Green tea is a large part of Korean farming and culture. Choosing from a menu of thirty of forty teas in a tea house is not uncommon, and in the more modern tea houses, there can be a similar number of cakes and sweets made with green tea.
Desserts aren't traditionally served at the end of a Korean - or Japanese - meal, yet occasions abound for sweet treats to be enjoyed by themselves. And, in the Summer, green tea ice cream is one of the most popular. Green tea ice-cream a foot high is a famous sight at street markets, and dessert bars always offer shaved ice topped with green tea.
In theory matcha green tea can only be grown in Japan, yet Korea has many similar varieties of powdered tea, and which are often called matcha. In this matcha green tea ice cream recipe we use an organic Japanese matcha green tea powder. The sweet creaminess of the ice cream beautifully balances the earthy tannins of the green tea. To achieve sufficient depth of flavour, the recipe uses 5 tsp of green tea powder - it's easier to be generous with a fabulous value bag of high quality culinary matcha powder.
Green tea 'cheesecake' served at a modern tea house in Seoul
Ingredients Serves: 6
- Mix together the ice cream stabilizer and sugar, and add to the egg yolks. Whisk until pale and fluffy.
- Heat the milk until just boiling. Leave to cool briefly, and then slowly pour over the sugar and egg yolk mixture, with the whisk still running. Pouring slowly is important, so the surface of the eggs doesn't overheat and scramble.
- Return the egg yolk, sugar, and milk mixture back to the pan, and heat gently whilst stirring until the temperature reaches around 70°C, or the liquid coats the back of spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in the cream. Add the matcha powder one teaspoon at a time, whisking well between each addition.
- Leave to cool, and then refrigerate until cold. Churn in an ice-cream maker, or freeze, stirring every hour for until it solidifies - around 4-6 hours.
If you enjoy Japanese matcha tea, why not try other Asian teas, such as Korean 'boba' bubble tea made from black tapioca pearls? Or explore more of Japan's unique flavours with these salted sakura cherry blossom flowers.