Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Spot: Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

It has been WAY to long since a food post!  I made this tasty treat earlier this summer when my cousin and her husband visited for a week.  We enjoyed this scrumptious dessert while playing Bohnanza; it is always amazing when I can convince my husband to play games with me.  I was raised in a hardcore game playing family, but apparently one tiny incident of me throwing Sequence cards in his face early on in our relationship has made him hesitant to play with me again.  Whatev.

I was not sure exactly what I would end up with, but this is one of those fortunate discoveries.  If you are looking for a traditional mint chocolate taste filled of artificial flavor then you may be disappointed; however, this pleasant and subtle flavor is pure splendor.  I use an ice cream maker to ease the process.  The Cuisinart Ice Cream maker is about $80 {and use that 20% coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond for the best deal.}  Growing up we used one of the old fashioned kind that looked like a wood barrel with a hand crank, and this Cuisinart electric one is so much better.  {And not so messy.}

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Mixing Time: 20-25 minutes

1 1/2 cups whole milk (you can use 2%, but it will be very soft unless placed in freezer)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon pure peppermint extract
6 large mint leaves - finely chopped
A few mint leaves for garnish
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Don't forget that the freezer bowl needs to be in the freezer for about 24 hours prior to use.

Use a medium size mixing bowl with a hand mixer on low speed to combine milk, sugar and cocoa powder {1-2 minutes.}  Stir in peppermint & vanilla extract with heavy cream until blended.  Turn on ice cream machine and gently pour mixture into freezer bowl.  Add in mint leaves and chocolate chips after 15 minutes of mixing.  Allow an additional 5-10 minutes for mixture to thicken to a creamy and soft texture.  If a more traditional, firm texture is desired, freeze for another 1-2 hours in an air tight container.

Side Note:
You know what would be fun?  Delete the peppermint extract and 1/2 cup of the milk and add 1/3 cup peppermint schnapps!  I haven't tried it, but it just came to me, and all desserts are better with schnapps :)

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