I promised myself I wouldn’t publish a blog post until I had my new blog layout sorted, but this recipe for Masala Chai Ripple Ice Cream just won’t wait. It’s incredibly simple to make, with no need for an ice cream maker – you just need to remember to start making the ice cream the day before you want to eat it! If you’ve not experienced the joys of proper Indian Masala Chai, let me tell you about it. It’s a black tea with spices, which is drunk like we drink our black tea in England, with milk and usually a sweetener of some kind (in some places condensed milk is used). The spices used vary according local and family traditions, but the base is usually ginger, cardamom, with other spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, cloves and peppercorns also being added to the mix. I still remember the first time I had Masala Chai, after a meal out in London – it was so delicious and soothing after a spicy meal and a long day at work. I don’t think a day has gone by since when I haven’t brewed myself a cup. It struck me that the tea and spices would be delicious infused in a caramel sauce, and I was right, and when I rippled the sauce through rich and voluptuous vanilla ice cream? Well, you can try it for yourself….
Masala Chai Ripple Ice Cream
For the ripple sauce:
- 150ml double (heavy) cream
- 8 black peppercorns
- 2 green cardamoms, crushed a little
- 2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick
- 5g chunk of ginger, peeled and bashed a bit
- 1 clove
- 1 tsp black loose leaf tea
- 100g soft light brown sugar
- 50g butter
For the ice cream:
- 200ml condensed milk
- 500ml double (heavy) cream
You will need a shallow freezer container with a lid – mine is about 11 inches by 6 inches and is about 3 inches deep, and is absolutely ideal. Something narrow and deeper will work, but it will take longer for the ice cream to freeze.
- The first thing you need to do is make the sauce. Put 150ml double cream in a small saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer, then add the spices and tea. It looks completely unappetising, but don’t worry about that. Leave the spices and tea to infuse in the cream for at least half an hour.
- Strain the cream through a fine sieve into another pan – making sure you scrape out all the last bits of cream so that you get the maximum flavour. Add the light brown sugar and butter, and bring the mix gently to a simmer, whisking the melting ingredients together as you do so.
- Simmer very very gently for about 5 minutes, whisking every so often, then remove from the heat, transfer to a small bowl and leave to reach room temperature. Don’t be tempted to put the sauce in the fridge because if you forget it will become too thick and a bit tricky to swirl through the ice cream.
- Whilst the sauce is cooling, empty the cream and condensed milk into a large bowl, whisk together with a fork and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until the sauce has cooled to room temperature.
- When the masala chai sauce has cooled, take the condensed milk and cream mixture from the fridge and whisk it until it forms soft peaks.
- Dot spoonfuls of the syrup mix in the bottom of your container (use about a quarter of the syrup), and then dollop a few spoonfuls of the cream mixture (use about a third of the mix) on top. Swirl them around a bit to create a ripple effect. Repeat this layering and swirling a couple of times until the cream mix and syrup are used up. Try not to over mix if you want to create the classic ripple look.
Put the container into your freezer – it will take up to 6 hours for the ice cream to fully freeze (but you know, you don’t have to wait that long….). Serve with a little grating of nutmeg to add some extra spice.
For more recipes do visit my directory of Very Berry recipes.