For my last recipe before the holidays I thought I would bring you another season-inspired scoop. I know that peppermint flavor is edible and enjoyable year-round, but peppermint satisfies me the most during winter and the holiday season. Lately I have been craving peppermint and chocolate, and I found a chocolate bar by Lake Champlain that is the perfect combination of dark chocolate and peppermint with a little added crunch.
I am often gifted boxes of peppermint bark around the holidays, so I decided to incorporate this minty gift into an ice cream. Using my tried and true peppermint ice cream base, I added a little color and bits of bark to give it a crunch like my favorite chocolate bar. I hope you enjoy this holiday-inspired treat and have a happy holiday season!
I enjoy my peppermint ice cream the most when it is pink, so I added a few drops of red food coloring. Feel free to leave out the food coloring if you would prefer white peppermint ice cream.
2 cups whole milk (500 ml), divided
1 ¼ cups (313 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (166 g) sugar
1/8 cup corn syrup (30 ml)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (11 g) cornstarch
1 ½ ounces (3 Tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
3-4 ounces peppermint bark, chopped
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Boil until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute.
Gradually pour the hot milk mixture through the sieve into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Once cool, whisk in peppermint and vanilla extracts. Add food coloring, if using.
Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle a layer of peppermint bark on the bottom of a plastic ice cream container. Lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers peppermint bark and ice cream until the container is full. Sprinkle a few more pieces of peppermint bark on top. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.