E. A. Wright lives in the New York City area, but the West Coast is home. Her passions include words, flowers, hiking, and music.
DIY Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
There's something perfect about the mix of refreshing mint, sweet cream and chocolate goodness in mint chocolate chip ice cream.
As a small child, I would get so excited over the prospect of a scoop of mint chocolate chip that my tongue could only trip over the name of my favorite flavor. It would come out something like yummy mint chic'olate chop!
The mint ice cream I remember loving was a very pale shade spring green. Each scoop was dotted with crunchy, teardrop-shaped chocolate chips. The flavor was like sugared spearmint, distinct from the peppermint flavor of a candy cane.
Trying to recreate the color and flavor of this ice cream at home took some trial and error, but it was much easier than I had expected. Here's the recipe for homemade mint chip.
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 cup of skim milk
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 small drop of green food coloring
- 2 tablespoons of grated dark or milk chocolate
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- A cheese grater
- A medium saucepan
- A wire whisk
- An ice cream maker
- Combine the milk and sugar in the saucepan over very low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. The reason for using very low heat is so that the milk doesn't scald.
- Turn the heat off briefly and whisk in the egg. When the mixture is smooth again, turn the stove back on and whisk the mix over very low heat.
- Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and the egg reaches a safe temperature. This can take up to 10 minutes. Keep the heat low, as you do not want the mixture to boil.
- Let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm, then stir in the cream and the extracts. Add a trace amount of green food coloring (no more than a drop.)
- Cover the mixture and leave in the refrigerator until it is completely chilled. A warm mixture will not freeze very well.
- Freeze the mixture according to the instructions that came with your ice cream maker. The ice cream reaches a soft-serve consistency in my small gel canister ice cream maker in about 30 minutes, depending on the weather.
- Take a hunk of semisweet baking chocolate or a chunk of your favorite chocolate candy bar and shave it into small pieces with a cheese grater.
- Just as the ice cream begins to hold its shape in the ice cream maker, mix in the chocolate flecks.
- Serve with fresh mint. This recipe should make 4 cups of ice cream, or about 8 small servings. Enjoy!
A Food Safety Note About Eggs
Some older ice cream recipes involving eggs don't call for so much cooking. But no ice cream, not even mint chocolate chip, is good enough to make up for catching salmonella, a sickness-causing bacteria found in many raw eggs these days.
Make sure any ice cream mixture with eggs reaches at least 160˚F, as this should kill salmonella. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Picking Chocolate Chips For Ice Cream
Standard size chocolate chips don't work very well in ice cream. They freeze into chocolate rocks and lose the melt-in-your-mouth-goodness you'd expect from chocolate.
But nor do you want specks of chocolate that are so fine and tiny that they give the ice cream a grainy texture and take away from the pale green color of mint ice cream.
I'm still looking for the kind of small, thin teardrop chips I remember from childhood, but until then, a chocolate candy bar and a cheese grater (not lemon zester) has proved the best solution.
Making Mint Ice Cream Pale Green
While mint plants come in vibrant shades of green, peppermint extract is colorless. So if you prefer mint chocolate chip ice cream to have a hint of green to it, you'll need to add some kind of food coloring. Without it, your ice cream will turn out a shade of off white.
But here, too, moderation matters. Add anything more than a few drops of green food coloring, and you may wonder if you're about to be serving yourself spinach ice cream.
More About Mint Flavoring
Mint chocolate chip ice cream is flavored with extracts: usually equal parts of vanilla and peppermint extract. When selecting a peppermint extract, note that some brands combine the flavors of peppermint and spearmint—a mix I prefer—while other kinds of peppermint extract are more predictable. They're just pure (and strong) peppermint.
If you are interested in making your own extracts and experimenting with mint flavors, rest assured that mints of all kinds are very easy to grow.
Here's a guide to the flavors of five mint varieties, Mints: From Chocolate Mint To Peppermint.
© 2010 E. A. Wright
Silja Paulus from Bristol, United Kingdom on January 24, 2012:
Wow, this is a great recipe! I will definitely try it next time I'm close to my ice cream making machine. Mint and chocolate are great but most of the ice creams in stores taste too artificial.
Mary Cake from London, United Kingdom on December 12, 2011:
nice hub like it
nifty@50 on June 19, 2010:
Nice hub, voted up!
E. A. Wright (author) from New York City on June 19, 2010:
And stephhicks, yes, mint chocolate chip can never be adored enough.
E. A. Wright (author) from New York City on June 19, 2010:
4FoodSafety, you are absolutely correct that preparing an egg-based custard can be food safety issue if you do not thoroughly heat the egg. I'll repeat it here: cook the mixture slowly over low heat and track the temperature with a good candy thermometer. Wait until it reaches at least 165 F.
Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on June 19, 2010:
I truly adore mint chocolate chip ice cream. One of my all-time favorites. Will have to get an ice cream maker so I can try this recipes with my kids. Thumbs up.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Fontana, WI on June 19, 2010:
Excellent Hub - well written and easy to follow. Be careful when preparing, it is one of the dangerous foods according to my research on food safety - see food borne illness.