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:
- Place milk and spices in a saucepan, being to a very gentle boil: don't allow the milk to separate.
- 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.
- Pour the tea through a strainer to remove tea leaves/bags and spices.
To make the ice-cream:
- Combine the sugar, tea and cream in a saucepan over very low heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- 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).
- Pour into a 1L capacity container and freeze.
- 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!