The story of this ice cream is rather convoluted. It starts years ago with my first bite of Vosges dark chocolate pandan flavored ice cream. I immediately was smitten – the pandan added an exotic flavor that made me keep wanting another bite. It was an intriguing combination of nut and vanilla with some grassy green notes, and it was the best chocolate ice cream I'd ever tried. Fast forward several years. My dad is visiting and we are going to make ice cream to go with grilled pizza for supper. I start paging through Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home and stumble upon the Toasted Rice (with a Whiff of Coconut and Black Tea) ice cream. Hmmm... Sounds really good, and I think everyone will like it. As it turned out the flavor is fantastic, and I'm amazed by how reminiscent of pandan it is. (Actually not that amazing, since the the aromatic compound that gives pandan it's flavor is the same as the one found in jasmine rice.) I decide to do a mash up of the Toasted Rice ice cream with a chocolate ice cream. It's good, but missing the grassy notes of the pandan. I scan my cupboards and see a tin of genmaicha, a traditional Japanese tea consisting of green tea and toasted rice. Perfect – it will add the missing layer of flavor plus amplify the toasted rice a bit. And that is how Chocolate Genmaicha Ice Cream came to be. It's not exactly pandan, but it's got some of the same qualities – it's a rich chocolate ice cream with a roasted, almost malty undercurrent, and just a hint of green tea. I can't exactly describe it; I think I need another bite to pin the flavor down. —hardlikearmour
Ice Cream Base
1 cup whole milk
3 t tapioca starch or corn starch
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup turbinado or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons genmaicha (or substitute 1.5 tablespoons green tea)
To make the rice pudding: In a 4 to 6 quart pan toast the rice over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to promote even browning and prevent burning. When the rice is evenly toasted and golden brown in color, similar to toasted coconut, add the milk and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping bottom occasionally to prevent scorching. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is soft and has absorbed about half of the milk, about 35 minutes.
To make the chocolate paste: While the rice is cooking, combine the cocoa, sugar, and water in a small sauce pan. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and allow to boil for 30 to 60 seconds, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt for 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Set aside.
When the rice pudding is done, transfer it to the food processor along with the chocolate paste. Process for several minutes, scraping bowl on occasion, until the mixture is smooth. There will be small flecks of unprocessed rice remaining, but there should be no large pieces. Set aside.
To make the ice cream base: Combine the starch and about 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small bowl. Whisk until blended, then set aside. In the now empty 4 to 6 quart pan, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has reached a boil, cook for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool for about 1 minute, then add the genmaicha. Cover and steep for 8 minutes. Strain the ice cream base into a 4-cup glass measure, or small bowl, pressing the tea to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the mixture back to the pan. Re-whisk the starch mixture, then gradually whisk it into the ice cream base. Return the ice cream base to medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla extract.
Add the ice cream base to the rice pudding mixture in the food processor, and process to combine. Chill with your favorite method, or try Jeni's: Pour the ice cream base into a gallon-sized zip top plastic bag. Seal the bag, and submerge it in an ice bath. Cool for 30 minutes, adding more ice if needed.
Spin the ice cream as directed by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker. Transfer to a slightly larger than quart container, cover the top with parchment, and freeze until firm. This will take at least 4 to 5 hours. Soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes if needed before serving.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.