Serve delicious green tea ice cream

An oriental evergreen tree that can reach a height of 30 feet in the wild, the tea plant is raised as a shrub on tea plantations. It is pruned to a height of about 3 feet to encourage new growth. A relative of the camellia with the botanical name of Camellia sinesis, the tea plant produces abundant foliage, a camellia like flower and berries containing one to two seeds. Only the smallest, youngest parts of the plant — the two leaves and bud at the tip of each new shoot — are picked for tea.

Whenever possible, ask for a sample of prepared tea before buying. Most high quality teas will produce a pale green to yellow-green cup. To test for freshness, tightly squeeze a small amount and smell the aroma. The freshest, most flavourful tea will smell sweet and grassy.

To retain freshness and flavour of both loose and bagged tea, store it in an airtight opaque container to protect it from light, moisture and food odours. It's best to store tea in a dark, cool, dry cupboard. Tea stored in the refrigerator is vulnerable to moisture and odours from other foods. One bag of green tea contains zero calories. The catechin in green tea is thought to have anti-cancer and antioxidant effects. Now, for a recipe.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Ingredients

Green tea powder: 2 tbsp

Granulated sugar: 70 gm

Egg yolk: 3

Milk: 150 ml

Double cream: 150 ml

Method: Begin by mixing two tablespoons of granulated sugar with the green tea powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the remainder of the granulated sugar with the egg yolks. Gently heat the milk in a pan without letting it boil. Remove from the heat and mix a small amount of the warm milk with the green tea and sugar mix until it becomes a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk to the rest of the green tea paste while keeping the mixture smooth and then return to the heat. Before the mixture boils, remove again from the heat and then strain the whole mix through a fine sieve to remove any impurities. Leave the mixture to cool before the next step. Whip the cream lightly and then fold into the green tea mixture. Once the mixing is complete, set the mixture in a large container and put it in the fridge to cool for a few hours. Finally, put the container in the freezer. To stop ice crystals from forming in the ice cream, be sure to remove it every few hours and mix the ice cream vigorously. Repeat this a few times as it freezes, to guarantee a delicious, perfectly smooth ice cream.

Chef de Partie

Taj Connemara

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