Fresh mint and chocolate ice cream

We’re all cool with mint ice cream, yes?

I like a cheap, pale green, mint choc chip number as much as the next kid, but proper ice cream made from fresh mint takes things up a notch. There can’t be many more refreshing iced treats refreshing (save, of course, the humble Calippo), and whether you’ve made or tried the fresh stuff before or not, you should definitely give making this a go over the next few summer. Very easy. Very more-ish. Seems to suit a variety of occasions; whether as a quality on-your-own-in-front-of-the-TV emotional crutch, or a pretty decent end to a full-on grown-up dinner party.

This recipe is from my monthly herb guide for Borough Market (it featured in the mint section, obviously). Next up: sorrel.

Mint choc chip ice cream

Fresh mint ice cream with chocolate shards

Makes about 1 litre

  • 350g double cream
  • 300g full fat milk
  • 100g fresh mint (including stems)
  • 4 egg yolk
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 5g vanilla essence
  • 50g dark chocolate – preferably over 80%

This is an easy recipe, but it’s good to leave your self with plenty of time – to chill the custard and freeze the ice cream.

Wash the mint and roughly chop (including the stems). Put the cream, milk, vanilla essence and chopped mint in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat off and let the mint infuse into the liquid for an hour.

After an hour pour the liquid into a bowl or large just through a fine sieve. Squeeze all of the liquid (and flavour and colour) from the herbs using the back of a spoon. Wash the original saucepan and return the strained liquid to the pan. Put on a medium heat to warm up for a few minutes.

Put the yolk and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 30 seconds to combine.

Pour a quarter of the liquid onto the yolks, lightly whisk to combine. Then add the rest, and transfer the liquid back to the saucepan. Heat very gently for fifteen minutes or so, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, until the liquid (custard) has thickened and will coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then put in the fridge for a few hours (ideally over night).

Once fridge cold, pour the custard into an ice cream machine, and churn for 15-20 minutes until it’s thickened and is ready to go into a container.

Whilst the ice cream is churning, melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie.

Spoon the ice cream into a container in 4 or 5 stages. On each layer, quickly drizzle melted chocolate over the top with a spoon – Jackson Pollock style – layer more ice cream over and repeat until done. Work quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt too much, then put in the freezer for at least three hours to firm up.

You’ll have chocolate left which you can melt again and drizzle over the ice cream when you serve it.