Mint chocolate chip ice cream prepared from scratch is total decadence. This version is loaded with fresh mint leaves that have been steeped in cream, but it also includes a touch of peppermint extract to really amp up the flavor. The combination of these two ingredients is what takes this ice cream to the next level. Bittersweet chocolate is finely chopped so that it disperses evenly throughout the ice cream and melts in your mouth with every spoonful. This mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe will be your new favorite frozen dessert. You’ll see!
You all know I love any excuse to create a new ice cream flavor. So when my friends Jodi and Doug invited us over for a dinner party and I was tasked with dessert, I couldn’t wait to get started on my next concoction.
When I learned that their son Michael loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, I was giddy. This flavor has been on my “to do” list for ages, and I was so happy with the results. I brought it to the dinner party along with these snickerdoodles, which felt like a fun, whimsical combination.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my buttermilk ice cream post, I recently upgraded to a super fancy ice cream machine because I make so many frozen desserts during the summer. It cuts back on a lot of the time required to make homemade ice cream, and I’m still loving it.
However, since most people don’t have this type of machine, I’m still including standard instructions with my recipes that will work with any ice cream maker. I previously owned a more reasonably priced machine, and it got the job done!
How To Make Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Here are a few tips for getting the best possible results from your homemade ice cream.
- The longer you steep the mint, the better. Make sure to press and squeeze the mint as much as possible when extracting the cream. That’s where the most concentrated flavor will be!
- When you whisk the yolks and sugar together, put a bit of muscle into it. Whisk vigorously for around 15-30 seconds until the mixture loosens up and pales slightly in color. If you lift the whisk straight up, a ribbon of yolks should fall back into the bowl like this. That’s how you know the sugar has completely dissolved, and it will ensure a smooth, even custard.
- Use good quality bittersweet chocolate. You can taste the difference in the end, I promise. My favorite brand is Valrhona, which I usually have to order online, though I sometimes find it in gourmet shops. I also like Guittard, which is easier to find at some grocery stores.
- As long as you stick with 3 cups of dairy total, you can play with the fat ratios a bit. The more heavy cream you use, the richer the ice cream will be. I made this mint chocolate chip ice cream very decadent with 1 cup of heavy cream plus 2 cups of half-and-half. You can simplify things by using all heavy cream or all half-and-half (don’t go lighter than that; it’s ice cream).
- Adding a bit of alcohol to homemade ice cream lowers the freezing point, making it easier to scoop right out of the freezer. It’s optional, obviously, but I especially love this trick for parties. Vodka is always a good choice since you can’t taste it in the ice cream.
Looking For More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes?
- 2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 cup heavy cream)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups packed mint leaves (approximately 2 1/2 ounces)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Optional: 1 tablespoon vodka (see notes)
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (freeze until ready to use)
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the half-and-half and cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Cover and let steep for 2 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over the same saucepan (a nut milk bag also works well here).
Purée the mixture in a blender, then pour through the prepared strainer. Use a spatula to press out any cream seeped into the mint; that’s where the best flavor is!
Place the saucepan over medium heat and allow the cream to once again come to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together the yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Keep whisking until the yolks thin out slightly and become more pale in color, which means the sugar has dissolved. If you lift the spatula, a ribbon of yolks should fall back into the bowl.
- Once the cream is at a gentle simmer, slowly pour it into the yolks while whisking. Turn the heat to low and return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping everything from the bowl with a spatula.
- Using a spatula, stir the mixture for several minutes in a figure 8 motion, until the liquid has thickened slightly, approximately 5 minutes. If you want to use a thermometer, the temperature should read 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts as well as the vodka, if using. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly against the liquid to prevent a skin from forming.
Chill thoroughly, and then prepare in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. In the final minute or two of spinning the ice cream, add in the chopped chocolate. You can also stir it in by hand.
Adding alcohol to ice cream lowers the freezing point, making it more scoopable right out of the freezer. You can’t taste any vodka, I promise! It’s not essential to the recipe, but I recommend it for a wonderful consistency.
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