Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chai Ice Cream

Heh. I wanted to combine Chai and Ice in the title, but who on earth could pronounce Chaiice. You'd kill me, right?

So anyway, my buddies over at 37 Cooks have a challenge going with the folks at Leafcutter Designs who make the Recipe Dice, Chai Dice and Cocktail Dice. I said, sure, I'll play, but I don't need the dice, since I already have them.

I decided to roll some chai, and then I drank some chai and then I thought that iced chai might be nice and then the next thing you know the ice cream machine was churning.

It happens like that sometimes.

The really cool thing about the Chai Dice is that I don't have to think about what flavors to use (although you do need to decide how much, and you also need to think about what else you might add, besides what's on the dice).

The not-so-cool thing was that I rolled star anise, which happens to live at the very back left corner of my spice cabinet. I know exactly where it is, but it's a bit of a pain to get to. On the other hand, I like the flavor.

I guess digging for awkward anise was balanced by the fact that I had some dried lemongrass from Litehouse that I hadn't tried yet, so this was a good occasion to do so.

The chai dice told me to use milk and sugar ... but I fudged just a little by using a can of sweetened condensed milk. Close enough, I think.

Chai Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 star anise
2 green cardamom pods
2 teaspoons dried lemongrass
2 black tea teabags* (I used a decaf breakfast tea, but use what you like best)
5 allspice berries
5 black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, star anise, cardamom pods, lemongrass, tea bags (tear off the little paper tag - you don't want bits of that in your ice cream. Ick.), allspice berries, peppercorns, and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

Let it simmer gently for just a minute or so. Give it a little stir to make sure all the spices aren't just lazily floating on top.

Turn the heat off, add the vanilla, and transfer all of it to a storage container. Let it come to room temperature (or close enough), then refrigerate until fully chilled.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all the spices and tea and whatnot, and discard the spices and tea and whatnot.

Churn the cream mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instruction. Transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm.

*You don't actually need tea BAGS. If you buy loose tea, use that as-is. No need to put in in a tea strainer or other device - it will get strained out along with all of the other spices.

I received the Chai Dice from Leafcutter Designs for my use on the blog at no cost to me. Quite some time ago. Any perceived obligation to write about them is long gone. Now I'm just having fun.
Chai-flavored ice cream!