As is clear from the title of this post, our young friend Muppet has been back in the kitchen and busy with me. In fact, the entire idea of this post was hers, and she had her hands in every aspect of the creation of this dish. Those of you that remember Muppet from prior posts ( Killer KA Brownies and M Cookies ) will note that she is staying true to form here, rising above the din of the “Oui, Chef” kitchen to advocate for MORE CHOCOLATE in her diet, thank you very much.
As with all posts in which Muppet plays a starring role, this one too has a little story associated with it. Would you like to hear the story? Or as one of my favorite chefs at LCB used to say before launching into a colorful tale of his early days in the kitchen, “Voulez-vous une petite histoire?”
So….imagine this scene, IF YOU CAN. The poor young thing comes to me a few weeks back, bored, and envious that three of the other kids in the family were up to their necks in work, putting the finishing touches on their shortly due “Academic Fair” projects, while she had nothing to do. Muppet, as you may recall is my ten year old step-daughter, and I must say that this “looking for more school work” behavior is yet another clear indicator that she and I share not even a hint of genetic code. I have no doubt that if I were the ten year old who had no homework in a house full of sibs that were drowning in it, I wouldn’t be moping about feeling unchallenged, but rather running up and down the halls yelling “NA-NA-NA-NA-NA, YOU HAVE HOMEWORK AND I DON’T!”
What is it they say about girls maturing before boys? Oh yeah….they DO!
So anyway, she came to me looking for something to do, a project she could call her own, one that ideally would produce some sort of sugary treat that she could then eat in an effort to lift her from her malaise. She decided that she wanted to do a project on ICE CREAM, and she asked me to help spec out the gig for her. You know, define the questions she would need to research and answer, tell her what she would have to display on her tri-fold presentation board….you get the picture. I told her that as a reward for all her hard work, once she was done with her research, we could make some ice cream together, and that her final project requirement was to figure out what kind of ice cream she wanted to make.
I won’t get into all the details of her excellent project with you save to say that the most disgusting ice cream she discovered while doing her research was “Fried Eggplant” flavored (ugh…), and the one she decided to make, to yank her from her “lack of homework” depression, was “Mint-Chip-Brownie” Ice Cream.
Beats “Fried Eggplant” flavored with a stick if you ask me.
Our first order of business was to make a batch of brownies, part of which would be diced up nice and small to be mixed into her mint ice cream base. Though we enjoyed outstanding success for our work together in making the famed Killer KA Brownies, a new recipe had caught my eye recently that I wanted to try, namely the brownie recipe from Thomas Keller’s new cookbook Ad Hoc at Home (please don’t call the authorities, I assure you that my obsession with this man is entirely harmless). Today, I will say no more than OMG!!! about these brownies. Details will follow shortly in a post dedicated solely to their deliciousness.
For the mint ice cream recipe we turned to my favorite ice cream cookbook, The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More by Bruce Weinstein, and followed his recipe to the T, adding the min-chocolate chips and brownie chunks once the ice cream was almost done, and ready to be transferred to the freezer.
Mark this down as the 3rd big chocolate success for young Muppet, and look for her to return soon with another installment in her continuing series: “If it doesn’t have chocolate in it, get it off my plate….please”
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups baked brownie pieces, cut to 1/2" squares
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 6 drops green food coloring (optional, actually mandatory according to Muppet)
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch and set aside.
- Bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot half-and-half into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard though a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring, if using. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
- Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instruction. Add the brownie pieces and chip during the last few seconds of churning, and let th e machine run just long enough to evenly incorporate them into the mix. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.
Me and Muppet making our mint ice cream custard!