Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Tofutti’s Yours Truly Cones are one of my favorite vegan junk foods. They’re basically the vegan version of a Drumstick. The standard cone of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and cookie crumbles is so tasty, but I thought it would be fun to try making other flavors using homemade ice cream.

I started with mint chocolate chip ice cream, using a basic recipe from Wheeler del Toro’s book “The Vegan Scoop” and modifying it a bit. If you don’t have “The Vegan Scoop” I would really recommend it. The author has a vegan ice cream shop in Boston called Wheeler’s Frozen Desert Co. Unfortunately, it was closed when I was in Boston, so I didn’t get to try any ice cream. He also has a brand of vegan ice cream called Wheeler’s Black Label Vegan Ice Cream that is distributed in Boston and some parts of New England.

All you really need to make vegan ice cream are a few basic ingredients and an ice cream maker. You can get a decent one for $30-$40. You have to freeze the bowl for the ice cream maker overnight before you make the ice cream, and the cream mixture has to cool for a few hours before you mix it in the maker. Despite the wait time, it’s actually really easy to get good results.

“The Vegan Scoop” breaks down the basic ingredients and methods for creating a simple vegan ice cream base using soy, almond, coconut, and other milks. It has some really great recipes in it. Here’s the Mint Chocolate Chip recipe the way I modified it:

Note: This makes for some seriously minty ice cream. I actually used 1 1/2 tablespoons of mint extract, but cut it back to 1 tablespoon in this recipe. It’s really good, but very strongly minty with the extract and fresh mint combined.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of soymilk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups of soy creamer
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 ounces of fresh mint leaves (or a handful of sprigs if picking your own)
  • 1 tablespoons of peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of soymilk with arrowroot powder and mix well. Set aside for later.
  2. In a blender, mix 3/4 cups of soymilk with fresh mint leaves and blend until smooth.
  3. In a saucepan mix soy creamer, soymilk and mint mixture, and sugar.
  4. Warm mixture slowly over low heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the arrowroot cream, vanilla, and mint extract. The arrowroot will cause the mixture to thicken.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 2 to 3 hours until it is fully chilled.
  6. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker following the maker’s directions. The bowl for the maker usually has to be left in the freezer overnight before churning. Add the chocolate chips in the last few minutes of churning.

After making the ice cream, I let it firm up in the freezer for a little while. Then I scooped some into cones trying to round out the tops. The ice cream was still a little soft, so I put the cones with ice cream back in the fridge to firm up a little more.

Then I melted chocolate in a double boiler and put the melted chocolate in a martini glass for dipping. Here’s where things got a little tricky. The ice cream started to melt into the chocolate instead of the chocolate sticking to the ice cream. I spooned the chocolate over the top of the cones instead and this seemed to work. Once they were coated I put them back in the freezer to firm up again. The results were very tasty, but the chocolate was a bit too thick. They also weren’t very pretty, as you can see.

In hindsight, I would try a few things differently. I would let the ice cream firm up even longer before dipping it in the chocolate. I think it needs to be really solid, so it doesn’t melt as fast. I also would try mixing a little bit of vegan butter in with the chocolate. I’ve read that adding some butter makes the chocolate flow better and the layer of chocolate thinner on the ice cream. It would also be fun to dip them in sprinkles, nuts, cookie crumbs, etc. after dipping in chocolate to make them a little prettier.

Overall this was a really tasty experiment. The mint ice cream was definitely a success even if the chocolate dipping needs some tweaking. Ideally, I would serve the mint ice cream in a small scoop with a fresh mint sprig. It would make a great dessert after dinner on a hot summer evening. The strong minty flavor is best in small savored portions.