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Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52—with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Don't be fooled by its paleness: This mint chip ice cream has bigger mint flavor than any of the bright green store-bought varieties.
Please don’t expect the green stuff with gritty bits of chocolate.
This stunning, cream colored ice cream, laced with bits or shards of good chocolate, redefines the genre. And forget about mint oil, mint extract, or mint flavoring: Infusing fresh mint leaves in cold (rather than hot) cream is the big secret to the fresh mint flavor in this delicate ice cream. The mint leaves are never heated—they are simply left to sit in cold cream for several hours so that the flavor remains bright and clean rather than cooked or vegetal.
More: Alice is no stranger to the merits of cold infusion.
The same cold infusion method is fantastic for fresh tarragon, lemon verbena, rose petals, and rose geranium leaves, as well as green tea, black tea, or dried lavender (though the amounts will vary). You could also experiment with using half mint and half lemon verbena leaves or trying another combination of any of the herbs or petals mentioned above.
Fresh mint ice cream is lovely even without the chocolate—serve it with a fresh peach or nectarine tart or a bowl of strawberries.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
For the chocolate chunks:
ounces (115 grams) milk or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons water, plus extra as needed, optional (for fudgy, rather than crunchy, chips)
For the ice cream:
cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (15 grams) coarsely chopped fresh peppermint leaves
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
Chocolate chunks, from above
First photo by James Ransom, second photo by Mark Weinberg