Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream

June  7, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 3 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Adapted from Seriously Bittersweet (Artisan 2003). —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • For the chocolate chunks:
  • 4 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:
  • 1 1/2 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
  1. To make the chocolate chunks: In a medium stainless steel bowl set in a skillet of not quite simmering water, melt the chocolate (if using) with the water, stirring frequently (see note below). Remove from the heat and pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or foil. Spread into a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until firm. Chop the chocolate into bits or shards and return them to the freezer until needed.
  3. NOTE: The higher the cacao, the more water will be needed to prevent the chocolate mixture from “seizing.” Start with the 2 tablespoons of water for milk chocolate or dark chocolate with up 60% cacao. Work by eye: Once the chocolate is melted, stir in a few extra drops or teaspoons of warm water, as necessary, to make a smooth, fluid mixture—if it’s stiff or curdled, add water and stir until smooth. For 66% to 72% chocolate, at least an extra tablespoon of water will be needed.
  4. Combine the cream and mint and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and no longer than 10 hours.
  5. Strain the cream into a medium saucepan, pressing on the mint to extract as much liquid as you can; discard the mint. (If you are not ready to make the ice cream immediately, just refrigerate the strained cream until you are.)
  6. Add the milk, sugar, and salt to the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl near the stove for the finished ice cream base.
  7. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks just to combine them.
  8. Add the hot cream in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof Silicone spatula—sweeping the bottom, sides, and corners of the pot— until the mixture is slightly thickened and registers between 175º and 180º F. The mixture should be slightly thickened, but even if not, remove it from the heat before it exceeds 180º (see note below).
  9. Strain the mixture into the clean bowl. Let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled.
  10. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions, adding the chocolate chunks at the end.
  11. NOTE: If your burner heat is too high, the mixture may reach 180º F before it has a chance to thicken, which is not a disaster, but not ideal. Regardless, if the temperature exceeds 180º F, there is a risk of scrambling the eggs. Bottom line: Cooking lower and slower is better than hotter and faster.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • Christy Purington
    Christy Purington
  • Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor
  • SteveA
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

5 Reviews

Smaug August 30, 2016
I generally don't like to alter recipes the first time through, but I do like a strong mint taste, and went with the warm milk method. I also used a whole bunch of mint from the store- it was too wet to weigh accurately, and a half cup of leaves could mean anything, but I think this is quite a bit more than the recipe called for. I liked the way the flavor worked out- the fresh mint taste is worlds different from extract- not to say necessarily better, but certainly worth a try, and the strength came out good for me. I'd be cautious, though- much more would have been a distinctly leafy taste, easily overdone. It churned up very nicely in my lousy ice cream machine (not by any means a given), and the texture is quite good.
Ann A. January 29, 2016
Agreed-very little mint taste, which surprised me given the steeping time. However, I tried a different recipe that called for steeping the leaves (no chopping, just the whole leaves) in a warm cream/milk mixture for 2 hours. HUGE difference. HUGE.
Christy P. January 18, 2016
Found the same as SteveA. Cannot taste the mint at all! :(
SteveA July 31, 2015
I haven't finished making the ice cream yet but I got almost no mint flavor after 10 hours of steeping. Going to have to add the mint in the warm cream to extract more flavor I think. May or may not use the immersion blender for even more mint flavor. I'll try that after steeping warm if need be. I wants me some MINT!
Maggie June 19, 2015
In your ingredients you specify peppermint leaves. I have never seen fresh peppermint leaves sold in the grocery store. I believe fresh mint is typically spearmint. Does anyone know where to get fresh peppermint?