Why yes, that is a small tub of grass being used as a food blogging photo prop. I grow it for my guinea pigs and it was one of the few green things in the house that I thought I could just about get away with using as a prop.
Being a pink-loving girly girl, I don’t really have that much green stuff at home, except for plants, but they’re mostly brown and dead. Which is how this ice cream almost ended up, but more on that later.
I got an ice cream machine for Christmas last year and I’ve got to say – what a huge difference it makes! In case you’ve never used an ice cream machine before, I’ll quickly sum up the differences for you:
Ice cream machine:
- throw all the ingredients in and the machine churns it for you
- ready-to-eat ice cream after only 30 minutes of churning
- smooth and creamy texture every single time
Hand-churned ice cream:
- you have to mix all the ingredients together, place it in the freezer and remove it every hour or so to stir
- takes up to eight hours (or even over-night!) for your ice cream to be ready
- don’t stir the ice cream enough and you’ll end up with a hard, gritty, icy texture
So that’s three positives for an ice cream machine – now one big negative. You have to be pretty careful with the add-ins. When I made Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream by hand, I mixed the cold custard mixture with chocolate chips and threw it in the freezer. After a few bouts of mixing, the ice cream was a vibrant green colour and the chocolate chips really stood out.
Now, with the ice cream machine…I threw the cold custard mixture and chocolate chips into the ice cream machine and left it to do its thing. Thirty minutes later I had ice cream that tasted like mint choc chip, but looked like brown sludge. Yeah,the ice cream machine had blended the chocolate chips into the custard mixture.
So what did I do? I added some more green food colouring and chocolate chips, stirred and threw the whole thing in the freezer. Since getting my ice cream machine, I’ve been making ice cream non-stop and I just didn’t have room in the freezer for another batch. You can only eat ice cream for dinner so many nights before you start to feel sick, you know?
Anyway, moral of the story – if you’re going to use an ice cream machine to make this Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream, stir the chocolate chips in after the machine is done churning!!
Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups single cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- green food colouring
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I love using dark chocolate chips but feel free to use whichever kind you prefer)
- Beat the sugar together with the egg yolks until well combined.
- Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat over a high heat until the mixture begins to foam and almost bubble over. Immediately remove the pan from the heat at this stage and pour the mixture over the eggs and sugar, being sure to beat vigorously the whole time so you don't end up with scrambled eggs.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and set the heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon - this should take around 20 minutes.
- When it's ready, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Stir, taste and add more of either extract if necessary.
- Add in a couple of drops of green food colouring and stir. Add some more until you get the colour you're looking for.
- Leave to cool to room temperature before pouring into an air-tight container and leaving in the fridge for at least 12 hours to cool.
- When cool - if you're making the ice cream by hand - stir in the chocolate chips and place the container in the freezer. Remove the freezer every hour for six/eight hours and give the mixture a good stir before popping it back into the freezer.
- When cool - if you're using an ice cream machine - pour the mixture into the machine and leave it to churn.
- When it's done, scoop the ice cream into a separate container, stir in the chocolate chips and store in the freezer.
Here are the link parties I link up to. Come and party with me!