Berries andPie

baking, cooking, recipes, eating, and obsessing over food

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chai Tea Ice-Cream

Chai Tea Ice-Cream

A rather clever work friend recently suggested a recipe for earl gray tea ice-cream to me. I mentioned this to my Mum who made the suggestion of chai tea ice-cream. Why not, I thought, and so this weekend, gave it a try.

I've previously only made ice-cream using the 'custard method', so when my work friend told me I didn't need to use eggs (yes, yes, I'm slow!), I was interested.

I found a recipe for chai tea online. I've adapted this a little, as it's a little too watery for ice cream (but the original recipe makes a tasty tea, give it a try!).

The resulting ice-cream is a lovely sweet and spicy mix which is unusual, but absolutely delightful at the same time. The honey in the recipe almost 'normalises' the unusual tea flavour you don't quite expect to find in an ice-cream, almost reminding me of the honeycomb and hokey-pokey varieties I loved when I was little.

Next up I think I'll be copying my friend with saffron and cardarmon (this was DELICIOUS), just replacing the tea with a cup of whole milk, and the spices to taste. Yum!

Chai Tea Ice-Cream

(makes half a Litre/500ml)


For the ice-cream:
- 1/3 cup of white sugar
- 250ml of thickened cream
- 1 cup of chai tea (made on milk - ingredients and recipe below)

For the chai tea:

- 1 1/3 cups of whole/full-cream milk
- 4 tea bags (that's 4 tspn plain black. loose leaf tea)
- 1 tspn Cardarmon seeds
- 16 cloves 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 tbspn honey (to taste)


To make the tea:

  1. Place milk and spices in a saucepan, being to a very gentle boil: don't allow the milk to separate.
  2. Once it's heated, immediately reduce heat to minimum for 5-10 minutes; when the milk is combined with the spices to taste, remove from heat, add tea and honey, and allow to infuse.
  3. Pour the tea through a strainer to remove tea leaves/bags and spices.

To make the ice-cream:

  1. Combine the sugar, tea and cream in a saucepan over very low heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, stirring regularly (this helps the ice-cream cool quicker and stops a skin from developing on it).
  3. Pour into a 1L capacity container and freeze.
  4. When the edges freeze (this will probably take a couple of hours) remove from the freezer and beat (I just use a hand beater). Return to the freezer and repeat about 3 times


This makes about half a litre. When the mixture is not yet frozen you will probably notice it's very sweet and strong flavoured, but it needs to be so you have the right taste when frozen.

If the ice-cream is too sweet, adjust the amount of honey, not the sugar. I've found the amount of sugar is really important to the end consistency of the ice-cream and making sure it's not a rock-hard block!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crackenback Cottage

"There being no place, like this place, near this place, this must be the place!"

My husband, Nick, and I have an absolute love affair with the picturesque Crackeback Cottage. Nestled below Mount Crackeback in Australia's beautiful alpine region the cottage and its warm fire, delicious food, and friendly staff and owners make the place magic.

The original cottage is one of the oldest in the region, and has been standing since 1884's by the McEvoy family, one of the earliest families to settle in the area.

We've enjoyed many (many MANY!) delicious scones with (home made) blackberry jam and cream warmed by the fireplace in the beautiful dining room, and run around the huge wooden maze laughing till we're dizzy and stupid on many an occassion!

I have to say that the food at Crackenback cottage is beautiful, and would meet the exectation of any city-dwelling diner, with SMH saying: "Crackenback Cottage is a fine example of how inner city culinary expectations can be adapted to lift and enhance country life."

On our most recent (of many) visits to the snowy region, and our very favourite restaurant, we had a quick meal. We thoroughly enjoyed a serve of 'potato skins' (home made and much thinner cut wedges of kiphler potato) with chilli chutney and apple aoli. Nick had a lunch of home made lamb pie, with lamb so tender it was falling apart, accompanied by a delicious potato mash, as good as you'll get anywhere. I was in for a real treat when my risotto with Goat's milk curd and olive tapenade came out.

I honestly can't recommend the cottage enough. There are so many things to do and are in this beautiful part of the country, but Crackenback is an absolute must for any foodie-type.

We have never had to make a booking to be seated for lunch, though they are often busy, but if you would like a table for dinner, or are visiting anytime between mid-May to October (during ski-season), make sure you call ahead.


For bookings call: + 61 (0)2 6456 2601
Address: Alpine Way, Thredbo Valley, NSW 2627 Australia

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1 a Penny, 2 a Penny - Hot Cross Buns!

Oh dear, where has this year gone so far? The end of Christmas and the beginning of the new year has been full speed ahead and nothing less than a mad start for me! Well, somehow it's Easter already, and some seasonally appropriate baking seemed the way to go. Hot Cross Buns are the highlight of my husband's year; he adores them, and normal fruit bread just isn't quite the same. With this in mind I decided to make my first real attempt at the sweet fruity buns, and, much to my surprise I might add, they turned out splendidly. I used a recipe from While, yes, these were time consuming, they were very easy to make. And there is nothing quite like bread fresh from the oven! I substituted pre-packaged mixed peel with dried apricot, and used the fresh zest 1 lemon and 1 orange. Enjoy!