My parents planned a scavenger hunt for my Birthday this year. First stop: Starbucks.
Order a peppermint mocha.
They know it's my favorite. Really, anything chocolatey and minty, I love. But only if they're mixed.
(I really hate the creamy minty stuff in the middle of York Peppermint Patties... weird, I know)
Which is why I absolutely love and count down the days for Jeni's to bring back their Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream right when December starts. It's to die for.
Luckily, the recipe is in her cookbook, but I don't feel right making it any other time of the year. It's definitely a wintery, Chrsitmas-y treat.
I'm sure her version is better because it goes the extra mile, uses high quality chocolate and pure peppermint essential oil (apparently that's a real thing), but this comes pretty darn close.
The base for this ice cream is her recipe for The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World, with just four drops of pure peppermint essential oil added. However, rather than track down this rare ingredient (which I also assumed would be expensive) for just four drops, I replaced it with a teaspoon of peppermint extract. The result? Perfection.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (55% to 70% cacao), finely chopped
Ice Cream Base:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1. Combine the cocoa, coffee and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Add chocolate and let sit for five minutes. After five minutes, stir the chocolate syrup until it's smooth.
2. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Whisk the cream cheese, warm chocolate syrup, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
4. Combine the rest of the milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Let it boil for about 4 minutes, remove from heat, then stir in the cornstarch/milk mixture with a whisk. Return to heat and bring it back to a boil, stirring constantly for about 1 minute, until the mixture thickens.
5. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk mixture into the bowl with the chocolate syrup/cream cheese mixture until it's smooth.
6. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, then pour the ice cream mixture into a Ziplock bag and place it in the ice bath. Let it stand in the bowl for about 30 minutes, until it's cold. Add more ice as necessary.
7. Pour ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. While it's spinning, add the pure peppermint extract (or pure peppermint essential oil) and let it spin until it's really thick and creamy.
8. Put ice cream into containers and put parchment paper directly on the surface, to avoid freezer burn. Seal with an airtight lid and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
By the way - the Jeni's cookbook would be a great Christmas gift for an ice-cream-loving friend!