Garden Mint Chocolate Ice Cream


When I got my ice cream maker a few months ago, I knew this was going to have to be one of the first ice creams I tried. I thought throwing a bunch of mint in a vanilla ice cream base would bring me the technicolor Baskin Robbins cone of my youth and that it meant I would not have to go there anymore which would be ideal for I loathe driving. In short summation, that did not happen. But what did unfold gave me pause to deliberate mint in a way I never have before and question what is was exactly that I like about mint chocolate chip ice cream in the first place.


It all boils down to the mint. The regular garden variety I used for this recipe is spearmint and it has a somewhat herbal grassy quality to it. Most store-bought or store-produced mint chocolate chip ice creams use peppermint oil so while you get a full frontal assault of sinus-clearing peppermint, you don’t get any of the actually very pleasant herbal aromas of the mint plant. It all comes down to personal preference and while I will never stray too far from my precious peppermint, this ice cream is a really nice, really refreshing alternative for summer. (If you must, add a few drops of peppermint oil or extract to the mix and tell me how it goes).



Garden Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Garden Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped out (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • large bunch fresh mint
  • 2-3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, half & half, sugar, and vanilla seeds. Gently heat over medium-low until the sugar has completely dissolved. Place the bunch of mint in a bowl and pour over cream mixture. When the mixture is no longer hot, place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

Once the mixture is very chilled, strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the mint. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. When ice cream is done, stir in the chopped chocolate. Place ice cream in a freezer container and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

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