I'm always inspired by other people's creations. When I need an idea of what to bake, I turn to the internet and find something that I can create, alter, or make better. Contests provide a great opportunity to make something that I wouldn't otherwise do. This recipe is my entry into the Cupcake Project's 2015 ice cream cupcake contest! Full rules and details can be found here. I always prefer a much higher ratio of cake to ice cream than most people. And in these days of extreme and over-the-top desserts, I wanted to keep this simple, and classic...something I would actually serve to friends and family. I started with moist dark chocolate cake, added homemade fresh mint ice cream, and topped it with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Pure, simple and utterly refreshing for a hot summer night.
Homemade Chocolate and Fresh Mint Ice Cream Cupcakes
Makes approx 24 ice cream cupcakes
Fresh Mint Ice Cream Ingredients:
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed
- 5 large egg yolks
Fresh Mint Ice Cream Directions:
- Combine the whole milk, salt and 1 cup of the whipping cream in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until gently warmed. Off the heat, add the mint leaves, and stir to cover them well. Allow to steep at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
- Strain the mint mixture, pressing the leaves, into a small bowl.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of cold whipping cream into a large bowl, and set a strainer over the cream.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Over low heat, warm the strained mint mixture for a few minutes. Slowly pour over the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
- Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until thickened.
- Pour thickened mixture through the strainer and into the cold whipping cream. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on to the mixture, and chill for several hours.
- Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make the cream. Makes about 1 quart. Freeze until solid and ready to use.
Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened on the counter at least 2 hours
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons of coffee extract (or vanilla if that's all you have)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of buttermilk
- 1/4 cup full fat sour cream
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Chocolate Cupcake Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cupcake pan with liners.
- Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and beat until combined.
- In a measuring cup with a spout, stir the buttermilk and sour cream together with a whisk or fork. Lumps are okay.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk or fork to make it all uniform.
- Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with flour (1/3 flour, 1/2 butter milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour).
- Use a cookie scoop to put about 2 Tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner.
- Bake for 5 minutes, turn and bake for 5 minutes more. Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes if a toothpick inserted in the center does not come out clean.
- Use an off-set spatula to smooth about 2 Tablespoons of ice cream on to the top of each cooled cupcake. If the ice cream is too hard, let is soften on the counter for a few minutes.
- Freeze until ready to serve. Top with fresh whipped cream (on high speed, whip heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to taste, about 2 cups of cream to 1/3 cup of sugar).
- Pour on chocolate sauce if desired. Alternately, these can be frozen with the whipped cream on top, and they become a very cold and frozen treat! Serve immediately, and enjoy!