I have a soft spot for mint and chocolate. My love affair started when I was 12 years old and travelled to England for the first time and I discovered After Eights.
My parents started sending my brothers and I abroad for summer exchange programs in hopes to makes us fluent English speakers. Now that I look back, it was the best gift our parents could have given us because we were exposed to different cultures and lifestyles from a very young age. Travelling helped me overcome many of my fears and discover new foods.
The first time I ever participated in one of these summer programs, I went to Dublin with my brothers, where I stayed for an entire month with a wonderful family, the O’Sullivans. I used to get on a bus by myself every morning to go to class. My brothers would often times wait at the bus stop with me and tell me “when you see bus number 33, lift up your arm, get on it and you know where to get off”, and they would go off to play golf. Can you believe it? I was 11 years old! But looking back, that’s what I needed since I had always been a very fearful child.
So the following year, we spent the summer in London where I was exposed to way too much candy. I think when I went back home after that month, my mother was mortified after seeing how much weight I had gained. Our candy selection back home was a decimal part of what I found at the little convenience store around the corner from the London house I was staying in. Salt and vinegar crisps, chocolate maltballs, Milky Ways and After Eights became part of my everyday bus ride snacks.
The following summer, I spent the entire month of July in Michigan where I was introduced to Baskin Robbins and mint chocolate chip ice cream. That was it for me. That was the beginning of my path of ice cream addiction. A couple of years later, I spent my junior year of high school in Colorado Springs where my host sister and best friend Jill and I would go to Baskin Robbins for mint chocolate chip ice cream any chance we had. It even became a joke amongst our friends. I don’t know if she remembers those years as fondly as I do, but that experience truly marked me for the rest of my life.
So this was a long story just to tell you how much I love ice cream sandwiches. I made these last weekend with some mint a neighbor had given me. I like a very minty ice cream so I infused the cream with lots of fresh mint and even added some mint oil. C, however, does not enjoy such a strong mint flavor and claims it tastes a bit like grass. Well, well, well… I didn’t add any food coloring thus the plain yellow color, but you most certainly could. The mint does take a bit of a pale green color after it is infused but there are so many egg yolks in the recipe, that the final ice cream turns out fairly yellow.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
500 grams whole milk
130 grams heavy cream
40 grams glucose
150 grams sugar
180 grams egg yolks
20 grams fresh mint leaves
1 tsp mint oil
green food coloring (optional… I didn’t add any)
100 grams chocolate chips
In a saucepan, combine the whole milk, cream, mint, glucose and sugar together. Bring to a boil, turn heat off and let the mint steep in the milk for about 30 minutes. After that, return the milk to the stove and bring to a boil. When the milk comes to a boil, temper it into the egg yolks. Whisk. Add the custard back to the saucepan and cook stirring constantly to 84 degrees Celsius.
Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and chill it over an ice bath. When it has cooled, add the mint oil. Taste it and adjust the flavoring. Remember that when the custard is warm, the flavor is more potent and once it is churn, the flavor will dilute a bit so take that into consideration.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let it chill overnight and the next day churn in the ice cream machine. Freeze.
Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies
160 grams sugar
55 grams unsweetened chocolate
80 grams milk chocolate
80 grams bittersweet chocolate
80 grams butter
40 grams flour
1 gram baking powder
2 grams salt
55 grams milk chocolate chips
110 grams dark chocolate chips
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the eggs and sugar. In the meantime, melt the three chocolates and the butter over a double boiler. When the chocolate has melted, add it to the eggs and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
The batter will be very liquid and it will be impossible to scoop it out, so let it rest in the bowl for about an hour or the time necessary for the batter to harden. When it is hard but pliable, using an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls onto a sheetpan lined with parchment or a silicon mat.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies have set. The center might look a little too soft but don’t worry as they will dry out as they cool. I prefer a chewy cookie. When the cookies have cooled completely, scoop a little bit of the ice cream on top of one and sandwich with another.