Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Mint Cacao Nib Ice Cream


My Dad always used to have a container of peppermint bon bon ice cream in the freezer when I was a kid.  He is a big mint fan, and although I don't always go for the mint when it comes to desserts, there was always something about the lovely light green ice cream flecked with chocolate that I enjoyed.  The mint was always so refreshing and cooling, perfect for summer.  The little chocolate flecks throughout the smooth ice cream which would crunch when you bit into them were one of the most enjoyable parts!


So when I decided to make a mint ice cream last weekend, I wanted to make one that was remeniscent of this classic ice cream, but with my own twists on it.  First off, mine was to have a chocolate base.  I used a good quality ghirardelli cocoa powder melted into my coconut ice cream base, and laced it with fresh peppermint leaves as well as a bit of peppermint extract. 


It packed a good minty punch without being too strong, and of course I added a good amount of pure vanilla extract as well.  For my crunch however, there was to be no chocolate chips.  Unheard of?  While, maybe, but what I liked about the chocolate flecks in the other ice cream was the crunch so cacao nibs seemed like the perfect swap! 


They provided the crunch and a chocolate flavor even more deep than chips would have.  The ice cream was wonderfully cooling and refreshing!  It would be wonderful with a good dark chocolate fudge, but delicious on its own!  It reminded me of the ice cream from my childhood, but grown up a bit!  Here is the recipe if you would like to enjoy some!


Chocolate Mint Cacao Nib Ice Cream 
Makes about 4 cups of ice cream

3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup cacao nibs

To make ice cream, combine lite milk, and fresh mint in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and chill in the fridge until very cold. When chilled, combine with all ingredients except remaining cacao nibs, and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Mix in cacao nibs and pour into a freezable container with a lid and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.

14 comments:

  1. Like your dad mint chip was always a favorite of mine but I must say this looks delicious!

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  2. Mint chocolate was my favorite ice cream as a kid! Looks great Amy!!!

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  3. Oh, that turned out beautifully! I like the flavors and I'm sure it tastes good and refreshing on a hot day like today!

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  4. A great use for the cocoa nibs I have. This ice cream looks so refreshing and I like the fact that it set up so hard-since it is in the 100's here. Thanks for sharing-buzz

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  5. Wow that looks so gorgeous! I love mint too, I bet it is so tasty!

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  6. Amy this looks and sounds delicious. I took some time to browse through your other entries as well. I now know where to come when my sweet tooth needs attention. You've created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I've spent here. Il definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  7. Mint and chocolate just hits the spot. This ice cream looks perfect.

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  8. Hey Amy, want to open a bakery/cafe in St. Paul with me? I'm kind of not even joking. It will be healthy-ish, creative, and so delicious...I think we might make a good team, especially given the fact that I am at this very moment mowing down on some coconut oil popcorn, haha :) Seriously though.

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  9. I gave up on dairy ice cream a long time ago( it gives me headaches) but this looks like a great use of the mint I have growing everywhere! Also I am a chocoholic so anything chocolate is worth a try!

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  10. Yum--this looks beautiful! :) I'm always up for a vegan ice cream-especially chocolate!! Also loving your lime green bowl and spoon- so cute!

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  11. Wow does this ice cream look amazing. I love how you used coconut milk for the base. :)

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  12. I love chocolate and mint. This sounds fantastic! The cacao nibs must add the perfect touch.

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