Refreshing Mint Basil Infused Strawberry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chunks. That’s a mouthful. A mouthful of richly flavoured layers that will delight your tastebuds.
Can I get a scream?
We all scream for ice cream: yahhh!
Besides jam, preserves and freezing, a great way to extend the season of fresh local strawberries is to combine them with cream to create a silky and sweet ice cream. Nothing beats churning your own homemade ice cream. You get to choose your favourite flavours; select quality, super fresh ingredients; and be creative in the kitchen. It’s a fun activity the whole family or a bunch of friends can make together. And if you have an old-fashioned ice cream maker, you can even get an arm workout churning simple ingredients into icy-smooth, creamy layers.
I remember ample summers, sitting on our front steps taking turns cranking the handle on our ice cream maker to make a chilly treat. Freshly picked strawberries from our garden were the star in our family-favourite homemade ice cream. Fresh strawberry ice cream remains one of my favourites to this day. I also love mint and dark chocolate ice cream and enjoy the delicious combination of basil and strawberry, so it just seems the next step to combine them into an ice cream. The refreshing mint, perfumed basil, dark chocolate chunks, the luscious strawberries…what’s not to like?
Refreshing Mint Basil Infused Strawberry Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chunks
aka Scrumptious Summer Treat
Makes about 1 litre.
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
about 30 large mint leaves
about 10 large basil leaves
1-1/2 cups fresh local strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
100 grams good quality dark chocolate, chopped (I like to include a combination of finely chopped and larger chunks)
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, 2/3 cup of sugar, and the mint and basil leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat, cover and allow fresh herbs to steep for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to chill completely. I leave the fresh herbs in the cream/milk mixture to allow them to steep overnight. Before churning, pour mixture through a strainer and press the leaves to extract as much liquid and flavour as possible.
Quarter the strawberries. In a saucepan, heat strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar over medium heat. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes or until it becomes a strawberry syrup mixture. Let cool. Puree a portion of the strawberry mixture and add back to the strawberry syrup; stir gently.
Pour the mint/basil cream mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes about 25 to 35 minutes depending on your ice cream maker. In the last few minutes, add the strawberry syrup and chocolate chunks. This softer ice cream is delicious to enjoy right away. If desired, you can also gently fold in the strawberry syrup and chocolate chunk mixtures and freeze in the freezer for a few hours for a firmer ice cream.