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Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

I realize it’s been a bit of a cavity fest around here the past few weeks, what with the Blueberry Cheesecake Brownie Bars, the Crazy Delicious White Chocolate Popcorn, and of course, the Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake. I promise we’ve been eating things other than chocolate and sugar. Like meat. And vegetables (grudgingly). And fruit (with ice cream). In fact, I had every intention of posting a totally healthy and fresh homemade salsa recipe today.

But then this came along. This creamy, rich, refreshing Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream that was just too darn good not to share. NOW.

This, my friends, was an experiment. A hodgepodge of recipes spliced and pasted together to form what I hoped would be a refreshing and creamy ice cream that could put a dent in the unruly mess of chocolate mint growing in my backyard.

It turned out to be so much more than that.

Have you ever had fresh mint ice cream? Me neither. Until now. I assumed fresh mint ice cream was better than store bought fake flavored mint ice cream.  But now I can tell you with certainty it is one thousand eight hundred ninety two times better than the fake stuff you buy in the store.

I decided to use a technique from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for this recipe (Let’s just take a moment to celebrate the fact that Jeni, Columbus’ Ice Cream Goddess, has actually published a cookbook that can be read and understood by us fumbling peasants. Huzzah!)

Sorry, just needed a moment. Anyway, Jeni doesn’t use eggs in her ice cream. Instead, she uses cornstarch and cream cheese to bind her ice creams together. I thought this technique would work well for a mint ice cream, so the mint flavor could really shine through.

Turns out, that thought was right. The mint took the starring role in this recipe, with a pure refreshing flavor, but the texture remained rich, decadent, and oh. soooooo. creamy. The ice cream is just slightly reminiscent of Chocolate Mint Cheesecake, which in my mind means PERFECT. The Mr. called it “the BEST mint chocolate ice cream” he’s ever had.

Sorry Salsa. The Mr. has spoken.

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Recipe by bakeeatrepeat.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
3 1/2 cups packed mint, stems included (I used chocolate mint, but regular mint would also be delicious!)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1.5 oz. finely chopped dark chocolate

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups whole milk and fresh mint. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, then remove from heat, and cover. Steep mixture for 30 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, reserving milk and discarding solids.
2. In a small bowl, whisk 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt together until smooth. Set aside.
4. make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
4. In a large saucepan combine mint-infused milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes. The mixture will begin to rise, so watch is closely. Remove from heat.
5. Make sure your cornstarch slurry is still well mixed. Slowly drizzle the slurry into the hot milk mixture while continuing to whisk (make sure to keep scraping the bottom so the cornstarch doesn’t stick).
6. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minuted. Remove from heat.
7. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.
8. Pour the mixture into a a 1 gallon freezer bag, seal,  and submerge in the ice bath. Let stand, adding ice if necessary, until cold. About 20 minutes.
9. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.
10. Once you reach desired consistency, stir in chopped chocolate.
11. Pour into freezer safe container, cover with saran wrap or parchment paper, and cover with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

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  • Elisabeth September 1, 2011, 10:51 PM

    I have to concur with the Mr. This was the best mint ice cream I have ever had, too. I am not a real avid mint ice cream fan, but I will say it was so refreshingly delicious. It is a winner and much better than salsa….. 🙂
    Courtney’s Mom

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