A couple of weekends ago our friends came to visit from out of town. After fish tacos at the beach, we got to talking about ice cream, and The Fees raved about a basil infused ice cream their friend had made. I have been thinking a lot about desserts with traditionally savory herbs in them, so this ice cream really piqued my interest! Especially as basil and mint are are in season right now. A few days later I was delighted to find the recipe folded into a thank you card. As you can imagine, I wasted no time making this Springtime ice cream and I have to say... I 100% agree with the Fees! This is possibly the best minty chocolate chip ice cream I have ever had. The addition of the basil just makes it a little more interesting than the average. I think next up I'll be creating a lavender honey thyme cupcake.
Now go invite some friends over for a dinner party and make a batch of this ice cream!
Basil and Mint Infused Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
40 large peppermint or spearmint leaves
12 large basil leaves
generous handful spinach leaves
6 oz 62% semisweet chocolate bar, such as Scharffen Berger
In a small saucepan, combine milk and sugar, bring to a boil over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan, combine cream, mint, and basil, bring to a simmer over medium heat, remove, cover and allow herbs to steep for at least 30 minutes (I let them steep an hour).
Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill large bowl or sink with ice. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds and then pour into strainer. Quickly place strainer in an ice bath. Lift strainer and wring out excess water from spinach. Place spinach in a blender along with half the milk mixture. Blend well. With blender running, slowly add the remaining milk mixture.
Pour the resulting green mixture through a cheesecloth lined mesh strainer into a bowl (I didn't have cheesecloth and it worked fine with just the fine mesh strainer). Carefully wring out cheesecloth above strainer to extract remaining liquid. Strain steeped cream through the mesh strainer (without cheesecloth at this point) and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight until base mixture drops below 40 degrees F.
Transfer the base mixture to an ice cream maker and allow to churn for 20-30 minutes until base takes on a more whipped consistency. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate bar up into bite sized chunks and/or shavings. Once the ice cream is about completed in the ice cream maker, add the chocolate bits through the top of the ice cream maker, allowing the chocolate to incorporate. Remove finished ice cream and place in a 1 quart covered container. Allow 3-4 hours to harden.
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