Who knows how this crazy holiday tradition even began, but for the past several years, on Christmas Eve night, I have been making peppermint ice cream (made with crushed candy canes, no less) and homemade hot fudge sauce for my husband and boys. Peppermint and chocolate is probably my favorite flavor combo (and the favorite of my 12 year old, as well) and it is a perfect combo for the holidays, no doubt.But to dine on ice cream on this special night? Kind of unusual. Here’s the thing, though, as a child, one of my fondest food memories – of the sweet variety – is of going to Brigham’s, a restaurant chain on the East Coast, with my dad for – you guessed it – peppermint stick ice cream and hot fudge. I loved the ice cream’s pink hue, as well as the bits of minty candy sprinkled throughout, and the thick, deeply chocolate-y chocolate sauce melting atop my scoop (or two) always made me swoon. And, yes, whipped cream was often involved.So, long story short, when I started thinking about fun Xmas Eve desserts, I thought of my fave ice cream and eating it with my pops – and not long after that, I was making it for my family. And now I’m it sharing with you . . . the hot fudge recipe I’ve included here is from my forthcoming book, The Vintage Baker, which is currently available for pre-order on Amazon (just saying . . . ). But let’s not tell my publisher, k? Might be a tad early for me to be sharing recipes . . . but please, really, I mean how can I resist?
Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar divided
- 6 yolks
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 2 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- a few drops of red food coloring
- 3/4 cup crushed candy canes plus more for sprinkling when seving
For the hot fudge sauce
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted
- 1 1/4 cups chopped 60% to 70% bittersweet chocolate
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp table salt
To make the ice cream
- Pour the milk and cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar in to a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, combine the yolks, the remaining sugar , and the salt, in a small bowl.
- Once the milk and cream is simmering, temper the yolks by adding a bit of hot milk/cream to the yolks until the temp of the yolks increases. Add the warmed yolks to the milk/cream and cook over medium heat until the custard coats the back of a spoon and when you run your finger over said custard covered spoon, your finger leaves a trail.
- Transfer the custard to a clean bowl, and refrigerate, preferably over night, but at least until cold. Once cold, add the extract and red food coloring, and then add the mixture to your ice cream machine's bowl, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Add the crushed candy canes at the end of the churning time, or right before.
To make the hot fudge
- In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, corn syrup, sugar, and cocoa powder to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the chocolate and simmer over medium heat until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt.
- To assemble the dessert: place a scoop or two of peppermint ice cream in a bowl, dribble on some hot fudge, and sprinkle with additional crushed candy canes.
Find more ice cream recipes right this way!