Green Tea Ice Cream for Ben’s leaving party
I love green tea ice cream. I think the first time I tasted it was with my brother at a Japanese restaurant in New York more than a decade ago. I still think that some of the best green tea ice cream I’ve had is in New York, at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, a must-stop on any New York visit, even in the ice-cold winter.
A number of years ago we tried making green tea ice cream in the way that seemed logical – brewing gunpowder green tea and adding it to the family recipe. We struggled to get a satisfactory result until one trip to Venice about five years ago. I found a fantastic little gelateria with a Jamaican-themed decor and a very friendly gelato-maker who invited me behind the counter to help him shell pistachios for his delicious nut ice creams. He let me taste a range of unique flavours and then brought out his special green tea batch made for a fancy Japanese restaurant elsewhere in Venice. I was duly impressed and insisted he share the secret.
Needless to say, it’s actually quite simple, but the required green tea can sometimes be hard to track down. You need to use Matcha to make green tea ice cream. Matcha is a finely powdered green tea with a very strong unique flavour. It lasts a long time so it’s worth always having a supply in the fridge. The only place in Edinburgh where I could find it was a specialist chocolatier who agreed to sell me a small bag from their kitchen supply. I’m sure you can get it online easily enough.
It had been a while since I made green tea ice cream so when Ben asked me to make it before he left for the Antarctic (he has moved there for the next 18 months!) I was delighted to get out my Matcha.
The recipe is as easy as ever:
- 1.5 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups double cream
- a healthy tablespoon of Matcha powder
- enough milk to reach the appropriate level in a half-gallon freezer
The trick here is similar to when working with cocoa powder. It works best to mix the eggs and sugar and then stir in the Matcha. If you add the Matcha to a liquid you’ll have a hard time stirring it in properly and will end up with some lumps of green tea in the mix. Crank as normal and you’ll end up with a deliciously flavoured ice cream.
Green tea ice cream is not very green actually. But don’t let that fool you! It’s one of my favourites.
And the guests were not disappointed. Now we are all waiting anxiously to find out about Ben’s first Antarctic ice cream experience. I don’t know if he has the first White Mountain Freezer in Antarctica, but it must be the ideal place to make frozen desserts!
This is Ben’s new home – Adelaide Island (67°34′ south). Photo by Ben.
Photos from the evening were by someone who wants only to be known as “the very happy recipient of some superlatively palatable frozen confectionery”!