6.15.2012

Backyard Mint Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

Although we're still about a week or so away from being official, summer is definitely here. The days are warm and sunny. The flowers are blooming (I’ve even got my first flowers on my tomato plant!) I’ve signed up for the summer reading program at the library. I’ve even gone on our first camping trip of the year! But the thing that really makes it summer—I’ve officially made this season’s first batch of ice cream.


Along with a couple tomato and pepper plants, I also planted some fresh herbs this year. Since I don’t do much in the way of veggies, I mostly planted things I could use to make pasta—thyme, rosemary, and oregano. But of course I had to throw in a little something for dessert—a mint plant! I’m terrible at keeping things alive, so I went for the starter plant rather than seeds, and within a few weeks, it was ready to harvest.


I’ve been eyeing the recipe for Backyard Mint in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home since I got it last year. I love Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and knew it would be even better with mint from my own plant!

Like the most of the recipes in the book, it’s not a quick “throw it all together” type of recipe. But it’s not a “slave the day away” recipe either. And trust me--it’s well worth the little bit of extra time it takes to put together. It’s insanely creamy and smooth. If you don’t have fresh mint leaves, feel free to substitute mint extract, but if you’ve got leaves, definitely use them. They give the ice cream more of a fresh, earthy taste.


Because I’m planning on sharing it with Boyfriend, who always complains that it’s impossible to find plain mint ice cream, I left the standard chocolate chips out. Instead I made a mint infused hot fudge sauce to pour over top so we’re both happy. It’s dark and luscious, and I kind of want to eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar I poured it into. It's the perfect topping for pretty much anything. I've even used some of it to make microwave s'mores!

So here's a question for you: I still have a lot of mint and all of summer left, so what else can I make with fresh mint? Besides ice cream and mojitos? Leave me your best mint recipes!


Backyard Mint Ice Cream with Mint Hot Fudge Sauce
From Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home and The Family Kitchen
Makes 1 quart of ice cream and 1 cup hot fudge



Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
Pinch of salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
A large handful of fresh mint leaves (I used about 25 leaves), roughly torn
A few drops of green food coloring (optional)

Mint Hot Fudge:
A medium handful of fresh mint leaves (about 15 leaves), roughly torn
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ounces dark chocolate (72% cacao), chopped
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Make the ice cream: Fill a large bowl or sink with ice and water. In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt together until smooth. (I find it easier to use a rubber spatula and smash the cream cheese up against the side of the bowl until smooth.) In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch until smooth; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, bring remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and bring mixture back to a boil, stirring until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
3. Gradually pour hot milk mixture into cream cheese, whisking until smooth. Add mint leaves and food coloring, if using, stirring to combine. Place bowl into ice bath, letting water come up the sides, but not into the bowl. Let stand until cooled completely, adding more ice as needed, about 30 minutes. When mixture is cooled completely, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to steep for 4 to 12 hours.
4. Remove from the refrigerator and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to strain out the mint leaves. Discard the solids. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Make mint hot fudge: In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir mint leaves and heavy cream together. Let stand in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once steeped, pour cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding any solids.
6. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, cocoa, and salt over medium low heat. When mixture is warm, add chocolate, whisking constantly until chocolate is smooth and melted. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
7. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Allow sauce to cool slightly, or all the way to room temperature, then drizzle over ice cream to serve. Place any leftover sauce in a jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. (It will solidify once chilled. Just put it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm to back up.)

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3 comments:

bigchief said...

Yay!! Yummy mint!

Jen @ Savory Simple said...

I made mint ice cream this weekend as well! It's a perfect way to start the season.

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