With a title like “Andes’ Mint-Mascarpone Ice Cream with Brownie Chunks & Fudge,” you know it’s going to be good.
Have you ever had Andes candies? The slim half-mint, half-chocolate bar is more of an indie candy; not like Reese’s or Hershey bars that you would go to the grocery store and buy on any given day. In fact, the place I’m most familiar with them from is Olive Garden. At the end of every meal, OG gives you a bite-sized Andes to refresh your palate. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I love Andes so much. After all, you know how much I adore Olive Garden. But it’s not just that; Andes have the perfect balance of smooth, sweet chocolate and cool, creamy mint. It’s decadent and refreshing at the same time, causing a beautifully harmonic experience as it melts on your tongue.
When I saw a bag of Andes baking bits at the grocery store, I knew I had to make something with them. It was an impulse buy. But then they sat in my pantry for months because I couldn’t come up with any use that seemed good enough for such a perfect little candy.At last, it struck me to create an ice cream. But this wouldn’t be your average Mint Chip ice cream; it had to be bigger, better, and more decadent. I knew brownies would work beautifully with the mint. And of course, you can’t have ice cream without the fudge. The only thing left to decide was whether or not to do a custard-based ice cream.
I knew I wanted the richness of a custard-based, but I didn’t feel like making one. How could I achieve that decadence without hitting the hot stove? The answer is mascarpone cheese. Added to a simple ice cream base, it makes it so rich and creamy, just like a custard-based ice cream, except I didn’t need any eggs, nor did I have to cook! Plus, it balanced beautifully with the light mint flavor.
Everything in combination was pure frozen divinity: velvety mint ice cream studded with a generous amount of thick, fudgy brownie chunks and crunchy Andes bits, then laced with rich fudge sauce for that final punch of decadence. It’s like the superhero version of classic mint chip. There ain’t nothing better than brownie chunks and mint ice cream, except perhaps brownie chunks, andes candies, fudge and an extra creamy mascarpone-based mint ice cream.
P.S. I am especially excited about this ice cream because it’s my first 100% Smart Cookie ice cream. I made my own from-scratch recipe, and it came out better than I could’ve hoped!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You can skip the Andes if you don’t want the crunch.
- Looking for some really good store-bought hot fudge? I LOVE the chocolate sauces from Wegmans, but if you don’t have a Wegmans, my second favorite brand is Mrs. Richardsons.
- Make the brownies and ice cream base a day ahead to save yourself work the next day.
- Keep all your ingredients as cool as possible when making the ice cream. Freeze all your mix-ins while the ice cream’s churning so they’ll be cold when you fold them in and won’t make the ice cream melt. Also, keep your mixing bowl in the freezer so it’s icy and ready to go.
- You don’t want to use the edges from the brownies because they’re too crisp and turn rock hard in the freezer.
Andes’ Mint-Mascarpone Ice Cream with Brownies & Fudge
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp. mint extract
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Fresh mint, optional
- Green food dye
- 2 cups brownie chunks, boxed mix or homemade (do not use the brownie edges; trim those off before you chop up your chunks)
- ¾ cup Andes baking chips
- 1 cup jarred fudge sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream, milk, sugar, and mascapone until completely smooth & free of lumps. Mix in mint & vanilla extract until well-combined. Add green food dye if you’d like that iconic green color. I needed a good amount to get my desired vibrancy.
- Place a handful of whole fresh mint leaves on top of the mixture. Cover and chill until nice and cold, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. The longer it chills, the more flavor it’ll have.
- When chilled, pick out the mint leaves and pour into an ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s directions, until thickened and resembling a soft-serve consistency, about 25 minutes. While it churns, keep you mixing bowl, brownies, and Andes in the freezer so they won’t melt the ice cream when you mix them in. Do not freeze the fudge.
- Immediately pour ice cream into chilled mixing bowl. Gently stir in brownie chunks, Andes, and fudge just until evenly distributed. Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze until it firms up, at least two hours. Enjoy!