Friday, October 15, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

You know when they tell you to get all your ingredients out and ready to go?  I am the one they are talking too.  It seems that I often get through part of a recipe only to realize I don't have a certain ingredient.  This time it turned out I didn't have a lot.  Actually I knew some of the stuff that I didn't have right up front and it was the reason I made this in the first place, kind of a get rid of stuff in the fridge.  But mostly because it sounded good.

It started with the left over whip cream in the fridge, way back from my sons cake.  You think I could figure out better things for whipping cream than ice cream don't you.  I'm sure you could.  Well I had copied this recipe from some magazine and it was just sitting on the top of my notebook calling to me.

Let's back up and start with the recipe shall we?

Mint Ice Cream

4 cups half & half (fat free)
1 3 oz pkg vanilla pudding
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 teas. mint extract
Chocolate chips

I'm  sure it said something like combine all ingredients and freeze according to manufactures directions.

Nowhere does it say whip cream.  But I had thought, I'll just combine the rest of this whipped cream with some milk and it will be like half and half.  - Ya following me here?   Next - Pudding.  Yea! I actually had some.  This hasn't always been the case.  Last time I needed something with pudding I ended up making a mix which would have been a cooked pudding.  It wasn't so bad but I think it missed the "instant" part, it never really set up like it should have.  Anyway,  I put in the pudding.  Then I go down to the storage room to find some Sweetened condensed milk.  Turns out I have plenty of Condensed milk, probably left over from all that fudge I was going to make last Christmas, but no Sweetened Condensed milk.   NO PROBLEM!  I know a way to make SCM from Powdered milk.  So I mix up that concoction (I'll share later) and put it in with the other stuff, I beat it up for a while.  The powdered milk and sugar haven't really had a chance to really dissolve yet though.  Mint.  I have a large patch of mint in the backyard, peppermint and spearmint, although they taste very much the same.  I remember this, just after I already put a half a teaspoon of extract in.  (I think 2 teas. is too much)  And I'm thinking the best way to impart the mint flavor would probably have been to steep the mint leaves in the milk for a bit.  Too late for that I guess, but, why not?  I go grab some, throw it in the pot and just add a bit of milk.  After it simmers for a bit I tasted it, not what I was hoping for taste wise, but I chalked it up to the milk and poured most of it in the bowl. 

After this I whisk it up for a while and then put the bowl in the freezer.  I have an ice cream freezer.  The kind that is big and takes a couple bags of ice and rock salt and it's noisy and takes a long time...    So I just decide to go straight to the freezer.  I've done it before.  I definitely do not claim to be a great ice cream maker.  I will leave that title to my SIL and neighbor.  Anyway, I take it out about every 30-60 min. and give it a beating with the mixer, scraping all the frozen parts off the wall.    When it had reached milk shake consistency I prepared the chocolate chips.   I know from experience that to just toss chocolate chips in ice cream just makes rock hard chocolate chips.  So instead I put about 1/3 cup chips in the microwave and soften them up with about a teas. of shortening.  I put it in the freezer to harden then I take the vegetable peeler to it and make a bunch of little chocolate shavings.   I stir these into the mix then let it just freeze up.

Guess what?  It actually turned out very well.   It was very good in fact.  My husband commented that he could tell it had powdered milk but I thought it was hard to tell.  The chocolate worked out perfect, stayed softer and looked better in the scoops than regular chips would have.   Everyone liked it except age6.  He wouldn't even try it even though mint chocolate chip is one of his favorite ice cream flavors.  Because, he said "well you made it right?"    I knew he meant that he just thought it wouldn't be as good as store bought and he is kinda picky about desserts anyway but it was hard not to take that comment a little further.    I FORCED him to take a bite and he did so with his usual forced bite yucky-face.  I don't care what the food is, when you make that face and taste anything it's going to taste bad.   Although he didn't say it tasted bad, he just said it didn't taste the same.  My daughter said it tasted just like regular though.  I preferred it in soft serve state.  Probably for several reasons it was too crystally when totally frozen. 

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