Sunday, March 1, 2009

Green tea ice cream


In baking, sometimes even a disaster can still have a happy ending. I was going to turn those horribly ugly cupcakes into cake crumbs for future use, but it just so happened that last week I tried a recipe for homemade green tea ice cream...and then I promptly forgot about it in the freezer. (Forgetting things is a seriously bad habit of mine.) But actually, it's good that I forgot about it, because now I can have (trimmed up) chocolate cake and green tea ice cream. Hey, all right!

This recipe is from Elizabeth Andoh's Japanese cookbook, Washoku; it's a really terrific resource for homestyle Japanese recipes. It is about as simple as you can get for ice cream (no need for an ice cream maker!) and as long as you have good quality tea, it's really delicious. It's not as creamy as the ice cream I buy, but I also suspect that it's a lot less caloric. And if you are more diligent about whipping it than I was, it'll be smoother.

Green Tea Ice Cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon mirin
2 teaspoons matcha
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half-and-half

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Stir the mixture over low heat to melt the sugar and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until syrupy. Add the mirin (which I omitted), stir, and remove the pan from the heat. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the warm syrup and matcha and stir until dissolved. Return this sweet tea concentrate to the saucepan and stir until completely blended. To retain optimal aroma and ensure an intense jade color, do not reheat the mixture. Stir in the milk and half-and-half and mix thoroughly.

Pour the tea and milk mixture into a flat, shallow, freezer-safe container. Tap the container gently on a countertop to force out any air bubbles. Cover and freeze for 1 1/2 hours or until nearly firm. With a handheld mixer, whip the mixture vigorously in a deep bowl. Return the mixture to the same container, re-cover, and freeze again for another 45 minutes, or until firm throughout. Repeat the whipping step one more time to achieve a silkier texture. Makes about 1 pint (unless you keep tasting it).


Gabrielle said...

where do you get your matcha, i've been looking everywhere for it and can't seem to get my hands on any that isn't super expensive

Jennifer said...

I too, would love to know where you got your matcha. I checked Whole Foods with no luck!

Sounds yummy!!!

tofugirl said...

I buy my matcha at a Japanese market (specifically, Mitsuwa--I think there are a couple of locations in California in addition to the one in New Jersey and maybe one in Chicago?) but really, any Asian market should carry it. If you're really having a hard time finding it, you can also use Japanese green loose leaf tea and grind it up in a (clean :)) coffee grinder yourself! The type I buy is about $8 for a small canister, which seems pricey but you really only use a couple of teaspoons at a time so it lasts a while.

sugarlens said...

Your green tea ice cream looks so good! Thanks for this recipe - it's good to know that you don't need an ice cream maker.

tofugirl said...

hi sugarlens, thanks for the nice words! You definitely don't need an ice cream maker to make this, but I think that if you had one, it would be smoother/creamier. Or I guess you could repeat the whipping/freezing steps a few more times than I did...but for something so easy, I can't complain too much :)

lyna said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. I have not cooked with mirin. Do I use the version with low alcohol or regular or does alcohol content matter? I mean to the taste of the ice cream ;)

tofugirl said...

Hi lyna, I don't think it really matters whether you use the low alcohol or regular type of mirin. I've even made this recipe without the mirin at all and not really noticed much of a difference! :)