Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Made Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream... And So Can You

I haven't blogged in a while. Again. Sorry, guys. I've baked, just haven't blogged. Now, if you bake and don't blog is it like it never happened? Sounds kind of like the tree that falls in the woods thing.

Anyway, motherfuckers, let's get to it. My most favorite gift of the last year is my ice cream maker. My mama got it for me for Christmas and it's changed my life. Once you have homemade ice cream you'll be like, "Yo, Dreyers, go fuck yourself cause you're dead to me."

I've become an uppity ice cream snob and I'm OK with it. Custard style is the way to go, and the ice cream man might as well be David Lebovitz because he's the only man I trust to tell me how to make my home confections.

I made Mr. Lebovitz's vanilla bean custard recipe the first couple times, but after that I decided to kick it up a notch. I'm mint chocolate chip obsessed, so I needed to make my own. I figured if it was half as good as the vanilla bean I'd be happy. 

I started my research for the right recipe and started and ended on David Lebovitz's recipe page. His vanilla recipe that I knew and loved starts by steeping the beans and pods in warm milk for an hour. It makes this intense flavor develop that is indescribable perfection. Then I read his post on his all natural mint chip recipe. 

It goes around the same lines as the original vanilla bean ice cream recipe... the steeping. It's the secret. You warm your milk, then put a ton of fresh mint in. After turning off the heat, you cover and let that pot steep for a full hour. Afterwards, you squeeze all that mint until your milk is turned a lovely natural mint color. You follow the normal steps for a custard ice cream - reheating your milk, tempering your egg yolks into that milk, then laboring over the stove, stirring with a spatula until that shit thickens. Don't rush this part! (Unless you want scrambled ice cream.) That thickened custard is strained into the chilled heavy cream that's sitting over an ice bath. You chill that, and then it's ready to churn. It's churned, and then you do a stracciatella chocolate swirl that you break up into chips.

Now, Mr. Lebovitz warned about the herbaceous nature of this ice cream. He mentioned it would be earthy. I guess I just didn't realize how earthy he meant. This sure did taste like herb... the kind you need a prescription for. 

If you're used to your grocery store dyed green mint chocolate chip ice cream, this one isn't for you. I wouldn't give this to younger kids, but my 10-year-old nephew and his friends couldn't get enough of it.

Here's my ice cream churning. I think it looks like a small minty butt.

If you want to try to make this ice cream for yourselves from home, here's Mr. David Lebovitz's recipe I used. Do partake. (recipe after the jump)

Makes about 1 quart
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)
For the mint ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
a pinch of salt
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
For the stracciatella:
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. In a saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream, salt, and mint.
2. When that mixture is steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.
3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then squeeze the mint over the strainer to extract as much flavor and color as possible. Discard the mint.
4. Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF.
7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
8. Chill the mixture, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.
9. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.
When finished, cover and freeze until firm.

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