a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
Not quite ready to let go of summer, yet anxious to infuse fall flavors into everything edible, this super easy dessert recipe just seemed to make sense this week. I steeped a rooibos-based loose leaf chai tea blend in coconut milk to achieve a sweet yet spicy chai-flavored, dairy-free ice cream.
I used my own Zanitea Red Chai, with red rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns. But you can use any chai tea blend you like for this recipe, or you can leave out the tea-steeping step altogether and you’ll end up with a nice vanilla-flavored, dairy-free ice cream treat.
Happy cooking and sipping!
(Adapted from the Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Dairy free Goodness) recipe on The Nourishing Gourmet blog.)
Makes about 1 quart
2 (14-ounce) cans full fat coconut milk
1/3 honey (or more to taste)
1/3 cup of your favorite loose leaf chai tea blend
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. Whisk the coconut milk and honey together in a medium saucepan. Place the mixture over medium heat until it just barely begins to boil, stirring frequently so the coconut milk and honey mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
2. Stir the loose leaf chai tea blend into the hot coconut milk mixture, remove the mixture from the heat, cover, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes if using a rooibos-based chai, or 5 to 7 minutes if using a black tea-based chai. (Note: If you steep black tea too long in the mixture it may become astringent or bitter. Taste as you’re steeping.)
3. Strain the steeped mixture into a clean bowl, discard the tea leaves, and allow the tea- infused coconut milk to chill thoroughly in the fridge.
4. Once the tea-infused coconut milk has chilled, stir in the vanilla extract, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the mixture is almost frozen, add in the chocolate chips, if using, until they are just combined. Transfer the ice cream to a quart-size freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve drizzled with honey and topped with a dash of ground cinnamon and a small handful of chopped chocolate chips.