I’ve had a hard time getting into the holiday groove this year – it feels like the holidays snuck up me, and suddenly they’re HERE. The weather in Chicago is finally chipping in to do its part and I awoke at 5am to a winter wonderland.
Yes, I get up stupidly early, but my early morning walks with the dog are often my favorite part of the day. The city is quiet, and walking a dog reminds you that life is not to be rushed through – there are good things to stop and sniff…and Turbo is pretty good about making sure that he is not rushed. This morning, the city was enveloped in a couple inches of perfect, fluffy snow with fat flakes falling from the sky and sparkling in the streetlights. I love how QUIET the city becomes when it’s snowing and it makes me want to take more time to wander with the dog.
On crisp, snowy days, I think something a little minty is the perfect treat. This is a simple chocolate ice cream (dairy-free, of course), but do try to use really good cocoa powder to get that deep, dark chocolate flavor. I added peppermint extract to the base, and chopped up a handful of After Eight Mints into tiny pieces, and dropped them into the churn right before the ice cream was finished turning. (Note to other clumsy cooks: be sure to remove the seal from a new bottle of peppermint extract before you squeeze it…I didn’t, and our ice cream is REALLY minty with a bit too much extract in it)
Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
2 cans coconut milk (chaokoh brand is my favorite)
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup good quality dutched cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 T peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
10-15 After Eight Dinner Mints, chopped fine.
- Pour 1 can of coconut milk into a small saucepan, along with the sugar, pinch of salt and the cocoa powder. Stir constantly, and heat the mixture until quite warm, but not boiling. While the milk and cocoa warm, pour the other can of coconut milk into a medium sized bowl.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a cereal bowl, then temper the yolks by SLOWLY pouring the heated cocoa milk into the yolks, whisking the entire time. Once you’ve poured most of the milk into the yolks, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan, and use a spatula to stir constantly over med-low heat as you create the custard. After about 7-10 minutes, the custard will be done – the pot will get pretty steamy, and will have thickened a bit.
- Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl with the second can of coconut milk in it and then pour the custard into the bowl. Stir the mixture together, then add the vanilla and peppermint extract. Chill overnight before turning in your ice cream maker. Add in the chopped mints during the last five minutes of churning.
328 cal per 1/2 cup, 170cal from fat, 21g fat, 80mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 90mg potassium, 32g carbs, 19g sugars,