Mint chip is royalty when it comes to frozen desserts – and I mean that quite literally. It was invented in 1973 by Marilyn Ricketts when she entered a competition to create a dessert for the wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. Originally it was called Mint Royale. She won and a dessert icon was born.
Why extract instead of fresh mint?
There are dozens of varieties of mint. The strength and flavor of fresh mint can vary a great deal so I find it difficult to write a recipe that will give everyone great results. A good (not artificial) extract gives the most consistent results.
OK, but I really want to use fresh mint.
I hear you. It’s pretty easy: grab a handful of mint and let it simmer in the milk for about 10-15 minutes (do not let it come to a boil – you want a low simmer) Take it off the heat and let the leaves infuse in the milk for at least an hour or two. Strain out the leaves and make the recipe as written below (omitting the peppermint extract)
Why can’t I use chocolate chips?
Try eating a frozen chocolate chip. It’s not fun. They are manufactured to hold their shape and freeze like small rocks. You want something that will easily melt in your mouth. Chocolate chunks are designed to do just that – and you can make them with dark or milk chocolate.
Do I have to make chocolate chunks, isn’t there some shortcut?
Sure! You could shave a bar of chocolate with a vegetable peeler into thin shards, or grate a bar of chocolate. The important thing is to keep your chocolate very thin so it’s easy to eat frozen.
Food coloring?! Really?
Yes. For me, if it’s not green it’s not mint chip. I use organic food colors but a bit of spirulina will work too. Of course, you can omit altogether and you’ll have a white mint gelato. Your choice.
Make an ice bath – place a few ice cubes and a few cups of water in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine sugar, non-fat milk powder, salt, and tapioca starch. Mix the whole milk and cream in a large bowl. Whisk in the dry ingredients. Add the corn syrup and mix until there are no lumps
Place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, keeping it just under a boil. Regularly stir the mixture while it cooks. In the last few minutes as the mixture begins to thicken, stir without stopping.
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, pour it through the fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Stir in the peppermint extract. Put the bowl of hot gelato into the ice bath. Immediately place plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. After the mixture has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
If using green food color: Add in 2 drops to the gelato and blend. Add more as needed, slowly adding and blending until it reaches the color you desire.
Process in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The gelato is finished when it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream (about 30 minutes) Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (4 hours minimum)
* chocolate chunks: use 1/2 cup to 1 cup – whatever gelato to chip ratio you prefer. I usually do about a cup.