Sunday, May 1, 2011

Basil and Mint Infused Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

 A couple of weekends ago our friends came to visit from out of town. After fish tacos at the beach, we got to talking about ice cream, and The Fees raved about a basil infused ice cream their friend had made. I have been thinking a lot about desserts with traditionally savory herbs in them, so this ice cream really piqued my interest! Especially as basil and mint are are in season right now. A few days later I was delighted to find the recipe folded into a thank you card. As you can imagine, I wasted no time making this Springtime ice cream and I have to say... I 100% agree with the Fees! This is possibly the best minty chocolate chip ice cream I have ever had. The addition of the basil just makes it a little more interesting than the average. I think next up I'll be creating a lavender honey thyme cupcake. 

Now go invite some friends over for a dinner party and make a batch of this ice cream!

Basil and Mint Infused Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
40 large peppermint or spearmint leaves
12 large basil leaves
generous handful spinach leaves
6 oz 62% semisweet chocolate bar, such as Scharffen Berger

In a small saucepan, combine milk and sugar, bring to a boil over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 

In a small saucepan, combine cream, mint, and basil, bring to a simmer over medium heat, remove, cover and allow herbs to steep for at least 30 minutes (I let them steep an hour). 

Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill large bowl or sink with ice. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds and then pour into strainer. Quickly place strainer in an ice bath. Lift strainer and wring out excess water from spinach. Place spinach in a blender along with half the milk mixture. Blend well. With blender running, slowly add the remaining milk mixture. 

Pour the resulting green mixture through a cheesecloth lined mesh strainer into a bowl (I didn't have cheesecloth and it worked fine with just the fine mesh strainer). Carefully wring out cheesecloth above strainer to extract remaining liquid. Strain steeped cream through the mesh strainer (without cheesecloth at this point) and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight until base mixture drops below 40 degrees F. 

Transfer the base mixture to an ice cream maker and allow to churn for 20-30 minutes until base takes on a more whipped consistency. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate bar up into bite sized chunks and/or shavings. Once the ice cream is about completed in the ice cream maker, add the chocolate bits through the top of the ice cream maker, allowing the chocolate to incorporate. Remove finished ice cream and place in a 1 quart covered container. Allow 3-4 hours to harden.

click here for the printable version of this recipe


  1. Wow--sounds yummy and looks delish! I copied the recipe and gave you a thumbs up on Stumble!

  2. UM, can I just tell you how AMAZING these pics are??? Girl, you blew me away and this recipe is brilliant. I'm a herb lover. I hope you have an amazing Monday!

  3. This sounds delicious. When I first read "make a batch of this ice cream" I misread it as "bath." LOL That would work too : ) Thanks so much for linking up at What's for Dinner- hope to see you back next Monday. I always look forward to your recipes.

  4. How inventive, I can't quite think of the taste but I bet refreshingly cool.

    And the pictures, are just fab.

  5. Oh my, mint choc chip is my favourite ice cream flavour ever! I must try this with basil. Yum!

  6. My jaw has fallen open. What an amazing sounding ice cream. And your photography makes it an absolute must on my to-do list.

  7. Hi, thanks for your sweet comments and for following me. This looks simply scrumptious and visually tempting too!! My girls love mint ice-cream and they are drooling over this one.You have the most incredible recipes here and the way you present them is simply awesome. I'm off to check out your stuffed pepper with couscous next.. I'm so glad I found your blog!~Poppy

  8. This looks delicious and oh so pretty! I always love your pictures :)

  9. i want to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner! i will pay you to make it for me! xoh

  10. In the summertime I make a basil-peach ice cream, but this look just about perfect for the spring.

  11. oh my goodness, this looks SOOOO delicious!! Your guest post is up today! Thank you so much!!!!

  12. I just love ice cream !!!
    And this one must taste great!

  13. Your pictures are fabulous! This ice cream looks so delicious, too!

  14. I have enjoyed your blog. Very well organized, full of beautiful photos and inspiring articles. Also this ice cream looks very delicious I will try this recipe! Keep up the great work and positives vibes.

    Cheers! =(^.^)=

  15. OMG freakin' goodness, this looks DEEELICIOUS! And the photos are so clean and crisp.. I'm going to have to try this recipe, I'm literally sitting in front of a bouquet of basil i put in a love the smell..
    Thanks for this piece!


  16. Sounds yummy! I love ice cream. I just have to skip the chocolate. Don't like chocolate! Saw your post in Italian Kitchen. Love your blog...

    Come check me out:

  17. wonderful~love mint ice cream!

  18. The ice cream is such a pretty shade of green! And your photos beautifully capture the freshness and brightness that the ice cream is sure to have.

    Mint & chocolate ice cream is my favorite flavour, the basil is a nice twist!


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