I remember those sunny days, back in the 90s. Those long holidays away from school, where my siblings and I didn’t have a care in the world. Days would be spent blowing up inflatable paddling pools and getting the hose out to douse each other in freezing, cold liquid. We’d fill up little finger pistols to squirt each other with, shouting “gotcha, gotcha” until our faces were red and we were out of breath from running around the garden.
Even now, when I hear the jingle of bells ringing from an ice cream van making its way around the block, my eyes light up. The delightfully unsettling tinkle is mesmerising; like the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang singing “They’re all free today children… cherry pie, cream puffs, ice cream, treacle tart.” That nostalgic feeling of being ten again tempts me to find myself a 99p flake.
Instead, twenty years on, I’m navigating the sweaty Victoria line with someone’s armpit in my face and sweat trickling down the back of my neck, only to get off the tube and find it’s raining and grey out. However, summer has FINALLY arrived which is a cause for celebration in England. Believe me, when the temperature gets above 12C, it’s basically a heat wave. Can we just keep all this fun going, for a little bit longer. Please?
The fridge at work has been stocked up with every single nostalgic ice cream you could imagine: Fabs, Calippos, Twisters, Roundtree’s Fruit Pastilles. Total summer win, in my opinion. Although a homemade, dairy ice cream always feels like an indulgent treat (soft serve, you’re up there too!).
I remember my parents giving me scoops of Neapolitan ice cream, which I’d mix up until it became a beige-y gloopy soup (after which I was promptly told not to play with my food). It’s hard to resist the temptation of scoops of ice cream, with which I’ll always drizzle with a little extra single or double cream. The wait for it to freeze into a hard shell is like a priceless video of the Stanford marshmallow test. The rewards however, are delightful: cracking into that creamy shell, and then demolishing the entire bowl.
All you need for this recipe is a whisk and a loaf tin, or a Tupperware box. Whilst the weather’s still good, you can find me outside in the glorious sunshine, enjoying all the melty drips of minty goodness.
Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
2 cups / 480ml double cream
1 pack fresh mint sprigs
1 can / 397g condensed milk
1/2tsp peppermint extract (or a little more to taste)
A few drops green food colouring
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup 70-80% dark chocolate, chopped
1. Get everything prepped: Pick the leaves off the mint sprigs, break up your chocolate and then and chop the mint into tiny pieces, and the chocolate into small chunks.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the double cream until stiff peaks start to appear. Then add the vanilla extract and whisk once more to incorporate.
3. Add the condensed milk, and chopped mint then whisk again to combine.
4. Give the mixture a taste and add a few drops of peppermint extract, mixing whilst adding, until you reach a taste you’re happy with. Finally, add some drops of green food colouring and whisk again until everything is evenly combined.
5. Transfer to a metal loaf pan (if you have one), or a tupperware box and cover with plastic wrap. Then, place in the freezer to freeze overnight.
N.B I tend to set timers for every few hours to give the ice cream a stir, simply so the chocolate doesn’t all sink to the bottom!
Get some nice waffle cones and enjoy in the sun.