So I know I always claim to not appreciate ice cream much, but all of those weak protestations went out the window last weekend when I was confronted with this:
And this wasn't mint from a bottle, mind you, this was huge handfuls of fresh mint, infused into the milk and cream mixture for a full hour.
I swear, my kitchen smelled like a spring garden when this was done infusing. The taste of fresh mint is so unlike mint extract, I wonder how I was conned into using the bottled stuff for so long.
So after the custard was made, chilled, and churned in the ice cream maker, the fun REALLY began. One of my favorite things about this recipe was the fun, creative method of forming the chocolate "chips." In past mint chip attempts, I've simply used chopped chocolate, which always leaves me gnawing on ice-cold chocolate boulders and praying for the integrity of my molars. This recipe was entirely different.
Step 1: melt chocolate and place it into a Ziploc with a tiny hole cut in the corner. Squiggle some melted chocolate into the ice cream storage container.
Smooth a thin layer of mint ice cream on top of the melted chocolate.
Drizzle more melted chocolate on top of the ice cream. Don't be stingy, you want to use up all the chocolate!
The chocolate will start to freeze and harden right away, so immediately take a spoon and stir around the top, breaking up the strands and forming little chocolate shards that get embedded into the ice cream.
Lather, rinse, repeat several times, until you've used up all of the ice cream and all of the melted chocolate. Aside from being really fun to do, this method produces perfect little strands of chocolate throughout the ice cream that are never too chunky or hard.
After another quick chill in the freezer, this ice cream was perfect. Rich, smooth, full-flavored, redolent of cooling mint, and the earth, and rich bittersweet chocolate.
I wish this was my recipe, believe me. But I actually got it from David Lebovitz, whose recipes have yet to let me down. You can find it on his blog. Bon appetit, my overheated, ice cream loving friends!