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Apr 5, 2008 12:43 PM

Chocolate Mint Gelato?

My boyfriend, being a great admirer of my homemade gelato, has requested chocolate mint gelato. I have a really excellent recipe for chocolate gelato, I'm looking for opinions on the best way to impart a mint flavor without it being overwhelming. My first thought was to add mint leaves to the custard base and they would just be strained out when I strain the custard anyway, but I thought that it migt give it too herbal a flavor. My second thought is to add in very finely ground mint candies, starlight mints for example, finely ground that we wouldn't be biting into large frozen lumps of candy, and it wouldn't stress the motor, but it would probably take a lot of candies to be able to taste the mint. My third, and final resort would be either peppermint extract, which I always find mouth coatingly overwhelming. I think peppermint extract would work well with regular ice cream because of the high dairy fat content, but I think it would be too strong in a gelato. Maybe just a drop would be sufficient? Any opinions?

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  1. i think fresh mint leaves are your best bet - use them to infuse the custard. the candies - no matter how finely ground - are bound to render the texture grainy. extract should always be a last resort - it never quite tastes right. very good quality peppermint oil, on the other hand might be a good substitute.

    5 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks, I didn't even think of peppermint oil for some reason!

      1. re: zitronenmadchen

        I just did a mint mocha sherbet. I added just one drop of peppermint oil, you could taste it, but the coffee flavor was so strong that I probably should have added another drop, but in your gelato, one drop may be sufficient. I made a quart of sherbet, if you're making more, you'll need more. Good luck.

        1. re: geg5150

          now I just have to find some peppermint oil!

            1. re: zitronenmadchen

              Yep, I actually use organic essential oil that I find in the health & beauty department of whole foods. It's less expensive and pure oil.

      2. I'm not a huge fan of extracts in general but I think peppermint oil would be just fine -- especially since you have the chocolate flavor as well, it shouldn't be as overwhelming -- just use a very small amount, as you said.

        1. This is late, but for future inquiries-- my fav mint gelato recipe.

          Fresh Mint Gelato
          Danilo Zecchin of Ciao Bella - New York, NY
          Adapted by StarChefs
          Yield: 1 pint

          * 2 cups of milk
          * 3 egg yolks
          * ½ cup sugar
          * Vanilla extract, to taste
          * 1 bunch fresh mint

          Remove the mint leaves from the stems. In a bowl of cold water, gently clean the leaves. Spin or pat dry the mint.

          In a bowl, combine the mint leaves and the milk. Cover and let steep in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The next day strain out the mint leaves.

          In a stainless steel bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Heat this mixture slowly, by setting the bowl atop a large pot filled with simmering water. (Note: The bowl should rest on the rim of the pot and make sure that the bottom of the pot is suspended above the simmering water.) Whisk the mixture steadily, until it becomes thick.

          In a small saucepan, scald the mint milk and then add the vanilla extract. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture. Mix well. Continue to slowly stir the combined mixture for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill.

          Freeze (churn) cooled mixture in an ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Garnish with mint leaves.


          I use extra fresh mint, because I love mint. And I add just tiny bits of shaved chocolate, more to contrast with the mint than to get a serious chocolate flavor. But for parties I set out a bowl of good chocolate bits and curls to mix in.