Friday, July 27, 2012

English Breakfast Latte Ice Cream

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).

Ever since I purchased an ice cream machine a few weeks ago, I have been making a list of all the different types of ice cream I would love to make. So far, I have only made Strawberry Ricotta ice-cream, and now that's finished (leaving more room in the freezer once again!), I could move on to making something else. I've always wanted to make an iced milk tea ice cream. When in Singapore, I would always order "teh peng" (which literally means iced tea), which is a concoction of black tea, sugar, condensed milk and sometimes evaporated milk, and plenty of ice of course. A good glass of "teh peng" has a nice and rich caramel-like flavour that is sweet enough that it doesn't get diluted by the ice as it melts, and just the right balance of richly brewed tea without any of the astringency and bitterness from the tannins.

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.


Mel said...

This is just nice for our weather here. Wow, English breakfast tea leaves & French Vanilla Coffeemate; both these two ingredients does makes this ice cream rich and flavourful! Would love to have some to know what is the taste like.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

your ice cream sound rich and flavourful!

lena said...

i dont think i've come across the vanilla coffeemate but it sounds like a delicious stuff! i dont know reading your post now, i actually thought of a teh tarik ice cream! haha! great pictures, Fern !

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I love tea in sweets - earl gray especially but never have seen English Breakfast in desserts so far. How lovely! I'll equally love this... just looking at your photos and reading your post made me drool. Come to think of it, not much tea desserts in the US. Wonder if that's European thing... we have tons of tea influenced desserts in Japan too.