As much as I love eating ice cream, the thought of making my own had never really occurred to me. I don’t have an ice cream maker and there’s no shortage of shops in the city, so why bother? But now that I have a food blog—and readers—I’m constantly looking for ways to expand my culinary horizons. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of other bloggers making their own frozen treats, and when one of my favorites, Brown Eyed Baker, posted a recipe for mint chocolate chip, followed by another post on how to make it without any special equipment, I was sold on the project.
And, oh my, I am so glad I took on the task. The ice cream is rich and smooth and tastes as fresh as if I made it myself. Which I did! Truth be told, the first batch was not my best work. The flavor was there, but the texture was way too icy. I was on the phone with Christie the other day trying to figure out where I went wrong when I happened to mention that the custard mixture needed to be cooled with an ice bath—which I took to mean that I needed to pour a bunch of ice cubes into the custard to cool it down. That’s when Christie explained to me that an ice bath means that you place the entire bowl in another larger bowl filled with ice and water. Um, duh. How did this escape me, people? (Christie called it an “Amelia Bedelia” moment.) Which just goes to show you that no matter how much you cook, there is always something—often a no-brainer—that can trip you up in the kitchen. Armed with this new knowledge, I set out to make a second batch of the sweet stuff. This time, the custard chilled to the proper consistency and froze beautifully. I used David Leibovitz’s method to freeze and whip the custard into cream using a hand mixer and the result is below:
Mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor, but pistachio is Johnny’s, so he’s requested that as my next attempt. I’ll post more pictures when I try it. In the meantime, if you have the time, I highly recommend trying this recipe. I think I will invest in the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker attachment once I actually have the space to take my mixer out if its box and use it. While the hand method worked well, it takes a lot more time for the ice cream to be whipped between freezings. I’ve posted Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe below. Instead of chocolate chips, I chopped up a dark chocolate bar and stirred that into the mix. I also let the custard mixture chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1½ cups whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons mint extract
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips
1. Warm 1 cup of the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (if using a thermometer, it should be right around 170 degrees F). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and mint extracts and the food coloring (if using), and stir until cool over an ice bath.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions, adding the chocolate chips during the last 5 minutes of churning.