Mint chocolate chip ice cream is popular around the world, sold in packs at the supermarket or scooped onto a cone. But few people ever get to experience homemade ice cream infused with the cooling taste of fresh mint. The flavor is delicious and a fantastic way to use some of that mint that often grows like a weed in the garden. Even if you don’t have this herb growing at home, it’s readily available in stores for a good price.
Chocolate chips are the biggest challenge in ice cream. A tasty ingredient at room temperature, once frozen they transform into tooth-breaking bullets that don’t carry a lot of flavor. Our favorite solution is to melt the chocolate and allow it to cool. Then, toward the end of churning the ice cream trickle it into the ice cream machine slowly. This results in irregular shavings of choc with the occasional larger nugget. It is similar to stracciatella, a popular Italian gelato which incorporates ribbons of chocolate.
To get that minty flavor into your dessert, you’ll need to infuse the fresh herbs into the dairy overnight. Ageing the ice cream base doesn’t just help with the flavor, it also improves the ice cream’s texture by dialing up the creaminess factor.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh mint roughly chopped
- 3 ½ oz dark chocolate
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale in color. Set aside.
- Heat cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan on med-high heat until simmering. Remove saucepan from heat. Scoop out a ladle of liquid and slowly pour it into the egg yolks while whisking as fast as possible until combined.
- Slowly pour the yolks into the saucepan of milk while whisking at speed. Once mixed in, return to a medium heat and continue to simmer until the liquid thickens, and coats the back of a spoon. It usually takes 3-5 minutes to thicken. Do not allow the mixture to boil at any stage.
- Once the ice cream base has thickened, stir in a pinch of salt and the chopped mint, then pour into an airtight container. Allow to cool on the bench for 5 minutes then attach the lid to the container and refrigerate overnight.
- Pour the chilled custard base through a strainer and discard the solids. Add the remaining liquid to an ice cream machine and churn until it begins to harden. Towards the end of churning, melt chocolate in the microwave or in a water bath. Allow it to cool, before slowly pouring into the ice cream maker.
- Once the ice cream is ready, scoop it into an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 hours until hard.
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How to make this recipe without an ice cream maker
If you don’t have an ice cream maker then be sure to check out our review of the best ice cream makers currently on the market. We did some serious research to bring you the top brands all on one page.
You can still make this recipe without any fancy equipment though. Follow the steps until it comes time to use the ice cream machine. At this point, scoop the ice cream base into an airtight container, pour in the chocolate and give it a gentle stir, then add to the freezer. Every 20 minutes, remove the container from the freezer and mix until the ice cream texture is smooth. Repeat this step a few more times until it is too thick to mix.
4 Tips for better mint choc chip ice cream
1. Choose premium chocolate
Try to find chocolate that doesn’t have lots of ingredients added to it. The mainstream chocolate bars have extra additives that won’t help with making great ice cream.
2. Enhance the color
Using fresh mint will result in ice cream that doesn’t have much color. If you prefer a more vibrant green shade then use a few drops of food coloring.
3. Use essence
To add a more intense mint flavor to your ice cream, add a teaspoon of peppermint extract. You can also use this as a replacement for fresh mint.
4. Use chocolate chips
Chocolate can be a challenge to deal with. Too much heat, or the accidental few drops of water, has the potential to ruin your chocolate. If you prefer an easier option, add chocolate chips.
Frequently asked questions
Why not add the yolks at the start of the cook?
Adding a little hot milk to the yolks allows them to warm gradually. This technique is known as tempering and is essential for making an Anglaise. If you add the yolks at the start of the cook, they’ll heat too quickly and begin to cook. Scrambled eggs in ice cream isn’t a good combination.
What does “coats the back of a spoon” mean?
When heating the custard you’ll know it is ready by performing a quick test. Dip a wooden spoon in and remove it. If you can run your finger through the custard and the line remains, that means it is ready.
What’s wrong with boiling the ice cream base?
When heating a custard base with yolks, you don’t want it to boil at any stage if possible. The excess heat may cause the yolks to cook, resulting in solid pieces of egg in the ice cream.
Check out our ultimate guide to ice cream for a complete understanding of how its made.
Mint choc chip ice cream is one of those recipes that most will really love. It’s the type of food that won’t last long in the freezer. If you’re good at eating in moderation, you can expect this ice cream to last up to two weeks in the freezer, thanks to the egg yolks which act as a stabilizer.
Have you made any homemade ice cream before? What was your favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments below.