21 September 2012

Being Adult, and Fresh Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

My oven is still gebroken; but instead of despairing and being tempted into another adult temper tantrum, I've chosen to go the soup and ice cream route, or any other culinary path that leads me away from the oven (and subsequently subjecting it to acts of physical violence).

You might know about my new thing with Heidi. If you don't, and this also means you don't know who she is, you must do so immediately. The broad knows her way around a kitchen. 

I've been making my way through her cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen, since it arrived a little over a week ago. My latest adventure was this frozen yogurt, which is concurrently creamy, fresh, tangy, and treacherously addictive. It's harmonious: impressive enough for the hedonistic foodie, but at the same time, simple to make.
The changes I made to the original recipe were small; I increased the brown rice syrup a bit because I needed a little more sweetness, exponentially increased the mint extract because the only stuff I can find here is crap, and added a healthy splash of vanilla because something told me to do it (instinct, not voices).

If you're not a fan of the taste of mint (the herb), I'd suggest not turning away from this recipe, but instead doubling the amount of mint extract and nixing the fresh leaves. The do impart an herbal quality to the final product, which I happen to love; this, however, can be easily changed.

Although everything in the ingredient list points to summer, I'd argue that this recipe is not season-specific; its unique flavor and pure goodness is without bounds. 

Happy churning!

Fresh Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

Ever-so-slightly adapted from Heidi Swanson's recipe, which appears on her gorgeous blog and also in her even more stunning book
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup / 240 ml heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup (you can also use agave nectar, honey, or any other favorite liquid sweetener)
  • 1 Tbsp highest-quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp-1 Tbsp peppermint extract, depending on quality (start with smallest amount and adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups / 480 ml whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped into tiny bits (I used Tony's Chocolonely)
  1. Coarsely chop the mint leaves and put them in a saucepan with the cream. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, occasionally stirring and pressing the mint leaves so that they release the oils. 
  2. As soon as it comes to a simmer, add the brown rice syrup and stir to combine, then turn off the heat. Leave the mixture on the stove top to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour the cream mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the mint leaves. Add the peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and yogurt to the bowl and whisk to combine. 
  4. Now you must churn (or follow your ice cream maker's instructions). If doing this by hand, cover the mixture and place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, whisk briskly until smooth, and put back in freezer. Continue until mixture is extremely thick and holds a soft peak (between 2-4 hours, depending on your freezer temperature). It needs to be thick enough to support the weight of the chocolate, or it will all sink to the bottom. 
  5. Stir in the chopped chocolate, and chill in freezer for another 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or re-cover and freeze. If not eating immediately, let the container sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes before scooping for ideal consistency.