I might be the world’s biggest chocolate-mint fan.
It’s something about the way the chocolate thickly coats your tongue as it melts and the icy peppermint just breezes right through.
This cooling contrast of mint and creamy chocolate is amplified in a frozen dessert – which is why, personally, any time chocolate and mint come together on a cone, bliss ensues. In fact, Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle ice cream was my ultimate pregnancy craving…
… one that I wholeheartedly indulged.
But y’all already know how I feel about mono- and di-glycerides and his friends carageenan and hydrogenated modified cottonseed oil hanging out in my nummynums, right? Yuck. Unfortunately things like this exist in most commercial frozen desserts (the one linked above included).
Questionable ingredient lists notwithstanding, I prefer to make my ice cream at home – because 1. it’s delicious, and 2. IT’S JUST SO DELICIOUS!!!
The base of this ice cream is luxe vanilla. I say luxe, because it is really, really, really gorgeous all on its own.
But now we have added thick ribbons of gooey peppermint fudge and tiny bits of candy cane throughout, and my head might explode.
Don’t be scared of custards.
They curdle. It’s no big deal.
You just strain them through a fine-meshed strainer and move on with your delicious endeavours.
Take it out of the freezer when you sit down to dinner and it will be just the right consistency by the time you’re done (unless you’re a pokey bunch). About 20 minutes will get it perfectly scoopable and just the right amount of melty.
Serve with additional crushed candy canes, if desired.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, buy yourself a Christmas present – I love mine more than any other kitchen gadget I own.
For ice cream custard base:
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
For fudge swirl:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (taste at 1/2 tsp and add more if desired)
To sprinkle in:
- 3 candy canes, crushed (plus more for serving, if desired)
For ice cream base:
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Pour the cream into a smaller bowl and position it into the ice bath. Set aside.
- Combine sugar and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Beat egg yolks with a fork in a glass measuring cup. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, beating continually. (This tempers the yolks to prevent curdling).
- Slowly whisk the yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens up a bit – it will coat the back of a spoon. Slowly pour the custard into the cream. Stir in the vanilla. Let the bowl sit in the ice bath, stirring often, until the ice cream base is cold. (You can transfer it to the fridge and chill for up to 24 hours at this point.) Process in your ice cream maker according to the machine’s instructions.
- Meanwhile, wipe out the saucepan you used to make the custard base, and fill it with water. Heat over high heat until it comes to a rapid simmer, then reduce to low and place a heatproof bowl on top to make a bain-marie. (OR you can use a double boiler).
For fudge swirl:
- Combine cream and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until bubbling. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and taste. Add a few more drops of extract if desired. Cool the fudge swirl to room temperature.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Using a big spoon, drop alternating dollops of ice cream and fudge into the pan, sprinkling crushed candy canes between the layers. Use a wooden or metal skewer (or a paring knife) to gently swirl the ice cream and fudge together a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Remove from freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving – it should be on the soft side.