Friday, August 20, 2010

Peppermint Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Eating ice cream in August - easy. Photographing ice cream in August - not so easy. Allow me to paint the picture for you...

It's 88 degrees and the light is best outside, but I've got a plan.
I scoop out the ice cream and place it just so in the cone and then place it very carefully back in the freezer.
I set up the backdrop, in this case a piece of colorful tissue paper. I take the cone out of the freezer and to the back yard to photograph. But what's happening? My camera is not working as it should! I mess around with the settings for what seems like an eternity and finally fix the problem (don't ask me which button I pushed) and now the ice cream is melting and dripping all over. gah!

Back to the freezer. Dish out another cone, ignore the oven timer as it starts ringing, take the cone outside, cover up the drippings with a white napkin, and shoot. I snap a few pictures and things are going fine - the ice cream is starting to melt, but it's not major. Then a breeze blows the tissue paper around and I start to panic that the cone will tip, but the cone stood still and suddenly I have the Marilyn Monroe shot of ice cream. Cool.

Peppermint Brownie Chunk

I think peppermint ice cream might be my favorite flavor - you know, the kind with little bits of crunchy peppermint candy throughout? It's hard to pick a favorite ice cream flavor, but I think peppermint might be it for me.

I have really good memories of eating some delicious peppermint ice cream in Annapolis at the harbor when we sailed there on my dad's boat. That was maybe 25 years ago? Is that even possible? Man, I feel old.

Anyway, it's been too long! I had this idea to make peppermint ice cream with those fudgy brownies that I talked about the other day. The combination was wonderful! And I only spent about 5 minutes searching for the candy canes that I hauled from the old house to the new house (a true miracle considering I've been looking for my stick blender for days now...)

The cream-colored ice cream base (made with egg yolks) mixed with red candy canes, made the ice cream sport a bit of a peachy hue. This confused the troops when I asked them to fetch the peppermint ice cream from the freezer. "Mom, I can't find it! All I see is this orange stuff!" Ok then...

I'll tell you the troops didn't mind the orange color after they took a taste. It was pronounced the best ice cream yet!

The fudgy brownies stayed chewy in the ice cream and when combined with the cool crunch of peppermint, this made for the perfect combination of rich and refreshing! Did I mention that eating ice cream in August is easy? oh yeah!

Peppermint Brownie Chunk Ice Cream
adapted from Christmas Sweets by Georgeanne Brennan via Cookstr

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 ounces hard peppermint candies, or about 6 candycanes, crushed into small pieces
about a cup or so of chopped brownies (mine were frozen)

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt. Cook over med-high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling.

In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks until their color lightens to a lemon color. Whisk the egg yolks while gradually adding about 1 cup of the hot milk into the yolks. Then whisk the hot milk while pouring the yolk mixture back into the hot milk mixture. Continue to cook and stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a container with a lid. Refrigerate for 3 or more hours. Add the peppermint extract and mix to combine.

Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker (mine took about 20 minutes). The ice cream will be frozen but very soft. Add the crushed peppermint candies and the brownie pieces and stir to combine. Transfer to a container and freeze until hardened, about 4 hours.


  1. Sounds delicious! You should have a side blog about photographing your creations! You make it look so easy, but for the first time, you have revealed that it is not!

  2. This sounds so yummy -- I love chocolate & mint together.

  3. What a great story. You know every one of us who blogs about food has had similar stories. : ) Despite all your troubles, the ice cream looks fantastic and I'm sure it tasted great too.

  4. I'm more of an Andes mint fan, but the brownies in this just might win me over! It looks tasty!



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