Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
"A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large."-- Alice P. Cornyn-Selby
Perhaps it is subconscious denial - a subliminal protest of the end of something wonderful . . . Whatever the reason, I've added drama to my life by waiting until the last day to post a final chilled creation: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
This creamy, refreshing concoction serves to mark the moment we all knew would come - when we must put down the scoop and bid a fond fare-thee-well to National Ice Cream Month, an event for which I owe immense gratitude to the late Ronald Reagan, who so thoughtfully validated my thirty-one days of frozen dessert pig-out via Presidential Order. In just a few short hours, our Ice Cream Social also ends and with it goes my excuse for using the ice cream maker at will ("I have to make some more. It's for my blog . . . !").
In a happy convergence of opportunities, this last treat not only wraps up the Ice Cream Social, it also ushers in a new period in Mr. Noodle's life. You see, he celebrated his 40th birthday this week and I could think of no better way to commemorate this milestone than to make his favorite ice cream flavor. For as long as he can remember, mint and chocolate has marked his birthday in the form of a cake (which I adapted for an earlier post to create Good Heavens! Cupcakes) and it is this sweet combination that he always chooses for any frozen goodies.
It also gave me a chance to finally make a custard-based ice cream; my previous posts offered an egg-less, no-cook version, a frozen yogurt and a sorbet. As pleased as I was with their results, it felt as if there were a glaring hole in my ice cream repertoire that needed to be filled. Fortunately, there is no shortage of recipes available on the Internet and most of them had a common premise - an ice cream made from a cooked custard with egg, cream and sugar.
In the end, my recipe choice was driven by a desire to use up ingredients that I already had in the refrigerator rather than to buy more. So, the method I selected incorporated the above ice cream-making principle with a familiar pudding recipe from the aforementioned Good Heavens! Cupcakes and a great tip for infusing mint flavor into cream, courtesy of Simply Recipes. To my blushing pleasure, Mr. Noodle declared the end result, "Excellent!"
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
I'm proud to say that every single ingredient I used here was already in my pantry, refrigerator and garden. Instead of cream, I used half-n-half and 1% milk; rather than the typical 5 to 6 egg yolks in many recipes, I used whole eggs; and in place of a mint extract, I infused the custard with fresh mint leaves and added crème de menthe. Furthermore, I used less sugar than originally called for in the pudding recipe, which allowed the mint flavor to really stand out. Feel free to change up the ingredients or amounts to create your own version!
Equipment: ice cream maker
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 cups 1% milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn and loosely packed
2 Tbsps crème de menthe
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or to preference)
1. In a saucepan over low-medium heat, combine 1% milk, half-and-half and mint leaves. Heat mixture just to a scald, making sure not to bring it to a boil;
2. In the meantime, beat whole eggs, sugar and vanilla (if using) until creamy;
3. When milk mixture is heated, strain out mint leaves and return liquid to the saucepan, reserving 1 cup;
4. Slowly add hot cup of milk to the egg and sugar mix, all the while whisking briskly to temper it;
5. Add this mixture to the infused milk in the saucepan and stir to mix well. Over medium heat, cook until it thickens;
6. Remove from heat and pour into a container through a mesh strainer or sieve to catch any egg solids that may have formed;
7. Add crème de menthe, stirring well to fully incorporate, then refrigerate mixture for at least 2 hours;
8. Freeze in ice cream maker as directed by manufacturer's instructions;
9. When finished, immediately transfer ice cream to a plastic container and add chocolate chips, stirring well to mix evenly. Cover tightly with a lid and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
The Last Hurrah for Our Ice Cream Social!
It's been a marvelous month of delicious frozen treats. As your co-hosts, Scott of ScottySnacks, Jennifer of Savor the Thyme, and I are thrilled with your enthusiastic response to our event. The entries are truly incredible for their creativity, presentation and promised flavors. Although today is the deadline, entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM (PDT) so there's still plenty of time to send us a recipe, photo or video of your favorite chilled dessert for a chance to win some fantastic prizes!
In keeping with our promise of 'sur-prizes', I'm pleased to announce two new rewards:
One winner will receive the book Ice Creams & Sorbets: Cool Recipes, featuring delicious photos and recipes that will surely tempt anyone to keep making frozen delights throughout the year. (Image from Amazon.com)
A special prize goes to the Best Frozen Treat Photograph, courtesy of Scott: a 12"x8" Susan Kare-designed Ice Cream Cone wall graphic from LTLprints.com! (Image from LTLprints.com)
From Stonyfield Farms, the world's leading organic yogurt producer, we are pleased to offer coupons for their line of frozen yogurt and ice cream. Visit their website to learn more about their great products, history and practices. (Image from Stonyfield.com)
Penelope of neenacreates will silk-screen by hand this fantastic graphic, which she designed exclusively for our Ice Cream Social, onto an organic-cotton unisex t-shirt from American Apparel for one lucky winner. Be sure to visit her Etsy shop before midnight for an additional 10% any item - just add "#icsocial" to your order message!
The round-up of all entries will be posted on our three blogs on Monday, August 3 and the winners will also be announced. So please be sure to visit all three sites to enjoy an amazing array of desserts!
It's still summer, so get your scoop on!