I hadn’t planned on doing anything St. Patrick’s Day themed. Then I happened upon one of those Shamrock Shake “Copycat” recipes and what can I say, inspiration struck 🙂
What makes this mint ice cream different from many of those store bought varieties (you know, besides the lack of dairy 😉 ) is the use of fresh mint leaves. I naively thought that mint was mint, but the fresh leaves bring a whole new layer to the flavour… Now I’m going to be honest with you. Not everyone was a fan of this new layer. My dad went on about it tasting like gum, and Dave disliked the herbal/grassy element… Um, which would be the flavour of fresh mint… Anyway, that being said, my mom and I loved the flavour. Hmmm, maybe it’s a girl thing.
So here’s the best part of using mint leaves, you can let loose and really get artisan with your ice cream! I don’t know if you’ve explored much in the department of mint gardening, but mint varieties go way beyond peppermint and spearmint. You may not find them at your grocer’s, but there’s chocolate mint, and pineapple mint, and lavender mint! How much fun would those be?! Yes, I’m definitely growing mint this year!… If you’re interested, you can learn more about different mint varieties at Mountain Valley Growers.
And what would mint ice cream be without a little chocolate? Growing up, I loved that Magic Shell stuff. I haven’t thought about it for years, but there was something about this ice cream that just cried out for it… And even if Magic Shell was vegan, it’s just more fun (and ridiculously easy) to make your own. Not to mention that it feels wrong to pour store bought sauce over homemade ice cream (in my opinion anyway 🙂 )… My sauce takes a little longer to harden than the story bought stuff. It takes, maybe about 30 – 40 seconds, but still hardens to a crackable shell. Even if mint ice cream isn’t your thing, I think you’ll want to try the sauce over your next bowl of *insert your favourite flavour here*.
Mint Ice Cream with Homemade ''Magic Shell''
adapted from: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home, by Jeni Britton Bauer
Recipe Type: Dessert
Makes: about 3 cups
Mint Ice Cream
- 1 can (400ml / 13.5oz) Coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
- 5 tbsp Non-Dairy Plain Cream Cheese (I used Daiya)
- 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
- 2 tbsp Grapeseed Oil or Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1/8 tsp Mint Extract
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- Green Food Colouring (optional)
- 1/2 cup (28g) Packed Fresh Mint Leaves, roughly chopped
Combine both milks, cream cheese, agave nectar, and oil in a large saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, whisking until smooth (no lumps of cream cheese remain).
Remove from heat and whisk in sugar vanilla extract, mint extract, xanthan gum, and salt. If using, add food colouring a couple drops at a time, until desired shade is reached. Stir in mint leaves. Return to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes (stirring frequently). Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
Strain out the mint leaves and refrigerate the ice cream base for 4 – 6 hours.
Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions until it reaches a “soft-serve” consistency (I ran it in my machine for 25 minutes). Transfer ice cream to an air tight, freezer friendly container, and freeze until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).
Homemade Magic Shell
- 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish. Slowly warm in microwave, removing and string every 30 – 45 seconds, until completely smooth and combined (I used half power for about two and a half minutes).
I hear it will keep for 3 months at room temperature, but I know mine will run out long before then. Shake or stir it before using.
Makes about 1/2 cup.