cream makers of my youth Although the churning, the ice and the rock salt were a fun part of the experience...

While it’s churning, melt some good chocolate in the microwave on low or the double boiler.  When the ice cream has finished churning, drizzle some chocolate into a storage container that you’ve had in the freezer.

Add some freshly churned ice cream over the chocolate, then drizzle some more chocolate over that.  Then stir to break the hardening chocolate into delicious bits.  Keep layering and stirring.

The chocolate gets hard and breaks into delicious chewy yet crunchy bits. Awesome!

In the end, mine looked like this:

Into the freezer to firm it up!

Then freeze the container for at least 2-3 hours.

The ice cream after it's time in the freezer.

I forgot the cones! But let's eat anyway!

You can also make mint ice cream without fresh mint.  Based on my research, I’d recommended mint extract if you don’t have fresh mint. Steeping the fresh mint for this recipe really gives you an herbal mint taste.  If you don’t have as much mint as I used, I think you could easily cut back to 1-2 cups of mint and still have a minty ice cream.  Mine was super minty!

Enjoy!  It’s summer!

And so do crazy food bloggers!

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16 Responses to “Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream”

  1. Casey June 20, 2011 at 8:35 AM #

    THese are the moments i really wish I had an ice cream maker :/ look amazing!

    • ohbriggsy June 20, 2011 at 3:29 PM #

      thanks for stopping by! you should get an ice cream maker if you can–it seems that there’s tons of options for ice cream experimentation! my cuisinart was fairly cheap, and i know they just had a similar model on sale at costco. have a good summer!

  2. Barbara June 20, 2011 at 10:40 AM #

    Oh the memories of Velvet Freeze! That was the only ice cream my Mom’s dad would eat. I loved eating their ice-cream and getting those bits of “ice” milk in there! Wish I was coming for summer vacay to see you and “double S” ( love that) AND the ice cream!!!! Miss you guys! LOVE the blog! I also love that our dads were foodies, I remember the food experiments, do you remember the fondue stage? I still think of our parents every time I have it!!!

    • ohbriggsy June 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

      did you know there is one last velvet freeze in north county somewhere? im gonna try to go next time im in town. our dads were total foodies and still are if you ask me! i think i was too young for the fondue, but that mustve been awesome. hope you guys are all doing well!

    • Bruce Kunz May 10, 2012 at 4:30 AM #

      Did you know that Velvet Freeze is still going strong? At least in one location. Yes, there is ONE store left at 7355 W. Florissant Ave, in St. Louis. there phone is 314-381-2384. And all of the original recipies are still being made, including my favorites, Gold Coast Chocolate and Swiss Chocolate. The Tornados are outstanding. My favorite, Root Beer!

      • ohbriggsy June 2, 2012 at 7:59 AM #

        i didn’t know that! i’m going to be in st louis in june, i’ve gotta make a trip out there! thanks or the heads up and thanks for reading!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM #

    Great recipe all that fresh mint looks just amazing!

    • ohbriggsy June 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM #

      thanks! i just checked out your blog and was inspired by your tabouleh recipe–ive got lotsa mint and parsley and have been wanting to try my hand at tabouleh. great blog by the way! i’m jealous of your garlic! mine is ready to be pulled, then i have to learn how to braid so it can look all pretty like…

  4. Yuri June 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM #

    Delicious! This is the same technique used to make straciatella. Thanks for sharing!

    • ohbriggsy June 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM #

      thanks for stopping by and and for all the great links on your blog!

  5. Tracy Wood June 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM #

    Oh. My. Gosh. Of all the Spice Rack Challenge entries (mine included) I think yours looks the best to me….. Beautiful!

    • ohbriggsy June 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM #

      thanks tracy! and thanks for reading! i’m hoping to experiment with ice creams and milks, sorbets and the like all summer!

  6. amy June 22, 2011 at 1:52 PM #

    This looks delish! But I’m a sucker for mint chip ice cream and basically anything that combines mint & chocolate. Very impressive though, I would not have the patience to make it. I’m also just too lazy.

    • ohbriggsy July 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM #

      it’s easy–you can do it! do you have any mint growing in your yard? if not, you can even plant a cutting of mint you get from the store, and you’ll have a patch in no time. also great for mojitos and other libations…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Delicious Links! 06.20.11 « Chef Pandita - June 20, 2011

    […] made mint chocolate chunk ice cream with fresh mint from her yard. […]

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    […] made ice cream before.  And blogged about it even…see?!  I loved this ice cream, bt dubs, and I stand by that recipe.  This month, I gotta admit, I […]

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