Thursday, 25 June 2015

Mint Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

Summer is here! And what better way to enjoy the sun than to stay inside and make ice cream?

Since I was a child, my favourite ice cream has always been mint choc chip, and so when I was having a peruse through my two ice cream books, I happened upon a fresh mint ice cream that I all too readily decided to adapt to make into an all-time favourite. (I adapted the mint ice cream recipe from the latter book)

Even though I prefer to make ice creams in the Philadelphia style, as it means you don't have multiple egg whites left over at the end, I thought I'd make an exception for this one, as the use of egg yolks gives a slightly deeper flavour. I gave the leftover egg whites to my dog with his dinner, but they can just as easily be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or for even longer in the freezer.

One thing I was really quite surprised about when I made it was the difference between ice cream made with fresh mint and store-bought mint ice cream. The flavour is much more subtle and soo much nicer!

A quick note about the mint: the recipe asks for 80g of fresh mint leaves. Bear in mind that if you're buying them in a shop and they're still on the stalks, the weight written on the packet will incorporate that weight as well. I know it sounds pretty obvious, but it's a good thing to bear in mind, as I bought a 100g packet of mint and got about 70/75g of actual mint leaves.

Mint Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream
Bare Necessities:

250ml Whole Milk
150g Sugar
500ml Double Cream
pinch Salt
80g Fresh Mint Leaves
5 Large Egg Yolks
50g Dark Chocolate

1. Warm the milk, sugar, salt and 250ml of the cream in a saucepan.
2. Add the mint leaves, and stir in until all of the leaves are submerged or at least wetted.
3. Place a lid on the saucepan, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for an hour.
4. Strain the minty mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Make sure that you really press down on the leaves with a spoon, you'd be surprised how much more mixture comes out!
5. Discard the mint leaves, you won't be needing them any more.
6. Separate the 5 yolks from their whites and gently
whisk the yolks.
7. Pour the yolks into the minty mixture, all the while whisking to make sure that the yolk is thoroughly combined.
8. Pour this custard back into the saucepan and gently heat on a low to medium heat, continuously stirring. Make sure that you scrape the sides and the bottom regularly to make sure that it doesn't burn or stick.
9. Once the custard starts to thicken to the texture of a thick cream or custard, remove it from the heat. This took me about 10 minutes, but it will differ from hob to hob, so make sure you're always watching it.
10. Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl. The lumps tend to be at the bottom, so keep stirring the mixture in the sieve to speed up this process.
11. Put the bowl into an ice bath to cool down the custard. Keep stirring at this point, as even though it's no longer on the heat, it's still hot and will curdle if you don't stir it.
12. Once cooled (or at least at room temperature) mix in the remaining cream and stir until thoroughly combined.
13. Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and follow the
manufacturer's instructions.
14. Once the mixture is starting to thicken and look a bit more like ice cream, melt the chocolate chips. Normally I'd do this in a Ban Marie, but a) I was out of pans, and b) it was only 50 grams, so I just melted them in the microwave.
15. Whilst the ice cream is churning away, slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate, stopping periodically to let it mix in a bit before continuing. As the ice cream will be very cold at this point, the chocolate won't combine with it, but instead instantly cool and mix in as a hard chocolate drizzle!
16. Once it's ready, serve up and go and enjoy the sun while it lasts!