7/31/2005

Is My Blog Burning? #17: Tea

The theme for the 17th Is My Blog Burning? foodblogging event is tea. The hostblog for this round, which will post a list of links to blogs that contribute entries on the theme by July 31st, is A La Cuisine.

I'm one of those barbarians who doesn't like the taste of real tea. But I do like an occasional herb tea. And my usual herb tea of choice is Celestial Seasoning's Bengal Spice. The ingredients for the Bengal Spice blend include:


"Cinnamon, roasted chicory root, roasted carob, natural spice and vanilla
flavors with other natural flavors, ginger root, cardamom, black pepper, cloves,
and nutmeg."

If I were a true-blue food purist, I'd mix and grind my own spice blend. But back when I was trying to do my own curries and other spice combinations, I was never able to get consistent or predictable results. So I've tended to stick with commercial blends.

I decided to try using the Bengal Spice blend as the base for a sorbet and ice cream. (I got one of those dandy no-ice, no-salt ice cream machines a few months ago.)

My first step was to brew up a large (4 cups) batch of extra-strength Bengal Spice tea. I used six bags, instead of the four I'd have used for a regular-strength batch.

I decided to make the ice cream version first. I looked up some recipes online for various coffee and green tea ice creams, to get some sort of guidelines for ingredients and proportions. (I'd been using the ice cream machine mostly for sorbets -- the fruit trees in the side yard were harvest-ready right about the time I first got the machine -- and am still finding my way to the best ingredients and proportions for ice cream.) This is what I finally settled on:

Bengal Spice Ice Cream

2 Cups whipping cream
1¼ Cups brewed-extra-strength Celestial Seasonings' Bengal Spice tea, chilled
¼ Cup sugar
½ Cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)
¼ tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, and pour into container of ice cream machine. Churn for appoximately 20 minutes. (This actually took a few minutes less to freeze solidly enough to bring the machine to a stop.)

Results. A more-than-subtly but not boldly flavored spiced ice cream. The 2 cups of whipping cream make it very rich; I think on a second try I'd use half-and-half instead. It's also fairly light on sweetness; the sugar should probably be increased to half a cup.

After refreezing the churning container, I used the remaining Bengal Spice tea to make a simple sorbet:

Bengal Spice Sorbet

3 Cups brewed-extra-strength Bengal Spice tea, chilled
½ Cup sugar

Mix tea and sugar. Pour into running ice cream machine. Churn for 20 to 30 minutes, until proper consistency.

This produces a mahogany-colored sorbet with bold flavor.

Having a scoop of each, with a good cookie, would be nice.


Bengal Spice Ice Cream & Bengal Spice Sorbet Posted by Picasa

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