Dan and I went through an intensive natural frozen yoghurt phase last summer and consequently our ice cream maker has been on sabbatical. Until this weekend. I had been looking forward to making this delightful treat ever since my dearest Libby told me about it months ago. Every now and then I fantasize about something so often, I inadvertently build castles in the sky, believing that when it finally happens it will be the GREATEST THING EVER. And then it's not. Woolgathering, so to speak. Well, folks, let me just say that this was not the case here. This was the pot at the end of the rainbow. Seriously.
I omitted the food coloring the original recipe called for (soooo much prettier), and used bittersweet chocolate exclusively (as well as a little less) rather than half semisweet and half bittersweet. The mint came off a fresh plant that has been existing peacefully on our window sill for the last couple of weeks. The results were magical.
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
In large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar.
In heavy medium saucepan over moderately low heat, stir together milk, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and mint. Heat until steaming but not boiling, then remove from heat.
Ladle about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from cooking, then slowly stir the egg mixture back into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Place over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon (finger drawn across spoon will leave clear path), 5 to 6 minutes total (do not let boil or custard will curdle). Strain through fine-mesh sieve into large bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in heavy cream.
Cover and chill until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Process custard in ice cream maker, adding chopped chocolate during last minute of churning. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until hard, about 3 hours.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
Adapted from Isaac Mizrahi's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Epicurious, September 2007.