I’ve been on a small ice cream kick lately ever since I procured David Lebovitz’s food bible, The Perfect Scoop. Actually, it had been more of a chocolate sorbet kick, but last week I decided to elevate my game with an attempt at mint ice cream. It’s difficult for me to have ice cream without the presence of chocolate though; so I turned the volume up — as Ina would say — and also stirred in some homemade chocolate fudge ripple.
The results after the jump…
First we start with the dairy. Cream and whole milk. You know, light fare.
Mint: fresh from the farmer’s market.
On the stove I heat up the milk, cream, some sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Measuring the bundle of mint, which indeed is the necessary two cups I need.
I drop the mint into the mixture and immediately fret that I’ve done this too soon. The cream wasn’t warm enough! The steeping will be flawed! Luckily I have a brilliant solution: I’ll just keep heating the mixture.
Once the mixture achieves what I think is the proper heat level, I remove the saucepan and let the mint steep for an hour and change. I have immediate regrets that I did not heat it warm enough and thus will not achieve optimal steepage.
Post steep: the cream has become slightly greenish, but nowhere near the “lovely emerald hue” as promised. I once again have concerns about my steeping. (However, based on this post by Lebovitz, I clearly have nothing to worry about).
I then strain the mixture into a different saucepan and press out as much flavor from the mint as possible.
Time to reheat the cream.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, I have other bowls and tools ready for action: on the left is my egg bowl; on the right MORE cream under the sieve.
Future home of an ice bath.
Five egg yolks, separated. The whites are currently residing in my fridge.
Okay, a lot of stuff just happened. I poured the warm cream mixture slowly into the eggs and then poured it all back into the saucepan, and now I’m stirring it repeatedly. This was a time-sensitive process; so I couldn’t just stop and take pictures.
The ice bath awaits.
More stuff has happened: the custard thickened, and just when it looked like we might be getting some boiling action, I took it off the heat and poured it through the strainer into the reserved cream. I then moved THAT whole mess into the ice bath where I now gently stir to chill everything down.
Once the custard cools down, it goes into the fridge for several hours. The next day, I pour it into the ice cream machine. I have concerns about the steeping and that I didn’t let the custard thicken quite enough. Only time shall tell if I’ve done it right…
Chocolate fudge ripple: basically I just boiled cocoa powder, sugar, corn syrup, water, and maybe vanilla extract (I don’t remember) together. Then i poured it into this container and refrigerated it for about two hours.
Fifteen minutes into the churning process, and it looks like we have some solid soft-serve. My fears about the custard are dashed.
Fifteen minutes after that, we have some SERIOUS soft serve going on.
I’ve never had anything in this ice cream maker grow so large. IT’S CRESTING THE RIM.
Just enjoy the image for a moment, will you?
Are your mouthes watering yet? Per Lebovitz’s instructions, I filled up my container by alternating a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of ripple.
I toss the ice cream in the freezer, go out for the night, and upon return, I’m ready to dig in (okay, full disclosure: I totally tasted it first in its soft-serve state).
One glass for me; one for my friend Phamtastic. Happiness ensues…
The verdict: pretty damn awesome. This ice cream was not as mind-blowingly amazing as the chocolate sorbet, but that’s probably because a) the sorbet had the shock value (as in, “This is SORBET??”) and b) the sorbet had stronger flavors. This mint ice cream was actually very delicate, with only subtle mint notes — probably as a result of my steeping issues. Phamtastic and I (and later Sly and Malibu Judie) noted that after a few bites, it was actually impossible to taste the mint — just general sweetness. That being said, it was still delicious and creamy, and the fudge was a nice touch. I definitely want to try this again with a more rigorous steeping regimen. For now though, I am still happy with the results.
To the gym!