Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mint & chocolate ice cream (and a little ice cream lesson)


i live by this: when you do not find what you’re looking for, just invent it.

ok, i’m clearly  referring to recipes ;) {but i do invent some other things too, outside the kitchen, mostly when i’m required to write essays and i have no idea at all of what i should write about :D }


I wanted a mint & chocolate chunks/chips ice cream recipe. Not the white kind of this ice cream, the green kind, the one you get at the supermarket (at least, we get that kind here, in tubs).

minticemine5 copia 3g

Most recipes i’ve checked call for mint, cream, milk, green food colouring, chocolate.

But I wanted a custard-base ice cream. I always want that kind of recipes for my ice creams. The reason why is quite simple. Home freezers are different from ice cream shops’. At home the temperature is like 50°F lower than the temperature of freezers in ice cream shops. As if this isn’t enough, they add chemical stuff to their ice cream, which prevents them to get as hard as a brick, once you leave them in a freezer for a while.

I do not have any chemical stuff i can use (and even if i had, i wouldn’t probably use it either), and my freezer is set at –11.2°F. So i have few options i can choose from.

1. Eggs: the more (i’m referring mstly to yolks) you use, the creamier your ice cream will be, and the longest it will stay that way in your freezer (first hand experienced. Even after months they are as soft as they were out of the machine); but do not use too many, of course, otherwise the ice cream will not set properly!

2. Alcohol and liqueurs: alcohol needs extremely low temperatures to freeze, further lower than water-based substances (water, milk, cream) {i.e. –173.4°F}; therefore, if you put a little alcohol in your ice cream, it won’t become like a block of concrete. (do not put too much of it, otherwise your ice cream won’t ever set!)

i mostly use vodka, which is more or less tasteless (can’t get real, pure alcohol – too expansive, it’s not worth it), or, whenever i can, i choose a liqueur that matches the taste that my ice cream has/will have (e.g.: limoncello for a lemon ice cream; mint liqueur for a mint ice cream)

3. Liquid glucose/glucose syrup: if you add some to your sugar amount, or substitute some sugar with the same amount of glucose, this will help it stay softer

4. Condensed milk: this doesn’t freezer. Try to put a jar in your freezer, and check it out after a couple of days. You’ll then be able to see that it still is creamy. A little less runny, but definitely not frozen. So if you put some (like 6 oz.) in your ice cream blend, that will keep it from becoming too hard.


I hadn’t planned it, but i now see that the order in which i’ve written these points down is exactly my preference order.

I want to stress the fact that i am no expert at all, nor am i a chemist or something like that. I just tell what i have experienced so far, in my humble kitchen.


So, what was i saying?

yes, eggs.

I had already tried a mint&chocolate chunks ice cream recipe (a.k.a. after eight ice cream), but it was, though delicious, eggless.

This time (and for times to come) i wanted a custard-based ice cream recipe. Green. Cause i had seen custard-based mint ice creams around, but all of them where white.

So, i made it up. Well it’s actually really easy to play around once you’ve understood how it works with ice creams, once you’ve gained a little experience in this field.

I had 3 egg yolks left from two batches of (so called) french macaron (still working on them). It’s time to try, Serena, i told myself.

I also had an idea in my mind, that had been tempting me for a while. I had some mint flavoured tea bags that i got from a friend as i visited her last december.

Minty, that must turn out so minty… but how…


There’s no harm in trying. Let’s get started.

minticemine3 copiag   


4 bags of mint flavoured tea (the best you can afford)

100-120 ml (1/2 cup) of milk (better if it’s whole milk)


3 yolks

100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

100 ml (a scant 1/2 cup) of cream*


100 ml (a scant 1/2 cup) mint syrup (the kind you’d use for cocktails and granitas)

100 ml (a scant 1/2 cup) of cream*

2 tbsp mint liqueur (i had a homemade one which my dad had made – you can make your own)

4 drops or so of green food colouring (i even eventually got to find one type that doesn’t make my food look like it’s a GMO!)


50-70 g (1.5-2.5, depending on how much chocolate you want in your ice cream) dark chocolate, chopped by hand, as to get coarse chunks


*(the kind you use to whip, but NOT whipped, liquid)



bring milk to a boil (i used the MW), remove from heat (if you have used the stove) and sink the tea bags into the hot liquid, cover with a saucer, and allow to infuse for about ten minutes; once you’re sure they’ve given off all their flavour, squeeze the bags to allow all the milk they’ve absorbed to be released;

add the first 100 ml of cream, bring to a boil and remove from the heat;

meanwhile beat your egg yolks really well with the sugar, until soft, light, and fluffy;

gradually start to add the liquid mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly; begin by adding 2-3 tablespoons of the hot liquid;

once you’ve added all the milk and cream mixture, and you’ve got a nice and homogeneous blend, add the food colouring, dissolve well and put the mixture back on the stove, on low heat, stirring constantly until it coats the back of a spoon (about 4 to 8 minutes; do not allow it to boil, otherwise your mixture will scrumble!)

remove from heat, allow to chill thoroughly (best overnight, covered with aluminum foil);

add rest of the liquid cream, mint syrup, and liqueur; blend well;

pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and allow to churn until you see that the ice cream is ready (it’ll take it around 30 minutes); at this point pour in the chocolate chunks, allow to churn for as much time as it is necessary in order to have the chunks all well scattered though the ice cream (no more than a minute);

transfer to a proper container and place into the freezer, allowing it to set a bit (4 hours) before you get the perfect consistency (that can be scooped).

minticemine6 copiag

There’s no harm in trying.

In fact the ice cream turned out terrific.


Let’s try it this way:

I’d call this a “Triple mint ice cream”. If you want to make the “Quadruple mint” version, try to add to the mixture some pulverized mint candies (Altoids would work just fine, i guess, or any similar stuff you can find), and/or a hint of pure mint extract; i’m not sure but i suppose you can also try to add some crème de menthe

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