Have you ever had mint ice cream made with real mint leaves, not mint extract? It’s actually quite different–it’s more mellow, but also more complex, with extra flavors from the mint leaves. Add in some dark chocolate, and you’ve got a killer mint chocolate ice cream.
When I was a kid, mint chocolate chip was my favorite kind of ice cream. The bright green kind, studded with waxy chocolate. It was always my first choice if I was getting a cone or picking out a pint. Now that I’m spoiled with real mint chocolate ice cream, though, I’m afraid the kind from my childhood wouldn’t hold up. This ice cream has irreversibly raised my standards.
Hungry yet? Here’s how to make your own!
Real Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1½ ounces (3 Tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
Large bunch of fresh mint (about 2 cups of leaves), roughly torn into small pieces
3 oz dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Place a medium bowl in the ice bath.
Combine the remainder of the milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into the medium bowl in the ice bath, let cool until room temperature, then stir in the torn mint leaves. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Refrigerate to steep overnight, 8-12 hours. (If you want your ice cream to have a stronger mint flavor, leave it to steep for as long as possible.)
Strain out the mint, pressing on the leaves with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy.
While the ice cream is spinning, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the coconut oil.
Transfer the ice cream into the storage container. Drizzle the melted chocolate across the ice cream, then stir, and repeat, until you’ve used all of the chocolate. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface of the ice cream, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.