Affogato is an Italian dessert, usually some steaming hot espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla gelato. What we've done here is combine that idea with chai tea, a black tea spiced with ginger and cardamom, along with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, black pepper, or fennel. I decided to go for a combination of the first seven to make a chai-spiced ice cream. Then I poured over a hot cup of the best black tea I could find. The result was amazing. —Taylor Ayral
Place the core of an ice-cream machine in the freezer at least 24 (look at your instructions, it may require twice as long a freezing time) before you plan to churn your ice cream.
Place the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and black peppercorns in a small dry skillet. Toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Combine milk and cream in a small sauce pan. Add the spices and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 1 hour.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar until lightened in color and noticeably thicker.
Strain the spices from the milk mixture and return to the saucepan along with 1/2 cup of sugar and the salt. Bring to a simmer, and ensure that all the the sugar has been dissolved.
One ladleful at a time, slowly add the hot milk to the eggs while whisking vigorously. Once half the milk has been added you can abandon the ladle and just pour the rest of the milk in a slow stream.
Once everything is combined, return the entire mixture to the saucepan and cook while stirring until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, and around 170 F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the heat.
Strain the ice cream base into a storage container and allow to come to room temperature before storing in the fridge at least overnight. This recipe can be made up to a week ahead of time up to this point.
On the day you're ready to enjoy, set up your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. If these instructions differ from those of your machine, defer to the machine.
With the machine already spinning, pour the base in and allow to spin until the frozen, thick, but still soft-serve consistency. This will usually take about 20 minutes, depending on your machine. Move the ice cream to an airtight container and allow to firm up in the freezer for a few hours.
When you're ready to serve, make a pot of strong, black tea. You really want to use the best black tea you can get, just like you would use the best coffee if this was your normal affogato.
While the tea is steeping, place a single scoop of ice cream in the bottom of your cups (Save any leftovers, this ice cream is delicious on its own). Once the tea is done steeping, pour the piping hot tea over the ice cream and enjoy immediately!