Man oh man am I so glad the wedding’s over!
Don’t get me wrong, it was certainly the best day of my life, but I have been dying to create my own Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe for far too long and before the wedding I had, first and foremost, no time to figure this out, and second, was really trying to focus on healthy, whole foods eating in the weeks leading up so I would feel my best as I walked down the aisle.
Now that the wedding is over, the hubby and I have had some unfortunate things come our way, so a delicious, homemade ice cream is most definitely in order.
Let’s start from the beginning, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that we got stuck smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Earl on our honeymoon to Belize. Major bummer! We were evacuated to a really not-so-nice place and spent pretty much two out of our five days there driving to and from the evacuation zone, which put a major damper on our trip. Not to mention ALL of the bugs. No amount of Terrashield or Off! could have kept those pests away and I got all bit up. Needless to say, we were so happy to come home to our bug-free, air-conditioned home!
But unfortunately our bad luck didn’t stop there. Monday evening I started feeling my sinuses start to clog up (I figure all the climate changes in the last few days didn’t do them any good), so I made some soup and sent the hubs off to volleyball open gym. Fast forward to 8:30pm, and I get a call from him saying he needs to go to the emergency room. Noooooo!!!! His fellow open gym players were kind enough to get him home, and then off we went to the hospital. It turns out he went to pass a ball and heard a loud pop in his lower leg…bye, Achilles 🙁
So, now we’re looking at surgery + a 12-week recovery time for him, plus a likely sinus infection for me, and boy oh boy are we ready for something good to head our way! Good thing I married my best friend and can’t imagine myself going through all of this without anyone else 😉
Do you understand why we need some Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in our lives right now? If nothing else is going our way, there’s always ice cream!
Seriously though, this recipe has been at the top of my mind for a loooong time. You see, we have this delicious local ice cream shop here in Santa Barbara called Rori’s, and the first time I had them when I moved here, of course I ordered one of my all-time favorite flavors, Mint Chocolate Chip. But this Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, you see, was worlds better than any Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream I had ever had before.
First of all, the ice cream wasn’t bright green. But then how did they give it that vibrant mint flavor? The secret, my friends, is that they steep the milk/custard base of the ice cream in FRESH. MINT. LEAVES for hours before they make the actual ice cream. Mind, blown. You know me, as soon as I find out how to make something with less artificial-ness (and, in this case, less fake, bright green color) than its original recipe, I’m all in.
So, this recipe isn’t HEALTHY per-se, but it still falls into being mostly whole foods. Totally acceptable every once in a while when you need that extra little bit of comfort. Remember, we’re all about balance!
Because I am certainly no ice cream-making expert (yet), I turned to a few of my favorite bloggers for inspiration. I saw a lot of recipes that used the classic egg yolk custard base, but because I can’t always bring myself to use ALL of the egg yolks that a custard base calls for, I decided to go a slightly different route and take inspiration from my gal Yossy Arefi, of Apt.2B Baking Co. She has this fabulous recipe for Roasted Strawberry and Mascarpone Ice Cream that’s made using cream, milk and corn starch. Now that I can handle!
I altered the recipe slightly (steeping the fresh mint in the milk and heavy cream the night before, adding vanilla, omitting the roasted strawberries, etc.) but stuck closely to the technique that Yossy outlines and it worked fabulously. I would highly recommend this ice cream recipe to anyone that has the same reservations I do about the eggs. It sounds complicated, but just take it one step at a time, make sure you have all of your ingredients measured out, plan ahead, and you’ll be fine.
The results are so worth it! I was a little worried that the fresh mint wouldn’t come through strong enough in the finished product, but it turned out just perfect. There’s the slight hint of mint, and a nice lacing of dark chocolate from the slivered bar. Please, please take the time to chop up a dark chocolate bar (I used the big one-pounder from Trader Joe’s) as opposed to resorting to dark chocolate chips. It really makes a huge difference! The smaller slivers allow the chocolate to be more evenly laced throughout the ice cream, perfectly balancing the fresh mint flavor.
Now, I’ve talked your ear off long enough. It’s time to go make this Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream already! August is already well-underway and we need to get our ice creams in while we can…before the Fall foods invasion begins!
- 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 ounces mascarpone
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
- Combine 1 ½ cups whole milk, heavy cream, and fresh mint in a food storage container and place in refrigerator to steep overnight (or at least 8 hours.)
- When ready to continue making the ice cream, combine additional two tablespoons of whole milk and corn starch in a small bowl. Whisk together to make a slurry. Set aside.
- Next, combine the mascarpone and salt in a large bowl (preferably with a lid). Stir or whisk until salt is incorporated into mascarpone. Set aside.
- Remove steeped milk mixture from refrigerator and add to a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts) along with sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 4 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and slowly stir in corn starch mixture. Place back on heat and bring to a boil once again. Stir continuously for one minute, until mixture begins to thicken.
- Slowly pour this mixture through a strainer into the bowl with the mascarpone. The goal is to remove most of the mint leaves. Some small ones may sneak through, but that’s okay. Stir the milk mixture into the mascarpone until well-combined. Cover with lid (or plastic wrap if you don’t have a bowl with a lid) and place in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, or until the mixture is cool.
- Once cool, add mixture to ice cream maker with the chopped dark chocolate pieces and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. My ice cream mixture appeared to stop churning at one point, but upon touching it I realized it was still a bit too soft, so I simply placed the ice cream canister in the freezer for a bit until the ice cream was the consistency I was looking for.
- Best enjoyed within a week for freshness!
Come to mama.