Chef Fran Costigan

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with a Chocolate Shell

Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

Mint on mint! Truthfully, until I developed the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe in Vegan Chocolate, I wasn’t a fan of mint-flavored ice creams. This avocado based ice cream (come on, don’t turn up your noses!) changed my mind, and it’smade even better with a crunchy-chewy coating of mint-kissed Chocolate Shell. Note that the ice cream pictured here is the Chocolate Coconut  Ice Cream in Vegan Chocolate. The point being, make and eat any flavor you like, but eat ice cream- it’s summer! And embellish it.

Chocolate Shell refers to the magical liquid chocolate elixir that hardens on contact with ice cream. Remember Brown Bonnet cones?  Mine were from Carvel. The topping couldn’t be easier to make, and like the ice cream, it’s vegan.

Most recipes for chocolate shells use coconut oil. While this recipe works with coconut oil, my taste buds like a mild tasting extra virgin olive oil better. I use extra virgin Everyday Oil from California Olive Ranch, but any mild tasting oil will do—or use coconut oil, of course. With just three ingredients (and that’s counting the vanilla extract) and a few minutes, you’ve got “magic” chocolate shell to use or keep in the refrigerator. Make it–you’ll like it, minty, straight-up chocolate or flavored with other culinary oils.

We can’t talk about  ice cream toppings without mentioning Hot Fudge Sauce. (You’ll find a recipe for Hot Fudge in Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts.)

Recently the New York Times published Julie Moskin’s recipe for Chocolate Ganache as a topping alternative to Hot Fudge. It’s a terrific idea, and if  you’re like me, you always have a container of ganache in your refrigerator or freezer. I use the beautifully versatile ganache to make truffles, and to glaze or spread over cakes. Warmed in a water bath until pourable, ganache is definitely delectable on ice cream. Julie’s recipe was for a pretty classic ganache made with heavy cream and 1/4 cup of white sugar. Contrast that with my vegan version, which is rich, glossy, definitely  chocolate, but made wtih only 1 tablespoon of (organic) sugar and cholesterol-free plant milk. Plus, without the excess fat you get a more direct chocolate hit. I have learned this to be true over many years and a rather famous but cannot be named traditonal pastry chef told me he agrees.

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I like avocados for their taste, texture, and healthy nutritional profile. I eat them in salads, on crusty dense bread, mashed into a chunky guacamole, or simply halved and sprinkled with lime juice and flaked sea salt. Then, there is avocado- based ice cream! You may have already enjoyed some of the naturally vegan avocado ice creams that are standard fare in Mexico and other countries, and if you have, you know the good fat in this fruit churns into ultra creamy frozen desserts. You won’t notice the slightly vegetal flavor of the fruit if you use just-ripe—not very ripe—fruit. But don’t worry too much: It’s the chocolate and mint that you’ll taste the most. As a New Yorker with limited avocado choices, I use the creamy, neutral-flavored but rich Hass from California.

 

Makes about 1 1/2 pints / 
3/4 liter ice cream

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons / 390 ml almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cups / 300 ml agave syrup or pure maple syrup, Grade B or dark amber
  • 1 cup / 150 grams just-ripe Hass avocado, mashed (about 1/2 an average-size fruit)
  • 1/4 cup / 25 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural mint oil or 3/8 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 
3 ounces / 85 grams vegan mint chocolate, finely chopped
  • 
1 recipe Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Shell (recipe follows), for serving (optional)

 

Process the almond milk, agave, avocado, cocoa powder, vanilla, and mint oil in a blender on high for 1 minute or until completely puréed.

Sprinkle the guar gum directly on the mixture. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and blend for 1 minute. Taste the mixture. The mint should be strong but not overpowering. Add more mint oil cautiously, drop by drop, if needed.

Pour the purée into a 2-cup / 500-ml measure. Add enough almond milk to equal 2 cups / 480 ml.

Pour the ice cream base into a 2-cup / 500-ml container. Cover and refrigerate the base for 2 to 4 hours until thoroughly chilled before churning. Chilling the base thoroughly means faster churning, which results in a creamier frozen dessert.

When the mixture is cold, give it a good whisk. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. It will look like soft serve when it is ready. Add the chopped chocolate and process for another minute or two.

Using a silicone spatula, immediately transfer the frozen ice cream to the chilled container. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 3 hours until the ice cream is firm enough to scoop.

SERVING

Serve the ice cream in chilled bowls. Add a few tablespoons of Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Shell if you like.

KEEPING

The ice cream will stay creamy for at least five days in the freezer.

 

Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

Makes 1 cup / 240 ml

  • 7 ounces / 198 grams dark chocolate (68 to 70%), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 ml mild tasting extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and set it in a saucepan of very hot water over the lowest heat. Allow the chocolate to melt undisturbed until about two-thirds is melted.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir with a silicone spatula until all the chocolate is melted. Stir the oil into the chocolate until incorporated. Add the vanilla.

Keep the shell in liquid form until ready to pour over the ice cream— do not refrigerate.

Serving

Spoon a few tablespoons of the liquid shell over a dish of ice cream and wait a few seconds until it magically hardens. The liquid sauce will turn into a firm chocolate shell within a few seconds of touching ice cream and will turn matte when it hardens.

Keeping

Store the Chocolate Ice Cream Shell in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It will harden. To warm before using: place the jar in a small saucepan. Pour hot water to reach about halfway up the sides of the jar and warm over the lowest heat until liquefied.

 

Variation

Mint Shell: Add 2 or 3 drops of pure mint or use or 1⁄4 teaspoon good quality mint extract,  or to taste.

 
With appreciation,

Fran

P.S. What’s your favorite way to eat ice cream?

 

 

From Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, © 2013 by Fran Costigan. Photo © Kate Lewis 2013

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with a Chocolate Shell

  1. Gemma

    Fantastic recipe!
    I still haven’t tried any ice cream recipe using avocados…but they have so many health benefits! Can’t wait to try this one! :-)

    PS: my fave way to eat ice cream is with a square of brownie and a shiny chocolate sauce to coat everything!

  2. Chava Eichner

    I’ve heard so much about you but this is actually the first time I get to read one of your recipes. That’s such a lovely list of ingredients and flavours and I like the tip about thoroughly chilling before churning. I think it’s time to get my ice cream maker out of the cupboard again!
    I’m a food writer/photographer in the UK and it’s such a pleasure to share and connect through events like the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. Best wishes, Chava

    1. Fran Post author

      Nice to meet you Chava! Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck is super! I was at VegFestUk last year and was so happy to meet so many lovely people! Get your ice cream machine out of the cupboard and let me know how it goes!

  3. Angela @ Canned-Time.com

    My favorite way to eat ice cream is all the time! !!
    Before going dairy free 5 years ago, mint chocolate chip was my absolute favorite flavor! Maybe with this wonderful recipe I can have my favorite back again?
    Thanks Fran! !

    1. Fran Post author

      I became a mint chip convert with this recipe! Hope you like it. Try the mint version of the Shell too. I use good lime oil, not extract for best flavor. A little at a time, it’s potent!

  4. Katy

    Avocados work so well in vegan ice creams! Mint chocolate chip is my favourite flavour of ice cream and yours looks delicious…especially with that shell!

  5. Pingback: Virtual Vegan *Linky* Potluck Part 6 | Bunny Kitchen

  6. Pingback: Virtual Vegan LINKY Potluck 6 « anunrefinedvegan

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