St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, which means it's the perfect time for mint/chocolate desserts. Well, any time is perfect for mint/chocolate desserts in my opinion, but that's just how I roll.
So when I saw this recipe on my assigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club, I knew it was the perfect choice. Well, that and because she said it was quite possibly the best thing she had ever made. That nearly requires a taste test, don't you think?
So my blog this month was Pale Yellow, where Tracy has some seriously awesome baked goods (and lots of other selections as well, but I was irresistibly drawn to the sweets, as usual). Caramel Snickers Bars, Brown Butter Biscoff Rice Crispy Treats, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies were a few of the delectable treats that caught my eye, but I just kept thinking about this ice cream.
And boy, am I glad I did.
I've used mint extract lots of times, but this recipe uses real mint leaves, simmered right in the milk and cream to impart that real mint flavor. I was amazed at how delicious it was - the flavor is so authentic with no aftertastes. Sublime.
Combine that with fudgy brownie chunks and an incredible fudge sauce swirled through every bite - and you have a little bowl of heaven. Totally worth the time invested to make it. And the calories.
I was running short on eggs, so I didn't use Tracy's egg-based ice cream - I just used the normal vanilla I make except with the step of simmering the mint leaves added in. I also didn't use the fudge sauce that Tracy did, because it uses corn syrup, which I try to avoid. Instead I used this very simple sauce and thought it was fantastic.
This ice cream received RAVE reviews from every member of my family - and Grant, who often times would just as soon eat store bought ice cream as homemade, couldn't stop talking about how awesome it was. Then a friend who stopped by for dinner loved it so much that he declared that I should go into business selling it - that he would pay $30 a gallon for it. I call that a WIN!
Note: You will NOT use all the brownies that the recipe makes in the ice cream itself. You can easily cut the recipe in half if you don't want as much left over and bake it in a 8 or 9" square pan. Or you could freeze the leftovers. OR you could make brownies from a box if you want. But these brownies are super delicious and definitely worth trying, just on their own. Crackly on top, dense, rich, and fudgy, you won't regret making them.
Mint Fudge Ice Cream with Brownie Pieces
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 bunch fresh mint
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup (half stick) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
To make Ice cream:
Combine milk, sugar, and cream in a saucepan. Add mint leaves and heat/steep on low, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes. Do not let come to a boil. Remove from heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove the leaves. Stir in vanilla and pour mixture into a bowl to chill, preferably overnight.
To make Fudge Sauce:
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until cool. You won't need all of it for the ice cream - but you can always pour extra on individual servings if desired. It will last in the fridge for several weeks. Sauce will thicken up and can be made pourable by microwaving for 15-25 seconds.
To make Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 13x9" pan with butter. Set aside.
Using a double boiler, or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter, chocolate, and coffee powder. Stir often. Once thoroughly melted, remove from heat. Stir in sugar and brown sugar and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk eggs together until well beaten. Add to chocolate and sugar mixture along with the vanilla and stir well.
Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Stir just into combined.
Pour into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a little bit of batter.
Cut some of the brownies into small chunks, place on a wax paper lined dish, and freeze until ready to stir into the ice cream. You won't use all the brownies - probably only 1/4-1/3 of them. That's okay. The brownies are completely awesome on their own. :)
To put it all together:
Churn ice cream according to your manufacturer's direction.
Fold in the brownie chunks until evenly distributed.
Spread about a third of the ice cream into a container, drizzle with fudge sauce, Repeat with the second and third layers. Freeze until firm.
Source: adapted from Pale Yellow