The smokey, lightly tannic flavour of hōjicha is tamed by the mellow sweetness of honey and the richness of cream. A lot of cream.
Let me start off by showing off how fresh my egg yolks were.
Hōjicha is basically roasted green tea, and this roasting process gives a slightly toasted flavour to the tea. It tastes less bitter, and is also overall lighter on the tongue.
It also supposedly has less caffeine than regular green tea but eh.
I’ve wanted to make hōjicha ice cream ever since my trip to Hokkaido. I thought that green tea would be the default tea served there, but turns out hōjicha seemed to be more popular.
Also, who needs a whisk when you have a chopstick. Just the one.
You end up with a beautifully rich ice cream – luscious, creamy, and smooth. The overnight cold infusion of the tea leaves also results in a more delicate flavour, so you get an intense flavour without the bitterness of over-steeped tea.
- 417g double cream (see notes)
- 319g semi-skimmed milk
- 46g skimmed milk powder
- 120g sugar
- 78g egg yolks (about 4 eggs)
- 6 hōjicha tea bags
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- Mix yolks, sugar, skimmed milk powder vigorously together in a large saucepan. This is to stop the yolks from curdling.
- Mix in the cream and milk.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. You’re aiming to hold the mixture at about 71°C for about 20 mins to reduce the mixture by 15% by weight. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can just try to hold the mixture at the point when it’s steaming slightly (not too much and DEFINITELY not at a boil) and reduce it till it coats the back of your spoon. If you overheat your mixture you will get an eggy hydrogen sulfide taste.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to a large container and add in your hōjicha tea leaves (if using tea bags cut open the bags). Add in the honey, and mix.
- Cool the mixture down as fast as you can, preferably by cooling it in a container in an ice bath. Once it’s cool put it in the fridge to age overnight. This is to reduce the bacteria growing so the ice cream keeps for longer, as well as to allow the flavour of the tea to infuse.
- The next day, sieve the mixture. Press the remaining tea leaves against the sift to get the last bits of flavour out.
- Put the sieved ice cream mixture into your ice cream machine.
- When the ice cream reaches the texture desired, stop churning and immediately store your ice cream in the freezer set at the lowest temperature (orrr you could just eat it straight away).
- To eat, allow to thaw for 10 mins first.
- If you know the fat percentage of the cream you’re using, you can use other cream. Go to icecreamscience’s original blog post to calculate the adjusted recipe amounts (he has an excel sheet).
- Holding the ice cream at 71°C makes the proteins in the milk undergo reversible unfolding which contributes to the creamy texture of the ice cream.
- If your freezer can’t go as low as -18°C (like mine), I recommend eating the ice cream within a day or two. It can get icy if you can’t store it at low enough temperatures.