Mint Chocolate Chip and Happy Birthday Blog

 

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You guys!

A few exciting announcements for you today….

First of all, it’s National Ice Cream Day, which means it’s time to celebrate by stuffing as much ice cream into your face as possible. (Which admittedly is something that I tend to do every day…but at least on this particular day I have a somewhat legitimate excuse).

And secondly…

Happy Birthday, If the Spoon Fits!

(Well actually, happy belated birthday – I actually published my first post on July 14, 2013).

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I still can’t believe it’s been a whole year already! Especially since, looking back, I had a really hard time getting started and wasn’t sure how long I’d stick with the blog thing…

I was so nervous to publish that first post! I reread it over and over, each time finding more and more reasons why I shouldn’t move forward. I felt embarrassed of the pictures that I took with my iPhone (surely the “real” photographers would spot my amateur methods in a minute!), and labored over every single detail of the site setup. I delayed my first post for weeks, even months…after all, a blog about ice cream seemed so self-indulgent and unimportant. What was the point?

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Here we are, one year later, and not much has changed (other than my awesome new camera). I still worry about my posts being perfect, and what the “real” photographers will think about my pictures. But you know what? I worry a little less now, all thanks to you wonderful people!

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In honor of the blog’s first birthday, I figured I’d go back to the flavor that started it all – mint chocolate chip.

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If you read my first blog post, you know how much I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. This flavor holds so many warm memories for me, it only seemed appropriate that I commemorate this special occasion with a stellar homemade version of my all time favorite treat.

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A huge, heartfelt thanks to all of my followers and everyone who has visited, liked, commented on, or read my posts. Thank you for making me feel like writing about ice cream is a completely normal thing to do! You all rock, and I’m looking forward to another year of blog-filled goodness!

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I hope you enjoy this ice cream as much as I did – it’s hands down the best mint chip I’ve ever had, jam-packed with minty flavor and snappy chocolate chips.

Happy scooping 🙂

 

Best Ever Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Adapted from: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones

Yield: A little less than 1 quart.

You will need:

For the ice cream

             2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk (2% works too if you’re in a pinch)

½ cup sugar

pinch of salt

5 large egg yolks

2 tsp. organic peppermint extract (start with one then work your way up – I think I ended up using around 2.5 tsp because I love a ton of mint flavor)

1 or 2 drops of green food coloring (optional…I suppose. But green is more fun!)

For the chocolate chips:

¾ cup dark chocolate, chopped into pieces

2 tsp canola oil

 

Directions:

  1. Gently whisk egg yolks and half of the sugar (1/4 cup) together in a medium sized bowl; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, milk, remaining sugar (1/4 cup), and salt until it steams.
  3. Remove cream mixture from heat, and slowly incorporate it into the yolks, whisking constantly.
  4. Once all of the cream has been incorporated into the yolks, return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened (will coat the back of a spoon).
  5. Once the custard is finished, pour it through a strainer to catch any overcooked pieces of egg. Submerge mixture into an ice bath and stir until cool. Then place mixture in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Make the chocolate chips – please do this part if you have the time! It makes a huge difference in the finished product. Melt chocolate and oil in microwave (carefully) or via double boiler method. Once melted, spread onto a cookie sheet that has been covered in parchment paper (you want a thin, even layer). Refrigerate for half an hour, or until hardened. Once ready, remove the chocolate from the sheet and chop with a knife. Store in the refrigerator until ice cream is almost ready.
  7. Remove the ice cream base from the fridge, and stir in the peppermint extract. Be sure to taste as you go along – you don’t want to over (or under) flavor the base. Add green food coloring and stir, then freeze base according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add chocolate chips during the last minute.
  8. Enjoy!

Clementine Sherbet

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Growing up, I always loved the name “Clementine.”

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I loved it so much, in fact, that sometimes I would daydream about what life might be like had Clementine been my birth name…

Would I be a working professional? Probably not. Obviously, I’d be far too busy sipping peppermint tea on the front porch of the governor’s mansion, wearing a tulle ball gown and reminiscing with my pet elephant, Tangerine (and his best friend, Peter Rabbit).

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Fast forward twenty years, and I still love the name Clementine. Although I might not have quite as active an imagination as I did back then, Clementine still reminds me of a few other things that I love:

1)   Kate Winslet’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2)   Clementine’s Victorian Restaurant and Teahouse, located in the cozy town of Olmsted Falls, Ohio. This place has the best tea and cupcakes on the planet!

3)   And then of course, there are these delicious little balls of sunshine:

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Clementines are the perfect solution for us folks that are orange-adverse. Oranges are such a big commitment, what with the peeling and the big seeds and all of the chewy white stuff. No thanks.

But these little gems? They’re perfect! Which is why I scooped up two full bags when I saw them at the grocery store this week.

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Then I had two choices: sorbet or sherbet? I didn’t have to think too long however; the inclusion of heavy whipping cream in any recipe usually wins out in the end.

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This sherbet is wonderful; light and summery but packed with Clementine flavor. And it’s super easy – there’s no cooking involved. Sure, you might have to spend half an hour juicing the fruit, but on a hot summer day, it will leave your whole house smelling like citrus. It’s one labor of love that I don’t mind at all.

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What’s your favorite fruit to eat in the summer?

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Happy scooping 🙂

Clementine Sherbet

Yield: A little less than one quart

You will need:

1 tablespoon of Clementine zest

¾ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 cups freshly squeezed Clementine juice (about 20 or so Clementines)

The juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons bourbon (or some liquor that you love)

¾ cup whipping cream

 

Directions:

 

  1. Combine zest, sugar, and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the juice to the sugar mixture and whisk until sugar granules have dissolved.
  3. Strain the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any pulp/seeds that might have slipped through during the juicing process.
  4. Add the vanilla and bourbon to the juice mixture, stir until combined, and then chill until thoroughly cold, about 2 hours.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Then, take your juice mixture out of the fridge, and while whipping the cream, slowly add the juice to the bowl (don’t worry if you fudge this part – I did, and the sherbet still turned out awesome!).
  6. Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once finished, the sherbet will have the consistency of soft serve yogurt, so if you prefer a firmer texture, freeze it for a few hours until it sets. Enjoy!