I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions lately, I guess it comes with the territory in the first few weeks of January. I get the feeling that 2012 will be a year filled with big changes, big adventures and big life decisions, though I don’t want to jinx anything, and I thought I’d share a couple of the things I want to do this year here.
• Read more. I used to read a crazy amount of books but as the last few years have got busier, I have been reading less and less.
• Make more from scratch. I’m usually pretty good at this, but I want to make the effort to make more of my ingredients totally from scratch, like mayonnaise, ricotta, stock, bread etc.
• Waste less. I’m sure I’m not the only one who buys a bunch of herbs for a particular recipe and forgets about the rest until it’s turned to liquid in the crisper drawer! This has to stop, because the food waste statistics are absolutely horrifying.
• Grow my own. Stemming from the last point, I can pick just enough for what I need. Plus it’s so satisfying to be able to go out and pick beautiful fresh herbs and vegetables from the backyard. From the little garden we started in spring, the tomatoes, strawberries and capsicum are going great guns, and the mint is growing wild!
• Document the year. If you follow me on Instagram (username is spicyicecream, of course) you can see the results of my photo-a-day project! I hope to make it past April this time around!
This ice cream was completely made from scratch (check!) using mint that we grew ourselves (check!) in our fancy new red ice cream maker, a Christmas present from the boy’s parents. I’ve been interested in making a fresh mint ice cream ever since I saw it on Orangette a few years ago, but changed it to be my favourite no churn recipe.
I loved the herbaceous quality of this ice cream, so different (and so much better) than anything artificially flavoured. I ended up using a bit less than the original recipe asked for but it was a surprisingly strong mint flavour. I added a couple of drops of food colouring to get that shade of green but I’ve listed that as optional in the recipe below. The addition of chopped chocolate and a rich chocolate sauce was also fantastic and I know I’ll definitely be making this ice cream again and again.
No Churn Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre
• 2 cups (500ml) cold thickened cream
• 1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
• 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• A few drops green food colouring, optional
• 100g chocolate, finely chopped
To make the ice cream, place cream into a saucepan with the mint leaves over medium heat. Stir to combine and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to infuse for at least 45 minutes. Strain out the mint and refrigerate.
When completely cold, whip the infused cream to soft peaks. Whisk the vanilla extract and green food colouring into the condensed milk.
Gently fold the mint cream into the condensed milk until combined. Fold in the finely chopped chocolate, and pour into a loaf pan or container. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm. Ice cream will keep up to one week in the freezer. Serve with chocolate sauce.
Chocolate Sauce (adapted from Taste)
Note: This recipe will make more than you need, but it will store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
• 185ml thickened cream
• 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
• 55g brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place ingredients into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal or wooden spoon until chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until chocolate melts. Serve warm or transfer to a clean airtight jar or container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. Serve room temperature or warm.