Good morning. You will not be seeing a picture of mint chocolate chip ice cream today. I'll leave it up to you whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, because the reason why is that we ate it all so quickly that there was no time to stop and document. It was that tasty. And as soon as my mint grows back, we will be making more. Maybe I could snap you a photo then?
In the meantime, I wouldn't wait around. I would go to your herb garden or the closest farmers' market and get yourself some fresh mint, and I would make this ice cream ASAP. There are very few things I like better than mint-chocolate desserts, and this one—homemade, with homegrown herbs, dark chocolate chunks, cream and milk and maple syrup—tops the list. The recipe comes from two places—I got the mint to cream ratio and infusion steps from this mint chip ice cream recipe by David Lebowitz, and the other proportions come from my standby easy ice cream from Patricia Wells. But what emerged is fairly different from both. It is both simple and decadent, and easy enough to fit in between finishing up a pile of paperwork and putting together dinner and clapping for the upside down tricks that now rule the space between the couch and the coffee table.
Also, it's pretty. After a few hours of steeping, the mint infuses the cream not only with its flavor but also with a stunning pastel green color, a hue that is nothing like those bright green mint chocolate chip ice creams you often see at scoop shops. The flavor's different, too—subtler, more earthy. All in all, it's not something you want to miss.
MINT CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM
I have long been addicted to Green & Black's Organic dark chocolate bars infused with peppermint oil. I have a square almost every day after lunch. But this recipe might be it's true calling—chopped into bits, some fine and some large, it complements the smooth, sweet cream perfectly and brings out the flavor of the fresh mint. Note that this recipe takes hardly any hands on time, but it's best to start in the morning or after lunch so that the mint has time to steep and the ice cream has time to chill before dinner rolls around.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups fresh mint leaves, packed
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (see headnote)
Pour the cream, milk, and maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Add the mint leaves, stir, and warm slowly over low heat until the mixture begins to steam. Cover and steep for at least an hour at room temperature, then put the pot in the fridge. When the cream is cool, strain out the mint leaves, wringing carefully over the pot to get out any extra flavor and cream. Pour the cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. When the ice cream is almost done, add the chocolate. Scoop into a container and chill for another hour or so before serving.