Let me start with a caveat, when I developed this recipe we were in the middle of a heatwave, the allusive 30C was hit and Londoners abandoned trousers in favour of shorts in droves, you'd think we’d never experienced heat before! But as seems to be the case every year, we got our two weeks of sun so naturally its now back to rain and weather that seemingly changes by the hour. But the good thing is that I can happily eat ice cream whatever the weather, sometimes there is nothing better than a cosy night inside whilst it pours down outside, crashed on the sofa with a bowl of ice cream.
Now this recipe, the simplest ice cream you’ll ever make, came as a result of a challenge from Typhoo Tea. They wanted to challenge me to find out which Typhoo Tea is my favourite and how I could incorporate it into a recipe. Now if you know me you know I absolutely love tea, its the first thing I have in the morning and often the last thing at night too. I occasionally flirt with fancier blends of tea like earl grey but I always come back to the good ol’ british cuppa, strong black tea with milk; its warm and comforting and there is nothing better after a long day. But getting tea into baking? How do we do that? Infusion seems the obvious way to go as it gives lots of flavour but doesn't leave behind grainy pieces of tea. Strong black tea infused said one thing to me and thats a glorious mug of chai and as it’s the height of summer a chai ice cream was begging to be made
Now a quick note about the YouTube video that accompanies this recipe. I am well aware that for no apparent reason I keep referring to this recipe as chai tea ice cream which literally means tea tea ice cream. Now I love tea but tea tea ice cream! Stupidly this is actually one of my linguistical bugbears, its redundant and really I should have been calling this recipe Masala Chai Ice Cream which indicates it is spiced tea, not just tea on its own. Regardless of my butchering of the wording, this ice cream is still blooming delicious!
Because I wanted the tea flavour to stand up to the spices and not be overwhelmed I didn't want a light tea but something a little more robust so the classic Typhoo works beautifully, but you could also be using Typhoo extra strong if you really want to give the tea flavour extra oomph. The recipe below uses my favourite blend of spices for masala chai but everyones preference varies and there is no definitive recipe so use whatever spice blend you prefer.
No Churn Masala Chai Ice Cream
600ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp pink peppercorns
4 Typhoo tea bags
1x395g tin of condensed milk
To make the ice cream you need first to infuse the spices and tea into the cream. Pour the cream into a medium sized saucepan and add the vanilla, ginger and cinnamon, breaking the cinnamon in half to help it infuse properly. Place the remaining spices into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and briefly pulse/bash until broken up but not yet a fine powder. Add the spices to the cream along with the tea bags and over medium/high heat bring the cream to a boil. Turn off the heat, place a lid on the pan and set aside for about an hour. Pour into a heat proof container and chill until cold (I tend to do this in the evening and allow it fully cool overnight).
When ready to make the ice cream pour the condensed milk into a large bowl and set aside for the moment. Pour the cream mixture into a large bowl through a fine sieve to remove the spices and tea bags. The important part here is to press firmly on the tea bags as they hold a lot of cream and therefore a lot of flavour. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks (if you whisk to stiff peaks it wont combine with the condensed milk very easily and you will lose a lot of volume). Working in thirds fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until no white streaks remain. Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container, cover and freeze for a few hours before serving. Because this is a cheat ice cream it doesn't keep very long, a week at the most.
This post is sponsored by Typhoo Tea but opinions are mine