Mint Chip Gelato

MINT CHIP GELATO

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.

I am firmly in the old school camp of using coloring. If it’s not green it’s just not mint chip. These days there are plenty of ways to tint food without resorting to artificial or industrial food colorings. I use an organic food color for this recipe but a bit of spirulina (it’s flavorless) works just as well.

the mint

So why the extract? Why not use fresh mint? I prefer extract in this case because I have found it gives more consistent results in a home kitchen than fresh leaves. The strength and flavor of mint can vary a great deal (plus there are dozens of varieties) The key to using extract is finding one that is organic and does not contain artificial ingredients (if it label says ‘imitation’ walk away)

Still want to try fresh mint leaves? Take 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.

the chips

Dark chocolate and thin are the classic choices but you can make the chocolate chunks with any kind of chocolate and any size you like. Avoid using pre-made chocolate chips, they are manufactured to hold their shape and will freeze like small rocks that won’t melt easily in your mouth.

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MINT CHIP GELATO

Scale

Ingredients

  •   627g  whole milk
  •   125g  heavy cream
  •   159g  sugar
  •     49g  nonfat milk powder
  •       5g  tapioca starch
  •     34g  organic corn syrup
  •              pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp organic peppermint extract
  •              green food color (optional)
  •    chocolate chunks chopped finely*

Instructions

PREP

Make an ice bath – place a few ice cubes and a few cups of water in a large bowl.  Set aside. 

MIX

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

COOK

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.

CURE

After the mixture has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.

PROCESS

If using green food color:  Add in 2 drops to the gelato and blend.  Continuing 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)

Notes

* chocolate chunks:  use 1/2 cup to 1 cup – whatever gelato to chip ratio you prefer.  I usually do about a cup.    

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