Spring is here! That means I’m starting to make ice cream again. The weather has also been sunny and gorgeous which is perfect for ice cream. I received a sample of hojicha powder from the Fancy Food Show in January, and I was sort of at a loss on what to make with it. So a few weeks ago, I was eating dessert with my bestie Joanna, and I was like I have no idea what to do with my hojicha powder, and she’s like why not ice cream? I was like YES. This hojicha ice cream recipe is seriously one of my favorites because it’s not too sweet and the toasty taste of the hojicha is so magical.
What is hojicha?
The interesting thing about hojicha is that it’s actually green tea. Most people don’t know that because hojicha is brown, not the signature green color of matcha. The difference is hojicha is made by roasting green tea leaves over charcoal which results in the brown color. Usually, green tea is steamed. Preparing the tea this way reduces the caffeine. That’s why hojicha is commonly served after dinner or before sleeping.
This hojicha ice cream recipe
Because hojicha has a very subtle flavor, you have to be careful how much sugar is added. Normally, I would add 3/4 cups of sugar to my ice cream recipes, but here I reduced that to half a cup. I didn’t want to overpower the toasty, roasted flavor by making it too sweet.
Where can I get hojicha powder?
Unlike matcha powder which is having a major moment right now, hojicha powder is less accessible. Personally, I haven’t found it in the city. If you find it, please let me know. For the rest of us, that means you turn to Amazon. Here are a two options on Amazon: Sei Mee Tea Hojicha and UTMOSTEA Hojicha.
Hojicha Ice Cream
- Whisk together whole milk, heavy cream, hojicha powder, and vanilla extract in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat until the milk is warm (about 5 minutes). Try some of the milk to test that the milk is warm. Turn off the heat.
- Mix sugar and egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a spoonful of the hojicha milk mixture and whisk until it is well incorporated. This is called tempering. We are raising the temperature of the eggs so they don't cook when you combine them with the warm milk.
- After tempering the egg yolks, add them to the milk mixture. Return them the mixture to the stove and heat the cream mixture until it reaches 170 degrees F.
- Let the cream mixture cool for 30 minutes to room temperature. Put it in the fridge to cool completely.
- Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and churn for 15-20 minutes.
- Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight.