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Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
The preferred way to melt chocolate is in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching barely simmering water. As soon as the water simmers, it produces steam, the nemesis of melting chocolate. If even a droplet of moisture gets into the chocolate, it can seize or stiffen. If this happens, start over with new chocolate. Mixing the melted chocolate with vegetable oil causes the formation of small slivers of chocolate in the finished ice cream. This method, perfected by noted cookbook author Nick Malgieri, yields a distinctive and well-blended ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 or 2 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 1 or 2 drops blue food coloring (optional)
  • 3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,
      finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

Directions:

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream and the mint leaves. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes to steep.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt and the remaining 1⁄2 cup cream and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk about 1⁄2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the mint with the back of the spoon. Stir in the food colorings.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

About 1 hour before freezing the ice cream, in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Then stir in the oil. Transfer to a small pitcher and let cool to room temperature.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the chocolate while the machine is churning or stop the machine temporarily, add the chocolate and restart to mix. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.
Makes about 1 quart.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Ice Cream, by Mary Goodbody (Simon & Schuster, 2003).