homemade mint ice cream
A search on Foodgawker led me to David Lebovitz’s mint ice cream recipe. At first, I balked at seeing that it called for 5 egg yolks and 2 cups of heavy cream. But then I thought, if I’m going to put the effort into making this from scratch, I better follow the recipe. And I’m glad I did.
I heated the mint in a cream/milk/sugar mixture, and let it steep for an hour to let the flavors develop. It’s kinda like making a cup of tea. And it make the whole house smell like mint.
After you let the mint steep, you have to reheat it again. This time, you add the egg yolks. Then you let the mixture thicken, strain it, and then cool it in the fridge. And once it’s cool enough, then you bust out the ice cream maker.
Once my ice cream was on its way, I started making cones. David Lebovitz also has a recipe for homemade ice cream cones, which I found on the Poires au Chocolate blog. It’s a great way to use up the egg whites that are left over from the ice cream recipe.
The cones tasted great, but making them was a slight disaster. The cone batter was thick and hard to spread, which made for unevenly baked cones. This meant they were burnt on the sides, but cakey in the middle. I also burned my fingers trying to roll them, since you have to work with them right out of the oven. Next time, I’m just going to save my fingers and fold them into tacos, instead of rolling cones.
I learned a couple things through this project:
1. You MUST chill the ice cream maker and the ice cream base thoroughly, or else it won’t form properly. I had to churn mine twice because of this.
2. Making ice cream is quite time consuming.
3. Homemade cones are worth it for how good they taste, but are a hassle to shape.
The results? The minty ice cream tasted very natural and fresh, although the texture was a bit icier than I wanted. Using fresh mint made a big difference in taste. And indeed, there was chocolate in every bite. The cone’s crunch and vanilla flavor was a great complement. I ended up eating it for breakfast on Thursday!
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
(from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
makes 1 quart
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
2 cups packed (80 gr) fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
5 ounces (140 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream, salt, and mint.
2. Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.
3. Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. (You can also use well-washed hands to do it as well, making sure the mixture isn’t too hot to safely handle.) Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.
4. Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
5. Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
6. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC).
7. Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
8. Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
While the mixture is freezing, melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave oven on low power, stirring until smooth. Place a storage container in the freezer.
9. When the ice cream in the machine is ready, scribble some of the chocolate into the container, then add a layer of the just-churned ice cream to the container. Scribble melted chocolate over the top of the ice cream, then quickly stir it in, breaking up the chocolate into irregular pieces. Continue layering the ice cream, scribbling more chocolate and stirring as you go.
When finished, cover and freeze until firm.
Ice Cream Cones
(from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)
makes 6 cones
60ml egg whites (about 2 eggs)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
90g plain flour
30g unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Melt the butter and put aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, stir the egg whites, sugar and vanilla together. Add the salt and 45g of the flour and beat in. Pour in the melted butter and mix well. Finally beat in the remaining flour. This batter will keep in the fridge for about 4 days.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 2 level tablespoons of batter onto the paper and spread with a spatula/spoon/palette knife into a 6″/15cm circle. Try to keep it as level and smooth as possible. On the other side of the baking sheet, repeat so you have two circles.
4. Put into the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. When done, they should be mainly a deep golden brown, often with some lighter spots.
5. While they cook, assemble the thing you’ll need to roll them: your conical mould, two tall glasses and probably some clean rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat. When they’re done quickly remove from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Use a thin (metal) spatula under one of the discs and flip it over. Immediately begin rolling the disc around the mould – position the point of the mould a few mm from the bottom of the circle and wrap each side around. Press down onto the surface on the seam and pinch the bottom. When it has cooled slightly, place upright in one of the glasses. You may need to return the other circle to the oven to heat up again.
6. Repeat the process. When ready to try the next two cones, take the parchment off the hot baking sheet to spread the discs – the heat stops them spreading properly.
7. When totally cool, put in an airtight container until you want to use them.