For as long as I can remember, I have loved the summer months. My childhood was spent with gymnastics in the grass, riding bikes around the neighborhood, climbing trees and munching on raspberries that grew in our yard. Now, my summer is being spent sharing all these experiences with my kiddo.
This year our garden includes veggies, berries and herbs. Oh, the herbs! My son absolutely loves them. He munches on dill and mint like it’s his job. The mint spreads all over, so we’ve been thinking of new ways to use it. Last night I was craving chocolate, so we made rich ice cream. If you don’t have fresh mint from the garden, I would try a few peppermint tea bags. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, go buy one, they are awesome. If you don’t want to buy one, you could probably work out a similar consistency by freezing the ice cream a bit and then blending it up.
Our creation from last night turned out to be delicious. I changed up a recipe from Alton Brown. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-ice-cream-recipe/index.html
Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- a few stalks of fresh mint (or a few peppermint tea bags)
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 and 1/8 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Combine 1 cup of half and half and the cocoa powder with a whisk over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Prepare your mint by cutting the stalks so that they will fit into the pan nicely. Leave the leaves on the stalk as it will be easier to retrieve out of the pan once they’ve released their flavor. Add the mint (or tea bags) to the half and half/cocoa mixture. Add the remaining half and half and cream. Stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer. Remove the mint or the tea bags and discard.
- Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add a small amount of the heated cream into the yolks and sugar, continue whisking. Once about one-third of your cream has been added and whisked in with your yolks, add the remaining cream, whisk, and then return to the saucepan. Stir frequently, over low heat, until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour the mixture into a container and cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the fridge until thoroughly chilled, which will take several hours.
- Use a coffee grinder or food processor to chop up the chocolate chips.
- Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer. I slowly added our chips in while it was freezing. Serve immediately for soft serve, or freeze for harder ice cream. Garnish with some fresh mint and/or a few raspberries.
Home made ice cream is worth the process. The mandatory waiting time for it to chill adds excitement to this cool treat. My five and a half year old helped with everything, under close supervision, but particularly liked pressing the button on the grinder for the chocolate chips.