One of the first memories I have of tea is through Starbucks. As a young high schooler, I longed to be adult and drink coffee. I remember a girl’s retreat when we all piled into the car and went to Starbucks. At the time the only “Starbucks” was in a grocery store. I ordered a frappacino. This being so sugary and creamy that it masked the coffee taste. Even to this day, I struggle to drink coffee black. Tea on the other hand, I can drink with a tiny bit of sugar though I do own a tea I drink with nothing at all. Anyways, I ordered the Chai Tea Latte, and LOVED the drink. It became what I ordered from then on out. My mom even bought me the concentrate to make the drink at home. I do love the drink with soy milk as well; the drink develops a nutty flavor that enhances all of the spices.
As I was thinking all about what I would make this coming week, I had a brilliant idea of a Chai Ice Cream. I love chai, and ice cream seems like it would be a proper canvas for the spices to shine in all their glory. I did search the web to find any other existing recipes, and I did, but I did not read their recipes. I wanted to develop this recipe on my own. So to the kitchen I went.
The result: an Ice cream that is possibly better than the latte. I added a bit more caradamom to enhance the other spices. The texture is smooth and there is a bit of heat in the end from the pepper. I love it. And the process is not complicated at all. I hope you enjoy.
Chai Latte Ice Cream
¾ cup milk
3-4 Chai tea bags
2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon caradamom
1 cup half and half
Heat the milk in a sauce pan until warm to the touch. Stir in the sugar to dissolve. Turn the heat on low, and steep the tea bags in the milk for 7 minutes. Discard the tea bags. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Then, while stirring, slowly add in 1/3 cup of the heated milk until completely incorporated. Add the milk/egg mixture back into the sauce pan. Heat over low heat until the temperature is 175 degrees or coats the back of a spoon while stirring constantly. (The coating the back of the spoon test is dip you spoon in the mixture. Then look at the back. Wipe your finger across it; if your finger’s trail remains and no liquid seeps into it, the liquid has passed the back of the spoon test.) Strain into a bowl and chill. When the liquid has cooled off, add the half and half. Then pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker, and mix according to your maker’s instructions. (I did it on low for about 20 minutes.)
Makes 1/2 quart.