Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mocha Ripple

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Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mocha Ripple is the grown-up version of your favorite mint ice cream with a delicious fresh mint flavor and with a luscious mocha ripple.  Mint ice cream never tasted so good!

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As a child it was a real treat for my family to go out to ice cream, and I have fond memories of going to our local ice cream shop and ordering my favorite — mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone.   Once in a while I would order tin roof sundae or rocky road, but most of the time I went for the mint.  This Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mocha Ripple is a serious upgrade from the ice cream shop mint.  There’s no mint extract here — this version is completely grown-up as it gets all its minty flavor from fresh mint.

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I wasn’t sure if I’d be on board with this fresh mint thing as I usually only like it in small doses.  I’ve had mojitos loaded with fresh mint, and the flavor was so overpowering that I didn’t enjoy the drink at all.  To me, the mint flavor here was nice and refreshing, and the mocha ripple was the perfect flavor to offset it.  My youngest son the critic said it wasn’t his favorite because it was “too minty”, and I respect that.  The rest of the family loved it, so 3 out of 4 ain’t bad. 🙂

A year ago at this time I never thought I would own my own ice cream maker — I would scour the internet for no-churn ice cream recipes because I just wasn’t convinced that I needed an ice cream maker.  Yes, you can make great no-churn ice cream like this Key Lime Pie Ice Cream without a machine and be perfectly happy…BUT I learned to love churned ice cream in cooking school.  A girl needs options, and when I’m in the mood to churn, there’s no churning back. 😉

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When and if you do purchase an ice cream maker, there’s one ice cream cookbook on your must-purchase list — The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.  It’s so full of creamy, dreamy inspiration, from frozen yogurts to custards, and sauces to brownies.  I knew right away I wanted to tackle this, and the mocha ripple sounded like the best contrast to the fresh mint.  You know I like to add espresso powder to everything don’t you?  I did it again, and was this ripple (or syrup) some of the best tasting stuff ever.

Being that this was only my third churned ice cream, and my first one with a “ripple”, I was ripple challenged.  Meaning I didn’t add enough of the syrup in between layers for them to really be seen.  What’s a person to do?  Drizzle it all over the top ice cream syrup style!  The ice cream may have had nearly an invisible ripple, but it wasn’t lacking anything with the syrup drizzled all over the top.  Does it look like it’s lacking anything to you?? 😉

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Now, this ice cream recipe didn’t call for any food coloring.  Normally I stay away from the stuff, but because I grew up on very green mint chocolate chip ice cream, it just isn’t the same eating it if it’s white.  I did add 1/4 teaspoon of green gel food coloring because that’s all I had.  Liquid food coloring would be easier to blend in, but the gel worked fine and there was no clumps of it.  The choice is yours whether to go green or white.  🙂

I loved this ice cream so much, I have another minty, decadent recipe coming your way this week, and I think you’re gonna love it.  I know summer is normally about fruity desserts, but fresh mint is summery too, and that’s my pitch to you.  Fresh mint isn’t just for fruit, salads, and cocktails, it’s for ice cream.  If you love mint ice cream, give this a try — it’s like a minty breath of fresh air with a mocha chaser.  YUM. 🙂

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Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mocha Ripple
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Mocha Ripple is the grown-up version of your favorite mint ice cream with a delicious fresh mint flavor and with a luscious mocha ripple. Mint ice cream never tasted so good!
Serves: 1 quart of ice cream and 1 cup of ripple
Fresh Mint Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon green gel food coloring (or a few drops of liquid)
Mocha Ripple:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (I used Valhrona)
  • 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder*
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, and pinch of salt in a small sauce pan and warm over medium low heat. Do not bring to a boil, you just want the milk mixture to be warm to steep the mint leaves. Once warm, remove from heat and stir in the mint leaves until they're completely immersed in the liquid. Cover and steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. While the milk steeps, prepare the ripple. Place the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Continue to whisk until it comes to a low boil, and cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the espresso powder and vanilla until incorporated, and let stand at room temperature to cool. Chill the ripple completely in the refrigerator before using.
  3. After one hour, strain the mint infused milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Squeeze the mint leaves to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible, then discard them. Place the saucepan over medium low heat and re-warm, without bringing to a boil. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and whisk together. When the milk mixture is just beginning the bubble around the edges, remove from heat, and whisk just a bit of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks to temper them. Whisk in about ⅓ total, whisking constantly, then add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and whisk until incorporated. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. You can tell if it's thick enough when you run your finger down the middle of the back of the spoon and the custard stays in place. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Place the custard over an ice bath until cool, stirring often, and chill completely in the refrigerator. Remove the custard from the refrigerator and whisk in the ¼ teaspoon food coloring just before freezing. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker.
  4. Once the ice cream is ready to freeze, spoon some of the ripple on the bottom of the storage container that you plan to use to freeze the ice cream. Spoon the ice cream over to cover the ripple without stirring, then layer more ripple generously over the ice cream. Repeat until all of the ice cream is in the container, cover, and freeze completely. Enjoy!
Total time above includes 1 hour for steeping the mint leaves and 6 hours for freezing the ice cream.

The custard and ripple can both be made the day before churning the ice cream.

*You may substitute ½ cup of strongly brewed coffee in place of the ½ cup water and 1 tablespoon of espresso powder.

Ripple can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and is great drizzled over the top of desserts and ice cream if you have leftovers!

To prevent freezer burn, place plastic wrap over the surface of your ice cream, and cover.

Ice cream and ripple recipes adapted heavily from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.



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