I have another obsession to share today.
This gelato is…well…pretty fabulous. It’s full of minty goodness! If you’ve ever been scared to make homemade ice cream/gelato because of the egg yolk factor, then this recipe is for you. Even I, the egg yolk queen, have to admit that making ice cream with eggs is high maintenance. It can be a pain in the butt.
This is actually the first time I’ve made ice cream or gelato WITHOUT egg yolks, and I have to say, I’m diggin’ the cornstarch method. It’s so much easier!
The other thing that is so amazingly great about this recipe is the use of fresh mint. I have made mint-chocolate ice cream in the past and used only peppermint extract. The result was not so great. Too chemical-y or something. This time, I decided to go with a mint combo of fresh and extract…and it came out so much better!
I’ve come down with a nasty sore throat/head cold situation this week, and this gelato (along with chicken noodle soup) has been my savior! The cold feels SO GOOD on my burning throat, and the extra punch of fresh mint definitely helps my sinuses. It makes getting sick a little bit easier. Who needs cough drops when you have mint gelato in the freezer?
I could eat this every day, sick or not. It’s so refreshing but still sweet and creamy. The dark chocolate ripple also is a wonderful addition (duh). I’m SUPER picky about my mint chocolate chip products. It’s one of my favorite ice cream flavors of all time, but the chocolate has to be JUST right in order for me to be on board.
I like when the chocolate bits are almost soft and creamy…almost like chocolate SPECKLES throughout the ice cream. It’s like they shave the chocolate into the ice cream. I hate it when there are huge hard chunks of chocolate in an otherwise creamy dessert. This is why I don’t like adding chocolate chips to ice cream.
Even with this recipe, I found that the chocolate got a TOUCH too hard after I froze everything, but letting the gelato soften on the counter for a bit and then mixing it all up again with a spoon helped remedy that. It broke up the chocolate bits just enough. I ended up with something similar to that of my perfect mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Creamy, dreamy, fresh, and sweet. It’s absolute heaven.
Fresh Mint Gelato with Chocolate Ripple (makes 1 quart)
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup half-and-half
⅓ cup sugar
1 large bunch of fresh mint
Pinch of fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract. The paste creates little flecks of vanilla bean in the gelato)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 teaspoons unflavored vodka or white rum
5 oz dark chocolate
1. Combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of the milk, mix until smooth, and set aside.
2. Add the remaining milk, half-and-half, sugar, salt, and mint to a medium pot and heat over medium. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, remove from heat, and allow the mixture to steep for at least one hour. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve and squeeze out all the liquid from the mint. Discard the mint.
3. Return the mixture to the same pot and place over medium-low heat. Once simmering, add the cornstarch-milk mixture from earlier, and whisk constantly to ensure that no lumps form. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool completely to room temperature, then stir in the vanilla, peppermint extract, and vodka. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Process in an ice cream maker. At this time, place the container you plan to use for the ice cream in the freezer.
5. Chop the chocolate and melt over a double boiler. Drizzle some of the chocolate into the frozen container. Scoop ⅓ of the gelato into the chocolate-drizzled container, smooth, and then drizzle with another layer of chocolate. Repeat until all the gelato and chocolate are layered. Freeze until firm. Allow the gelato to soften slightly before scooping.
Adapted from here.