Writing a food blog keeps me honest, but not in the sense of being truthful (which I am) or not providing faulty recipes (which I don’t). By honest, I simply mean I am forced to try an array of different recipes, no matter how much I may just want homemade graham crackers with a cold glass of milk everyday for the rest of my life.
The big downfall to this honesty is that after pursing our inspiration in the kitchen, meticulously recording ingredients and methods, writing a thoughtful post, and photographing the finished product, bloggers - including myself - tend to wipe our hands clean of improving upon the published recipe. Despite the notes I make on what to try differently or how to improve the recipe the next time, I rarely consult these notes in attempts to devise an even better version.
A few weeks ago, a certain someone looked over at me longingly and whimpered, “What does a boy have to do to get some mint chocolate chip ice cream around here?” To remedy the situation, I consulted the recipe I developed and posted last summer. But just as I was poised to shatter the first egg’s delicate shell, my notes flashed through my mind. I gently set the undisturbed egg back in its crate and consulted lots of different recipes for this ice cream, comparing the ratios of each, in attempts to achieve the changes I desired. The result was the best mint chocolate chip ice cream I have ever tasted. This, I promise you, will be the version I will keep and make each time someone bats his baby blues my way.
Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
makes about 1 quart
You will be amazed how fresh this ice cream tastes in comparison to its store-bought impostors. I love the whispering hint of green naturally imparted by seeping the mint leaves in the liquid prior to cooking. However, if you (or your 20-something boyfriend) prefers a bright green color to your final ice cream, simply stir a few drops of green food coloring into the custard, just before spinning.
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves and stir until they are immersed in the liquid. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Prepare an ice-water bath. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a fine-mesh sieve on top.
Rewarm the mint-infused liquid. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatulra. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavor as possible, then add the mint leaves back into the custard, taking care to remove any cooked egg from the leaves. Cool custard in prepared ice-bath, stirring often, until mixture reaches room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The following day, remove custard from refrigerator, and combine using an immersion blender or stand blender. Pour blended custard through fine-mesh sieve into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
While custard is freezing, place chocolate in food processor. Grind until chocolate is coarse; shake chocola in a sieve to separate chocoalte "dust" from the pieces. Place chocolate chunks in large mixing bowl. When ice cream is ready, quickly fold ice cream into chocolate pieces. Immediately transfer to airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.