I recently became the proud owner of a Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 1-1/2 Quart Ice Cream Maker. And just in time, too. The weather is getting even warmer, and I've already spent a small fortune at my local frozen yogurt joint. From now on, my frozen desserts will be homemade creations—some classic, some crazy; some super-healthy, some serious splurges; but all totally delicious.
For my ice cream maker's inaugural churn, I wanted to make a simple, old-fashioned flavor. But it also had to be a bit exciting. I wasn't going to settle for straight-forward chocolate or vanilla, but I didn't want to push my luck with a wacky flavor, either. Amazing as Cinnamon-Fig Swirl and Chocolate Stout sounded, I was afraid the recipes might not work, and therefore leave me discouraged.
After much consideration and recipe comparing, I settled on a fresh mint ice cream with semisweet chocolate chunks. I adapted the recipe from designer Isaac Mizrahi's version on Epicurious.com. (The only change I made was to omit the green food coloring. Who needs it? The mint leaves impart a gorgeous, pale green hue on their own.)
A basic combination of egg yolks, whole milk, sugar, and heavy cream, the recipe couldn't have been easier. And the results were absolutely fantastic. Light and sweet with a delicate-yet-obvious mint flavor. My one caveat—and I can't believe I'm writing this—there was too much chocolate. At times I found myself digging around the carton with my spoon, looking for a spot that wasn't completely filled with chunks. I wanted the chocolate to subtly enhance and compliment the mint, but instead it was a bit overpowering.
It's a small problem in an otherwise flawless recipe, however, and one that I've fixed in the version below by halving the amount. Enjoy!
- Yield:about 1 1/2 quarts
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
In large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar.
In heavy medium saucepan over moderately low heat, stir together milk, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and mint. Heat until steaming but not boiling, then remove from heat.
Ladle about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from cooking, then slowly stir the egg mixture back into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Place over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon (finger drawn across spoon will leave clear path), 5 to 6 minutes total (do not let boil or custard will curdle). Strain through fine-mesh sieve into large bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in heavy cream. Cover and chill until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Process custard in ice cream maker, adding chopped chocolate during last minute of churning. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until hard, about 3 hours.