Some weeks call for a lot of ice cream and this week has been one of those; with a master’s deadline zooming towards me at alarming speed, an appraisal, the stress of concert tickets I wanted more than almost anything else and several nights of being unable to sleep, I am one emotional ball of “GIVE ME ICE CREAM”. I have had my ice cream maker bucket in the freezer since the sun hinted it might be summer soon, waiting to make ALL THE ICE CREAM. It didn’t quite work out that way, we’ve been so busy, but earlier this week I knew it was time. There was no contest on flavour, I’ve been on a huge mint chocolate binge recently, which is odd. I’ll forever be a praline/hazelnut dark chocolate girl but earlier in the year it was chocolate orange cravings and now we’re into the warmer months of the year it is refreshing mint chocolate’s turn to fill my every waking thought. Dark chocolate though, always.
I turned to my David Lebovitz book ‘The Perfect Scoop’ and found the recipe for his fresh mint ice cream because if I was making mint ice cream then I sure as hell was going to be using my beautiful mint plant. It turns out I needed ten more times the leaves I had available but I think the mint flavour was strong enough (although I am desperate to try it with the advised amount). Perfect scoop it was, this was the best consistency ice cream I have ever made, it scooped straight out of the freezer. I credit my new spatula with this progress in making ice cream because it is the spatula that David Lebovitz waxes lyrical about and when the recipe said ‘until it coats the back of the spatula’ and it coated the back of the spatula, I just knew it’d be the right consistency custard this time.
- 250 ml of whole milk (I used semi skimmed)
- 150 g of sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
- 500 ml of double cream
- A pinch of salt
- 80 g of lightly packed fresh mint leaves (I used 8 g but let it steep for a couple of hours)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 100 g of dark mint (or plain) chocolate
- Put the milk, sugar, 250 ml of the cream and salt into a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warm.
- Remove from the heat and place the mint leaves into the mixture, making sure that they are submerged. Cover the pan and let it steep for at least an hour, I think I left mine for 3 hours because I had far less mint.
- Strain the mint infused mixture through a sieve, pressing down onto the leaves with a spatula to release as much of the mint flavour as possible, into a medium saucepan. Discard the mint.
- Rewarm the mixture.
- Whilst the mixture is warming up, pour the remaining 250 ml of cream into a large mixing bowl (set aside) and then beat the egg yolks in a (separate) large jug or mixing bowl.
- Pour some of the warm mint mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
- Pour the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the pan and stir continuously over the heat until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spatula. Make sure you keep scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir and don’t let it get too hot otherwise it will split.
- Pour the mint ‘custard’ through the sieve into the bowl of cream and stir.
- Stir until cool over an ice bath (I just used a sink of cold water, make sure you don’t get any water into the ice cream mixture).
- Leave the mixture to chill in the fridge for a few hours and then freeze it in an ice cream maker according to its instructions.
- Whilst your ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate in a microwave proof jug, stirring every 30 s. I’d recommend doing this on a lower power setting if possible.
- Once the ice cream is almost churned and it is beginning to solidify but not completely ready, drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream, whilst it is churning, to get ribbons of chocolate the turn into chips after a few ‘churns’. You can either pour it straight from the jug or use a piping bag.
- Once your ice cream has been churned, scoop it into a tub and put it in the freezer to firm up completely.
- Scoop and enjoy!!