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Monday, August 15, 2011

I've Been Gone for So Long...Double Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

You thought I was one of those "fairweather food bloggers" didn't you? I leave for months without a trace, which means I've obviously have lost interest. Not so. The past few months have been...eventful. I have finished classes at NYU's Grad Film program (still need to make a thesis film, more on that later), I spent 7 weeks in Europe and walked across Spain (photos and stories to come), I worked as a line producer on an NYU thesis film and made some amazing friends, and I am rewriting my feature script from scratch. So it's safe to say...I've been a tad busy.

But I'm back! And with so much to tell you all, and so many recipes to share. Actually, funny enough, I somehow have photos and recipes of several things I made before I left stored up in my folders, so I'll try and make up for lost time by giving you guys more than the usual weekly entry. At least for a little while. Oh! And a horrible thing happened on my travels: I lost my trusty digital SLR. I know, I'm an idiot. It hurts me every single time I think about all the wonderful memories that are now being flipped through by some random Spaniard.

Anyway, let's start off again with a wonderful recipe that I'm going to give you guys right in the nick of time. We've still got some hot weather hanging about, so who feels like enjoying a rich, delicious, yet still completely refreshing homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream? I certainly do. This may be some of the best mint ice cream I've ever tasted. And I'm a BIG fan of mint chocolate chip. The combination of both spearmint and peppermint really gives a lot of depth, and the extract gives it that slight extra punch to make it a MINTY ice cream. And of course, no mint ice cream is complete without a little bit of dark chocolate mixed in. I use plain old Trader Joe's bittersweet, but any kind you feel like adding is fine.

Oh, in case you're wondering if I suddenly, in a spurt of anger towards this unbearably hot summer, bought an ice cream maker for my tiny kitchen, let me explain. My parents went to William Sonoma to buy a juicer, and came back with an ice cream maker. If you're confused, then that makes two of us. At any rate, my mom started making a new ice cream flavor every two or three days, to the point where we ended up with four different cartons of ice cream stuffed into our freezer. Things were getting deliciously out of control. Honestly, it's criminal how easy it is to make homemade ice cream. These little machines should be outlawed. When I speak to her next, I'll make sure to get her recipe for mango and kulfi (Indian ice cream) and share them with you.

Alright, I've got to get back to writing another 90 pages of a script. Please send me some ice cream when you can, I'm going to need a snack soon.

Don't mind the strangely blue coloring. My sister and I took the opportunity to play with food coloring while we were cooking.

Double Mint Chip Ice Cream (based on David Leibovitz)

3 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 cup loosely packed peppermint leaves
1 cup loosely packed spearmint leaves
Pinch of salt
Splash of vanilla
Splash of peppermint extract (optional)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chopped fine

Combine 2 cups of cream with the sugar and salt in a stockpot and set over medium low heat. Stir. Gently crush mint leaves in your hands and add to pot. Let mixture come to ALMOST a simmer and turn off. Leave to steep for about 2 hours (you can taste every now and then to see if the mixture is as minty as you’d like).

Spoon out mint leaves and squeeze any excess liquid into the cream mixture. Add a bit into the eggs and whisk together vigorously. Add back into pot and set on medium low heat. Stir until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Take off heat and strain into a clean bowl. Add vanilla and extra cup of cream and mix to combine. Taste. If you’d like more minty flavor, add a touch of peppermint extract.  Chill completely in fridge for at least 4 to 5 hours, or overnight.

Freeze according to ice cream machine manufacturer’s directions. When ice cream is almost completely done mixing, add chocolate. 

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