Creamy, super-cool and minty with little chewy bites of After Eight Mints, this Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream is heaven in a bowl. Churned to perfection, though it can also be made without an ice cream maker, if necessary.
Originally posted 29th May 2014 – Updated 27th April 2022
This post uses Affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. Commission earned is at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for supporting this blog.
Don’t lose this recipe… PIN it for later…
Super-creamy Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
Who’s for Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream? Creamy, minty-cold, melt on the tongue deliciousness… Shot through with little flecks of dark chocolate. Mint and chocolate are a pairing sent from the heavens. Iconic maybe… The combination of refreshing mint against the slightly bitter dark chocolate never fails to impress… Whether in ice cream, Chocolate-Mint Cake, Whoopie Pies, Brownies, or anything else that can be dreamed up to put them together. But THIS Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream has been taken to the next level…
Why? Because it is made extra special and extra minty with After Eight Mints… And they’re not just for decoration either… This is After Eight Ice Cream in its truest sense. AND it’s gluten free. Want to know more? Read on…
Is this a churned Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream or no churn?
Let’s get this one out of the way first, shall we? This particular recipe for Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream is a churned recipe that has been made with an egg-custard and an ice cream maker. While it can be made perfectly well without an ice cream maker, doing so will require more attention and time. And because ‘hand-churning’ tends to incorporate less air, the resulting ice cream may be a little less creamy. (See below for instructions…)
If you don’t have an ice cream maker however, don’t be put off… Give it a try and set yourself the challenge of proving me wrong! Or alternatively… Head over to my post for Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches and use my No Churn Chocolate Mint Ice Cream recipe instead. Just remember to sub about half of the chocolate for After Eight Mints if you want After Eight ice cream.
How to make this Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream recipe without an ice cream maker
- Once the base custard is made (and before adding any grated chocolate or After Eights), pour into a large, freezer-safe container and freeze until the custard has started to become mushy (but not hard).
- Whisk (with an electric hand mixer) until the ice crystals are broken down.
- Return to the freezer and freeze again, until it has become more mushy (but not hard).
- Whisk again to help incorporate more air.
- Repeat the freezing and beating process another 2 to 3 times, before freezing a final time ready to eat.
Is it worth buying an Ice Cream Maker?
Although decent ice cream makers aren’t cheap, if you are an ice cream lover, I personally think they are a good investment. Ice Cream makers take your flavour world into a whole new realm of creativity and choice. And the ice cream you get is generally better and cheaper than buying from the shops.
Recommendations? For a stand-alone ice cream maker, the Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Maker is a good, well-rated option.
However, if you already have a stand mixer, check whether there is an ice cream making attachment option available. My KitchenAid Stand Mixer has a separate, fabulous Ice Cream Maker Bowl which does the job perfectly.
After Eight Ice Cream – churned minty perfection… x4 if that’s what you want!
As I said at the start… THIS is no ordinary Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream. Because in addition to the mint ice cream base and dark chocolate, it is made extra minty with After Eight Mints. I did debate whether I should just call it After Eight Ice Cream and be done with it… But while it does contain After Eights, it is so much more than that. Because this ice cream is at minimum double mint… but can be triple mint and even quadruple mint… IF that’s how you like it.
The After Eights bring a subtle minty-cold and quite unique chewiness from the frozen mint fondant they contain. Although to ensure full ‘mintyness’, the ice cream still has a custard base that is flavoured with natural extract of peppermint too. PLUS you can add dark mint chocolate for extra cool… AND if you like, steep the hot cream with mint leaves, for a natural undertone. The choice is yours!
What are After Eights and can I use an alternative?
For anyone unfamiliar with After Eight Mints, they are an iconic thin chocolate-mint sweet that was first created in the UK in 1962. A sweet soft and gooey mint fondant centre, enrobed in chocolate, they are particularly popular at Christmas, although available all year. And yes… They are gluten free and designated suitable by Coeliac UK.
Although I guess After Eights are probably available in places outside the UK, I’m not sure how easy they are to source. So, if you can’t find After Eights, use any alternative ‘after dinner mint’ that seems similar… SOFT mint fondant/creme is the key here… It doesn’t matter what shape or whether it’s a supermarket brand or something more ‘upmarket’. Just make sure that it’s safe for your dietary needs (or the needs of others who will be eating it).
The BEST TIP for combining After Eight or ‘after dinner’ mints in Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
After Eights or any other fondant mint chocolates are sticky and messy… So, here’s my BEST TIP to get them from packet to ice cream without drama and in perfectly-chewy bites with no disintegration…
- Freeze the After Eights/chocolates whole until hard.
- While frozen and quite brittle, chop or smash them into small pieces or shards.
- Put them back into the freezer on a plate (preferably spread out so that they can’t stick back together).
- When ready to fold into the semi-frozen ice cream… Take the pieces from the freezer and mix in quickly and evenly… Then leave well alone!
Don’t want to use fondant mints?
That’s fine too… Simply replace with extra dark chocolate (see below) to compensate… Thus, you’ll need a total of about 110g dark chocolate for the ice cream batch.
What dark chocolate is best for Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream?
Any good quality dark chocolate should work well in Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream. For me, the darker the better… But since you are making this ice cream at home, you can choose to go anywhere from about 60% to 90% cocoa, dependent on your taste buds. And to be honest… If you aren’t a huge fan of dark chocolate, you can even use milk chocolate… But the ice cream will definitely taste a lot sweeter and the mint won’t be as ‘pronounced’.
On the other hand… My TOP RECOMMENDATION? Go extra mint with some dark mint chocolate. It really takes the chocolate-mintyness up the scale to beyond delicious. I use Green and Blacks Velvet Edition Mint Dark Chocolate, which I get from the supermarket. But is also available on Amazon at the same price or less.
As always… Double check labels for any hidden gluten or ‘May Contain’ warnings.
The mint in Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
In addition to using After Eights and optional dark mint chocolate, my Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream is also flavoured using standard Peppermint Extract drops. Be aware that they do vary considerably in strength, so it is always worth adding a little at a time and tasting to check the base-mint is at the desired level. ALWAYS use an extract that comes from natural peppermint oils rather than synthetics, for the best flavour.
There is also the option to add natural mint leaves to the mix too, by steeping them in the hot cream before straining into ice cream custard. I’ll be honest… this isn’t for everyone. It brings a slightly earthy undertone to the mix, which some may find less appealing. BUT… If you like something a little more natural in flavour, then give it a try! At GFHQ, the jury is split… The adults like it… But the kids less so… Having said that, it gets devoured by both. 🤷♀️
To colour or not to colour?
Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream seems to be ‘traditionally’ flavoured green… Even though this is not its natural colour. I guess the association with green mint is considered to be appealing. However, as this is homemade ice cream, you have the choice on whether to colour or not! It will taste great either way.
If choosing to colour… go easy! Unless you want to end up with lurid green ice cream, a tiny speck of green food colour (preferably paste) goes a long way. More can always be added, if it’s not the colour you want… But once it’s in, it can’t be removed!
Why is there alcohol in the ingredients list?
Because homemade ice cream doesn’t contain a load of additives and emulsifiers, it will generally set a little firmer than some shop-bought ‘soft serve’ type ice creams. The easiest way to ensure the ice cream is a little bit softer, is to add a drop of alcohol to the custard once cool and before churning. This is because alcohol lowers the freezing temperature, making it softer and easier to scoop.
Adding alcohol is (of course) optional, especially if the kids are likely to be eating it. But either way, the amount added isn’t a lot. 2 to 3 teaspoons can make enough of a difference.
I use something neutral in flavour, such as vodka or plain gin… But you could make a virtue of it (especially for a dinner party) and add a little extra in the form of Crème de Menthe (30 to 50 ml for a slightly boozier flavour).
If not using alcohol, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes (dependent on air temperature) before scooping.
How to serve Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream…
After-Eight hearts… The finishing touch
Although they are not the easiest thing to cut smoothly, adding After-Eight hearts when serving Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream makes it a little bit special.
To cut After Eight hearts… Take a small, sharp-edged (metal is best) heart fondant/cookie cutter that fits the mint and cut down straight and firm. Discard (ie eat) the ‘waste’ from the edge. 🤫
Or serve in a (gluten free) cone…
These are my favourites…
- Tesco Gluten Free Waffle Cones
- Barkat Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones or Waffle Cones
- Eskal Gluten Free Waffle Cones
Ready to make Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream?
I hope you love my recipe for Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream… Remember to let me know what you think if you do make it. You can leave a comment at the bottom of the post, rate the recipe or tag me on social media with your ice cream pics… Whatever is easiest for you. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. (@glutenfreealchemist #glutenfreealchemist).
For lots more ice cream inspiration, head over to my dedicated Ice Cream Index… We have plenty of amazing ice cream recipes (both churned and no churn) waiting for you.
And for everything else… Our AMAZING Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start… With hundreds of FREE recipes, it’s waiting to be explored…
All shared with my love
Other Mint-Chocolate Recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist
Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream (Churned)
- fridge and freezer
- large saucepan
- large air-tight freezer-safe container
- 35 g good quality dark chocolate (or mint dark chocolate) – grated
- 60 g After Eight Mints (= 7 mints) or equivalent soft fondant centred chocolate-covered mints
- 400 ml/g whole milk (full fat)
- 350 ml/g double cream (heavy cream)
- 12 to 15 leaves fresh mint OPTIONAL – although natural, fresh mint brings a slightly EARTHY flavour to the ice cream, which isn't for everyone.
- 4 large egg yolks UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 140 g caster sugar (extra fine sugar)
- 3 to 4 tsp natural peppermint extract or to taste
- green food dye paste to desired colour (optional)
- 2 to 3 tsp vodka or plain gin optional
Prepare the After Eight Mints and Chocolate
- Place the After Eights in the freezer to harden completely (at least 2 hours).
- Grate the chocolate into a bowl and place in the frezer until ready to use.
- When frozen, chop the After Eights or smash them in a bag with a rolling pin into very small pieces. Place back in the freezer until ready to use.
Ice Cream Custard
- Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan (with the mint leaves – IF USING (which should be crushed slightly before adding)).
- Stir over a low to medium heat until almost boiling (just starting to form small bubbles, but not boiling).
- Remove from the heat immediately. (IF USING FRESH MINT – cover with a lid, and leave to steep for about 15 minutes). Either way, set aside to cool slightly, covered.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large mixing bowl, until thick and pale.
- Very slowly, pour about half of the cooling cream mixture, a drop at a time (strain out any leaves), into the egg-sugar paste, whisking continually to combine thoroughly.
- Pour this mixture back into the saucepan (all leaves removed) with the remaining warm cream-milk.
- Heat over a low setting, stirring continually until the custard thickens to a consistency which coats the back of the spoon. Do NOT allow to boil, although the custard can form small bubbles.
- Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl and add peppermint extract and food colour to desired taste and appearance.
- Allow the mixture to cool as quickly as possible, stirring intermittently to prevent a skin forming.
- When cool enough, place in the fridge to chill completely for a minimum 3 hours (preferably overnight).
- Once chilled, churn using an ice cream maker by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When the churning process is complete, quickly and carefully fold the frozen grated chocolate and After Eight pieces through the ice cream while it is still soft enough to do so.
- Spoon the finished ice cream into an airtight, freezer-safe container and place in the freezer to allow to firm and store.
To make the ice cream WITHOUT an ice cream maker…
- Once the ice cream custard is made and chilled (and before adding any chocolate or After Eights)…
- Pour into a large, freezer-safe container and freeze until it is starting to become a little mushy (about 45 minutes to an hour).
- Beat (with an electric hand mixer) until the ice crystals are broken down, but still mushy.
- Return to the freezer and freeze for a further 30 to 45 minutes (more mushy), before beating again.
- Repeat the freezing and beating process another 2 to 3 times, before adding and folding through the chocolate and After Eights.
- Freeze a final time ready to eat.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist