I am seeing a lot of creativity lately with respect to ice cream – especially ice cream trucks. I have to admit, there is something about hearing the noise of the ice cream truck that does something to children. I wish I could get them to listen to me like they listen for the music from that truck.
Recently I have noticed a different type of ice cream truck – the kind with home-made ice cream inside, or what people are calling “artisanal ice cream.” All the flavors use fresh ingredients, and there are definitely some unusual ones. I do love fresh ingredients, but I also love the classics – like Baskin Robbin’s Mint Chip. In my opinion, Baskin Robbins has the best mint chip ice cream around. I love the tiny bits of chocolate pieces in their mint chip – you get a mouthful in every bite.
I saw this recipe in Cooking Light for Fresh Mint Ice Cream – and the first thing I thought about was adding tiny bits of chocolate. I couldn’t wait. This was another ice milk recipe, but I was up for the challenge. The fresh mint flavor was very different from Baskin Robbins – I actually could taste real mint! The chocolate bits were the perfect addition. The bonus was that there was no cream in this recipe, and the ice cream was still very creamy – with some brownies on the side, this was a winner.
- 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 (1-ounce) package fresh mint sprigs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Dash of salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- Small fresh mint leaves (optional)
Combine milk, half-and-half, and mint sprigs in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat milk mixture to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing slightly with a wooden spoon; discard solids. Return liquid to pan.
Place sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a bowl; stir with a whisk until pale. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour egg yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture; cook over medium-low heat until a thermometer registers 160° (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until custard cools completely, stirring occasionally. Mix in chopped chocolate. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
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