I think I’m beginning to fall hard for matcha. I went on a holiday to Hong Kong recently and I managed to get a taste of various matcha-flavoured food throughout. With the Matcha Espressos and Matcha Panna Cottas I enjoyed, it’s safe to say that Hong Kong has discovered the magic of this wonderful green substance. I’m waiting for that to happen in Manila.
Despite matcha being slightly more popular in Hong Kong, I still unfortunately was not able to get hold of pure matcha powder in any of the mainstream grocery stores I checked. (Anybody who knows where in Hong Kong I can buy it, please give me a shout out below!) I got a bunch of hard-to-find ingredients from Hong Kong supermarkets before, so I was immensely disappointed about this unmet expectation. It’s a little ironic that I would actually come across pure matcha from a local Instragram seller, so even if it is sold in a small tin for a rather high price (PLUS shipping), I decided to purchase it.
I was a bit desperate, I guess you could say. Because ever since I got David Lebovitz’s ice cream book a year ago, I have been eyeing his Matcha Ice Cream recipe. And a year is a long time to wait just to have some of this ice cream.
This ice cream is incredible. The richness of the pure, unadulterated matcha alongside the thick creamy coolness of the ice cream base is almost enough to help you find your inner peace. I would greatly advise you to seek out real matcha powder rather than the instant sweetened ones used for milkshakes because not only does the instant one not have the lovely green colour, it simply does not taste the same. The depth in flavour of concentrated matcha powder is unparalleled, and for matcha-lovers like myself, it is this earthy flavour that we seek most of all.
Green Tea Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart (1 Litre) ice cream
- 1 cup 250 mL whole milk
- 3/4 cup 150 grams sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups 500 mL heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons matcha powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan until it simmers slightly. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk in the green tea powder. Set a mesh strainer on top.
- 2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- 3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir; until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
- 4. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream. Whisk it vigorously until the custard is frothy to dissolve the green tea powder. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
- 5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instruction.
Don’t get me wrong, I think pistachio desserts (ice cream included) are awesome. I even kind of love it, just probably not as much as I am now growing to love all things matcha.
PS. At some point, I had some other more matcha-centric version of this post prepared in my mind, but I’ve since forgotten what it was after being distracted by the recent events that rocked the Filipino nation. As I’m sure you all have heard, some parts of the Philippines have recently been totally ravaged by the typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda). Manila was spared and I wouldn’t even have commented on it (since this is a food blog after all) if I didn’t personally know anyone from that area. The trouble is one of my friends has been directly affected by this, and the whole thing began sinking into my being two days ago when she told me she couldn’t get in contact with her family at all. I am relieved she and her family are safe and have now flown over to the capital.
Watching and reading the news has become something I avoid. It pains me so much to see the extent of the damage to the heavily affected areas! News reports are describing them as “almost wiped off from the map of the Philippines”. Most people are left with absolutely nothing and I shudder to even imagine what that’s like. I’m planning to send some relief goods and donations with the hopes that they arrive and are received especially by children and the elderly instead of being looted. The looting depresses my soul further, to be honest.
I’m not even surprised by the slow response and disorganization of the government in the face of this disaster but at least they’re trying. I salute the private sector for coming up with ways to raise funds– schools that have turned their campuses into relief good packing stations; those businesses in the city that are planning to give away 100% of their day’s profit to support the victims. I’m also thankful that friends from other countries are helping alleviate the situation. I just keep praying that the resilience of the good-hearted Filipinos there will rise to the surface and carry them through this. It’s hard to rebuild life from the ground, but it’s not impossible.
After the earthquake, and this typhoon, another typhoon is looming on the horizon. When it hits land, I sincerely pray it weakens and just goes away without incident. People do not stand a chance against nature. And though we always learn this the hard way, there’s nothing else to do but soldier on with the Lord’s guidance.