Rainy days, lots of spare time, and a brand new ice cream maker leads to dangerous and delicious outcomes. As with most things in life, once you master making anything from scratch, it’s difficult to return to the status quo. I certainly feel that way about ice cream. There is something so redeeming about bringing the simplest of ingredients together and achieving the highest quality taste. Some cream, milk, sugar and fresh flavors of your choice (and a little technology) will satisfy that sweet tooth in the most natural, healthiest way possible.
While I live in a tiny apartment and any available counter space is a godsend, I can’t imagine parting ways with my new ice cream maker. The beauty of being able to craft my own ice cream at home is that I get to be a mad little food scientist for a few hours (or as Jay likes to call my experimenting, “Frankensteining”). My three favorite ice cream flavors in no particular order are green tea, mint chocolate chip and coffee. FINALLY I no longer have to choose; I can have all three at the same time. Who says you can’t have your ice cream and eat it too? I know it sounds outrageous, but Matcha Mint Mocha Chip Ice Cream is easily one of my favorite original recipes to date. Ah the life of the hedonist can be oh so sweet.
I start with crafting my mocha chips. I’ve seen some home ice cream recipes that call for using straight up chocolate chips. That’s just plain lazy. Don’t do that. They’re supposed to be crispy and melt in your mouth people. Melt your chocolate chips, coconut oil and instant coffee over medium heat, stirring constantly. I too have been guilty of getting too impatient, turning up the heat to melt the chocolate faster or leaving the chocolate on the stove to get a head start on my next step. Trust me, you will end up with a pot of burnt chocolate and is there anything more guilt inducing than rendering chocolate inedible? Once your chocolate is silky smooth, slowly pour the melted mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. The trick here is to use the biggest baking sheet you have and roll the pan around (similar to the way you would grease a baking pan) so you have the thinnest possible sheet of chocolate. Place your chocolate sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Then comes the fun part. Rough day at work? Homemade chocolate chunks ought to relieve the stress. Chocolate has never been so therapeutic.
Meanwhile, simmer fresh chopped mint leaves in your half and half for about thirty minutes. You should start to see a pale green color form over time. What’s great about adding in the matcha is not only that it cuts the sweetness of the chocolate chips, but it adds a robust green color to our ice cream without the food coloring. Once you’ve strained the chopped mint leaves from your half and half, add it to your sugar and matcha powder. You may want to let the ice cream mixture chill for a bit before adding to your ice cream machine, depending on your machine’s specifications. I also recommend you add in the chocolate pieces towards the end of the ice cream mixing process as the chocolate may clump together while the ice cream is still in liquid form.
And that’s all there is to it folks. So simple, so sexy.