|Floating and melting island of ice-cream...|
This ice cream was inspired by memories of how I used to spend my Saturday mornings back in Singapore when I was still young, single and carefree. What I'm trying to say is that instead of waking up in the morning to children's cries for milk, nappy change and brekkie, Saturday morning was absolute bliss with unlimited me-time, quiet time, any time. I pretty much had a standard routine where I would take a leisurely walk to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf about ten minutes away, grab a copy of the newspapers and order myself some breakfast. In terms of food, there wasn't much to choose from, and it was usually a toss up between bagels or muffins of some sort. After all, I was really only there for the English Breakfast Latte, and I would order the same thing every Saturday morning. The regular staff there kind of know how I like it, with "more tea" (i.e. more tea leaves). But when someone new takes my order of EBL with "more tea", I usually receive the puzzled look plus the occasional furrowed brow, followed by the question "Err...More tea...?". Yes, I tell them. More tea leaves. I like it stronger, I explain. (And no, I'm not asking for a large EBL for the price of a small).
And so, getting to the point now, I decided to make an iced-milk-tea ice cream using English Breakfast tea. This time, I made a custard base for the ice cream as I wanted to achieve a rich and creamy texture. In order to get the sweet vanilla flavours of the English Breakfast Latte, I added some Coffee-mate liquid French Vanilla, which I think also enhances the creaminess of the ice cream. As the French Vanilla creamer contains about 1 tsp sugar per tablespoon of creamer, if you choose to omit it, you may need add more sugar to the ice cream mixture. I was really happy with how it turned out - luscious, velvety smooth and creamy ice cream tasting of rich caramel and tea. I also love the slightly "chewy" texture it had. I also discovered that it tastes really good if you sandwich it between some thinly sliced baguette, although I'm sure any kind of bread would work well too.
English Breakfast Latte Ice Cream
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 inch cinnamon stick
4 tsp English Breakfast tea leaves
1/4 cup French Vanilla Coffee-Mate (or substitute with 4 tsp sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
6 tbsp caster sugar (or to taste)
3 egg yolks
Heat the milk and cream together with the cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea leaves. Cover and let it steep for 2-3 minutes. Add half the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add vanilla and salt.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Strain the tea mixture gradually into the eggs while constantly whisking the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir over low heat until the mixture starts to thicken slightly, enough to coat the back of the spatula. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Chill in fridge for a few hours or overnight. Then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.