My daughter’s favorite ice cream flavor in the whole wide world is Mint Chocolate Chip. Lucky for her, we have an ice cream maker and adore making ice cream so I am happy to turn out a quart or two during the summer. I recently received the book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home” by Jeni Britton Bauer and decided to try her technique for ice cream base when making our most recent batch of mint chip. I liked the fact that she didn’t use eggs in her recipe, instead she uses cream cheese and cornstarch as thickener. This makes things so much easier! The resulting ice cream showed the benefits of not using eggs as well – the ice cream was much denser and creamier all around. There was no grainy, eggy texture to speak of. Also, without using eggs it is virtually impossible to mess up making the base. To give it our favorite mint chip taste and feel I added a drop of green food paste, mint extract and chocolate chips. We all declared the recipe a winner and will be making it again very, very soon!
Perfect Egg-less Mint Chip Ice Cream
adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 drops Peppermint extract
1 drop green food paste (optional)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside. In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese and salt until completely smooth. Set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup and boil over medium-high for 4 minutes. Do not leave it unattended. After 4 minutes remove it from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch. Return it to the heat and whisk while boiling it over medium-high heat until just thickened. About 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
3. Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese, whisking as you add in order to completely incorporate the cheese. Add the mint extract and the food paste and stir. Nestle the bowl in the ice bath and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.
4. Turn on your ice cream mixer and pour in the mint mixture. Process for at least 25 minutes. At the very last 5 minutes pour in the chocolate chips and process until combined. Scoop ice cream into a freezable quart-size container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Serve.