When I was in high school, I had pretty much the best job ever. I worked in an ice cream parlor that served homemade ice cream. I used to work in the back and made batch after batch of ice cream. People always used to ask me if I got tired of ice cream. In all honesty, not ever once. I could eat it all day, every day. I worked there for 7 years and I did eat it every day. The woman that owned it, Marlene, was one of the kindest and most loving people that I have been lucky enough to know. There were a bunch of teenage girls that worked in the store and she used to listen to us gripe about our parents and our boyfriends and she always gave great advice. She had a wicked sense of humor and could make me blush easily. She passed away a few years ago and think of her often. She was such an influence on my life.
While working at Penguins (isn’t that a cute name for an ice cream parlor?) there was much debate over mint chocolate chip ice cream. We had hundreds of flavors and were always coming up with new recipes and ways to improve on recipes, but mint chocolate chip was never quite right. People have very strong opinions on the way mint chocolate chip ice cream should be. Some want it to be green, some want it be white. Some want big chocolate chips while others want chocolate shavings. The problem I think that is the flavoring that we used was artificial. Once I had mint chocolate chip made with real mint, my life was changed forever.
I saw some mint at the farm stand that I could not leave without and brought home a few bunches and was not sure of what to do with it. I found David Lebovitz’s recipe for mint chocolate chip and took inspiration from him. While I do not like ice cream made with eggs, I loved the idea of steeping the mint leaves in cream. But, the thing that really sold me was the way he instructed to add the chips. He added streams of melted chocolate in layers to create the slivers of bittersweet chocolate. Heaven. When you put the ice cream scoop through the ice cream, you can hear the chocolate breaking apart. Oh. My. God.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate. You could do this using a double boiler, but the microwave is my preferred method of choice to melt chocolate. 30 seconds at 50% power. Take it out and stir. Cook again in 15 second intervals, stirring until melted.
Decorate your container Jackson Pollock style.
I know for sure that I was too busy stuffing my face with my brownie sundae to remember to take a picture of it all together. Oops. You would not have been thinking about grabbing your camera either. I do know for sure that I will never buy mint chocolate chip ice cream from the grocery store ever again. This was a-mazing.
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- Over medium low heat, simmer the mint leaves with the cream. As soon as the cream is hot, turn the heat off and let the mint steep in the cream for at least an hour.
- Add the sugar and vanilla while the mixture is still warm.
- Add the milk.
- Strain out the mint leaves.
- Push the mint leaves with a spatula to get out every last drop of mintyness.
- Put the ice cream mixture in the fridge for two hours or overnight. It really helps with the freezing in the machine.
- Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker. Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker. Mine takes about 30-40 minutes to freeze.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate. You could do this using a double boiler, but the microwave is my preferred method of choice to melt chocolate. 30 seconds at 50% power. Take it out and stir. Cook again in 15 second intervals, stirring until melted.
- Add about a third of the ice cream and drizzle the chocolate all over. The chocolate starts to freeze as soon as it hits the cold ice cream. So be generous with your chocolate drizzling.
- Repeat the layers until you are out of ice cream and chocolate.