dude fude, food, Uncategorized

On being irresistible…

As a kid, chocolate chip mint ice cream was my favorite flavor.  In this, I was not  alone.  However, I was alone in thinking chocolate chip mint pares perfectly with caramel, and pare it I did, when I had the opportunity to have an ice cream sunday which was usually once a year with my grandparents, on the way to the Berkshires from New York City.

Askew glances from waitresses aside, I stuck to my guns.  Glowing accounts of fudge sauce could not dissuade me.  Nor could the sight of the stuff itself. I always preferred the golden tendrils off caramel cooling against soft minty mounds.

Many years later, I unsuccessfully pitched the idea to Ben and Jerry’s during a nationwide ice cream flavor contest.  I forget which flavor won that year.

And so it has come to pass that I, on occasion, make my own ice cream.  I try not to make it too much because it is so delicious.

But with a small but significant peppermint bush growing in my garden, and an excess of cream in my fridge, I decided to make some.  The only sugar I had in the house was brown sugar and I decided to use it.

And so it was that I found myself back to the minty caramel marriage of my youth.  Not quite caramel, but just an absolutely addictive undercurrent of caramel taste.  Teasing in that way, so that you must take another bite just to make sure it’s really there. And another.  Combined with the freshest, brightest mint (from garden to pot in 10 minutes), it’s a real delight.

Butter Mint Chip

Adapted from Elise’s Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream (she’s got pictures and step by step making instructions)

Here’s my version:

Put lots (2-3 cups) of mint leaves in a pot with 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of cream.  Heat until just boiling, cover, turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes.  Repeat, but you can let it sit for less time.  Strain out leaves, mashing milk out of them and put back mixture back into the pot.

Mix in 1/2 cup of brown sugar and a pinch of salt until dissolved.

Pour 1/3 or so of the milk mixture into 4 egg yolks, stirring constantly (you don’t want to scramble the eggs).  Then pour the egg/milk mixture back in pot on the stove, turn up the heat to medium, stir constantly and make a custard.  It’s done when the mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Don’t let it boil.

Strain into 1 cup of cream.  Let cool.  Sometimes I do this overnight.   Sometimes I put this mixture in a bowl surrounded by ice first.

Once it’s cold, put into ice cream maker.  I add a little bit of alcohol or vanilla, and chopped up chocolate. I like it chopped finely.  I actually chop the chocolate first and put it in the freeze prior to the whole process.

After it comes out of the ice cream maker, it’s this beautifully soft and creamy ambrosia.  You can eat it now.  Or,  if you put it in a container and let it freeze, it will harden a lot.  Both forms are irresistible.  It’s food that brings on the quiet and completely focussed concentration of my four year old.  Bliss.


I have now made a chocolate ice cream with chocolate hunks and caramelized pecans and a Meyer lemon with slivers of dark chocolate.  Uh… both delicious.  It’s kind of ridiculous how good this stuff–too good. And so now, left with a huge number of egg whites left over I forge into new egg white-related domains…

Meyer Lemon with chocolate
into the freezer

Ice Cream redux

There has been significant progress (although, sadly, no pictures) in the summer trips to our local ice cream store.  Ice cream I used to like until one little tiny taste of ice cream from the Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco passed through my lips.  Now all other ice cream is like bland, cold, high calorie cream to me, while the memory of orange (of all ridiculous flavors) lingers on with a surprising intensity.  Something a friend once called, euphoric memories.  Yes, indeed.

That being said, our local ice cream/candy store has much charm and obviously M loves it.    I can happily say we’ve moved past “pink” ice cream and onto chocolate.  That’s especially good news for the official drip-licker, as you may imagine.

In other progress-related news, I prevented M from biting off the bottom of the cone on several occasions, explaining that she had to wait until it was a little cone so all the ice cream wouldn’t drip through.  In fact, she never did it, until Mommy finally threw those last few bites away, undamaged.

M was also particularly taken this trip with other babies and kids eating their ice creams, whereupon we discovered butterscotch (Mommy’s favorite) and we hope to be licking those caramelly drips next time.  (Ah… Bi-Rite Creamery’s Salted Caramel. Okay, yes, my one bite was Caramel mixed with Orange.)

Happy and sated, M galloped down the sidewalk in that little horsey way she has, slapping the side of Walgreen’s drugstore and talking to every child in her path.

Success, I’d say.

And just in case anyone’s wondering, Mommy, in a rare turn of events ordered Rainbow Sherbert, and liked it but was underwhelmed (ah, Bi-Rite…).