September 7, 2012

Fresh Mint and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

mint chocolate chunk ice cream

I made you some ice cream. I wish you would join me. Knock on the door, I'll open it and invite you into my apartment. It's not perfectly clean, but we can sit at the kitchen table. I cleared off the debris that sometimes clutters it around the edges. Have a glass of water. Tell me what you've been up to lately. I'll sit down, too, and we can really talk. Maybe we'll eat something first, or maybe we won't be able to wait and I'll get some bowls from the cupboard. It's fresh mint ice cream, flavored with the leaves from the mint plant you saw by the door on your way in. The smooth mint ice cream is punctuated with chunks of bittersweet chocolate. It melts a little as we savor each spoonful.

Ice cream should be shared. Too often, I make a batch and eat most of it myself. Not in one sitting, but certainly without the benefit of a partner in enjoyment. There are few things so satisfying as sharing food with someone who appreciates it just as much as I do. Ray and I eat a few meals together each week but our schedules differ and I find myself sitting alone at the table just as often. There are many times when I enjoy the simplicity of a solitary meal. I also crave connection and conversation that can transpire from casually cooking and eating together. I don't know exactly how to make more food sharing happen. People are busy, I am still navigating the paths of new friendships. I think ice cream might help, though.

I'm serious about inviting you over, but if you can't make it, maybe you can help me out. How do you bring family and friends (or strangers) to your table? How does food help you create connections? 

fresh mint ice cream

Fresh Mint and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
I had heard for a while about Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and her adaptation for making great ice cream at home. I am still kind of attached to using custard based recipes but this no egg ice cream was designed to make ice cream at home that is just as smooth and creamy as the kind you can get at a fancy ice cream shop. The unexpected ingredients works really well to make a perfectly spoonable and delicious ice cream. If you prefer a more assertive mint flavor, you can use peppermint extract. I adapted this recipe from Saveur.

On the subject of ice cream, I also wanted to point you in the direction of Sarah's Vanilla Bean Blog which has an abundance of mouthwatering no churn ice cream recipes. I love that there are so many different ways to make great ice cream and no shortage of recipes to try (aka reasons to make homemade ice cream).

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/3 cup fresh peppermint leaves (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for a mintier ice cream)

3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Mix 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch. In a saucepan, combine the rest of the milk, sugar, cream, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook for 4 minutes. Add the milk mixed with cornstarch and return the milk to a boil, cooking for a few minutes until it has thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream cheese until incorporated. Add the mint leaves or peppermint extract. Chill the ice cream base until completely cold. 

While the base is chilling, make the chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate and spread it over a parchment lined baking sheet. Let the chocolate cool until solid. You can freeze it which will make it really easy to break into chips and cold when you mix it into the ice cream

Strain out the mint leaves (if using) and mix in your ice cream maker. Stir in the chocolate chunks and freeze completely before serving. Makes about 1 quart.


  1. Yum! I so wish I lived next door and could stop by! Brings back fond memories of Thursday ice cream nights with your family. I love the ice cream night idea and Peter and I hope to do something similar at some point with our family. I agree that people are often so busy and it is hard to know how to make connections and develop friendships. It is certainly a continuous struggle for me.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Angela! It's great to hear from you.