Mint choc chip ice cream was my favourite as a kid. Well, a close number one with old-fashioned toffee. As a family we used to pull up the car at the old Kiewa store in Victoria where we were lucky enough to get the best fresh ice cream around in those parts of rural Victoria. It seemed to me back then such a vast expansion of flavours before me in those cold buckets behind the frosted windows. My eyes would pop out of my head with so many choices to pick from, but I always found myself gravitating back to the favourites just like everyone else in my family. Dad, one scoop chocolate and once scoop old fashioned vanilla, Mum either mint choc chip (like mother, like daughter) or rum and raisin, my sister, well she would either go for the old fashioned vanilla and then some scoop of something crazy like that rainbow flavoured stuff like Hubbard gravitates towards. Me, old-fashioned toffee or peppermint choc chip. Never together of course.
I’m not sure if the old Kiewa store is still there, and if it does whether it continues to sell that amazing ice cream. I like to think it does. I’d like to think that kids still go in there all wide eyed like me. That they trot back to the car and enjoy licking away at their prized ice cream cone as the sun melts the contents, and the ice cream oozes down the sides of the cone, over their fingers and onto the seat belt strap.
With this ice cream I wanted to recreate those flavours that I so fondly remembered, but in a more dairy free, low sugar friendly way. I also wanted an ice cream that did not have a coconut flavour (although I have still included it as an option). The creamy soy gives the lushness that I was after, as rice milk or almond milk would be too watery. I always use organic and non GMO soy, which I find is pretty easy to source here is Australia (for more on soy see nutritional information).
Making this ice cream was certainly a challenge. It started out okay, the infusing, the churning. The first mistake was leaving adding the melted chocolate too late and trying to pour it into the machine when the ice cream was too hard. That resulted in huge chunks of chocolate instead of nice flecks. Hand first into the ice cream I went, breaking it apart and then licking the melted remnants off my hands. I know, it was hard.
The second mistake I made was leaving it in the freezer too long. In too long I mean 2 weeks. Right now your thinking, how did you make this and then not eat it?? Are you mad?! Well, let me tell you it did take some will power. The problem with making food for the website is that it needs to be photographed, so when you are running a clinic and renovating sometimes the time to photograph gets away from you. Needless to say when I finally got around to photographing the ice cream it was too icy for my liking. It still tastes amazing, but not as texturally grand as straight out of the churner on the day.
So dear readers, moral of the story is eat your ice cream when it’s fresh. Enjoy it with friends and family or if you are freezing it for longer make sure you cover it very well to stop it getting icy. Other than that, enjoy the finger lick’n goodness of this minty chocolate mess!
mint choc chip ice cream
- makes 1 litre
- preparation time
- 1 hour, plus overnight cooling
- cooking time
- 3 cups full cream organic, non GMO soy milk (or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tightly packed cup fresh mint
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup avocado
- 100 grams dairy free dark chocolate (at least 75%)
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Begin this recipe the day before.
Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add in the soy milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup and mint. Bring to a light boil then turn down to a simmer making sure it does not boil over. Leave with the lid on for 20 minutes to simmer, then turn off and leave to cool. Once cooled, place the saucepan in the fridge overnight.
The next day, strain the liquid and squeeze the mint out to get as much flavour out of it as you can. Discard the mint.
Pour the liquid into a blender with the avocado and blend till smooth. Set aside.
Heat a small saucepan with about 2cm of water in the bottom and place a bowl over the top to create a double boiler. Put the chocolate with the oil in the bowl and slowly melt. Once the chocolate and oil is completely melted turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
If you have an ice cream machine prepare the machine for use. Pour the ice cream mix from the blender into the ice cream machine and start as per manufactures instructions. Mine took around 30 minutes till the paddle started to go backwards. If you do not have an ice cream machine then pour the mixture into a sealable tub and place in the freezer.
If using an ice cream machine, just before the ice cream is ready (around 20 minutes), slowly pour in the melted chocolate allowing it to mix its way through the ice cream. Allow the machine to continue until done. Remove the ice cream bucket and place in the freezer for a further 15 minutes until desired firmness.
If you do not have a machine, remove the ice cream from your freezer after an hour and slowly pour in half of the melted chocolate as you stir. Place back in the freezer. Repeat this after another hour adding the remaining melted chocolate (you may need to heat the chocolate again if it has hardened a little). Place the ice cream back in the fridge for another hour and then stir again. Leave ice cream now to set.
Please note this ice cream is best eaten when fresh. If you leave it to harden in the freezer for too long it will go quite hard. If this happens just let it defrost and then give it a good stir if needed. The ice cream will keep, but it will be slightly icy. When you make the ice cream it should be a lovely green colour, but it will turn chocolate if left over night as seen here.
- This mint choc chip ice cream is very low in natural sugars. If you would like it sweeter you could add a little more maple or even rice syrup. The avocado and the organic soy give this ice cream some lovely quality fats and a little protein making the ice cream more filling than it’s processed cousins.
- The use of soy products has become quite controversial. Many studies with adverse effects of soy have used the isolated compounds from soy such as genistein and isoflavones in concentrated amounts, which does not reflect how these substances are broken down in the body through our digestive systems and biochemical processes. Interestingly, this comes back to the concept of a wholefood approach, using the whole organic product in its true form and not removing constituents, concentrating them and refining them. Studies have associated high amounts of soy isoflavones, especially those rich in refined soy proteins with interfering with hormones receptor sites and influencing ovulation. However, these studies used significantly high amounts of isoflavones which are not comparable to an average intake of soy (for most, remember we are all different), such as 1 – 2 serves a day of a whole food soy product. (2010, Wendy N. Jefferson, American Society for Nutrition Adult Ovarian Function Can Be Affected by High Levels of Soy, Environ Health Perspect. 2006, Julia R. Barrett, P Environews Focus The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?)