Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kids Cooking Club: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

If you asked our family what is your favorite ice cream? There would be a small list of favorites that would fit on one chocolate chip, cinnamon, raspberry chocolate chip and vanilla. My husband and I are picky when it comes to ice cream or really any type food. We are a firm believer in not adding artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and dyes.

We have been tweaking this family favorite recipe of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It is a recipe that literally infuses the mint herb into the milk/cream mixture for an hour. It does not have the artificial taste or color that many store bought ice creams have today. This recipe has your taste buds pick up the true essence of the herb. It has a much stronger and refreshing taste in the ice cream.

Originally we started growing mint on the ends of our home. We have a lemon mint on one side and then a "plain" mint (if that is what you might call it) on the opposite side. It started out as a way to deter ants in entering our home via the electrical outlets. In addition to planting geraniums in our flower beds which we read the mint and geranium plants help in deterring the little creatures. The mint garden in return has spread along the width of our home and has provided a wonderful addition to our kitchen.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
4 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
8 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh mint leaves (rinse the leaves, remove the leaves from the stem and keep whole)
5 egg yolks
Your desired amount of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

The mint just placed into the milk/cream
mixture to infuse into the liquid.

In a medium/large sauce pan warm the milk, sugar and 4 cups of cream. Once the milk mixture has reached 170F remove from the heat, add the 2 cups of fresh mint leaves into the milk/cream mixture, cover and set aside for 1 hour to infuse the flavor of the mint in the mixture. If you want a stronger flavor of mint to the liquid I would add an additional 30 minutes of infusion.

After an hour, press down with a spatula/potato masher, etc., the mint into the pot to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. It will not turn the bright green, as you see in the stores. Once you feel the flavor of the mint has been extracted discard the mint. 

Pour the remaining heavy cream (4 cups) into the large bowl. Rewarm the milk/cream mixture. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 5 egg yolks, then slowly pour the eggs into the milk/cream mixture. This will then form the custard. Cook the custard, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. The temperature of the custard should go no higher than 170F. 

Allow the custard to cool.

There are one of two ways that you can freeze your ice cream/custard. You can refrigerate the ice cream/custard into a freezer proof container and freeze overnight. Or you can pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and the follow the directions from the manufacturer of the maker in making your ice cream. 

While the mixture is freezing, after an hour or two pour your chocolate chips/chocolate chunks into your lightly frozen custard, and mix around. By waiting an hour or two, it helps the chocolate not to sink to the bottom of the container.

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