Gentle, flavorful, light, and satisfying, this hojicha gelato is one of those flavors that can satisfy tea and coffee drinkers, alike. If I had to pick one ice cream flavor I'd have for the rest of my life, hojicha gelato would be it.
My favorite part about making ice cream is how it changes from when you finish churning it to after it freezes. After churning, it has a soft-serve ice cream thickness. Absolutely delicious. Then after you freeze it, it hardens and is also delicious, yet different. Are you a soft serve or regular kinda person?
What is Hojicha?
Hojicha is a Japanese roasted green tea. It has an earthy, almost coffee-like taste.
How to Make Hojicha Gelato
Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer overnight. To crack your eggs and keep the yolk intact, hit two eggs against each other. Only one will crack, and it will crack exactly where you hit it (photos 1 & 2). Whisk the yolks and sugar together until pale yellow (photos 3 & 4).
Warm the milk and vanilla until it just lightly simmers (photo 1). Temper the egg/sugar mixture with the milk/vanilla mixture (photos 2 & 3). Return to the saucepan and cook until thickened, stirring slowly and constantly. It should get to 170F (photo 4).
Remove from heat. Add the hojicha leaves to the pan (photo 2). Stir (photo 3). Steep for 30 minutes with the lid on.
Strain (photo 1). Add the cream and stir (photo 2). Chill in the refrigerator ideally overnight, a minimum of 4 hours.
The next day, add your chilled ice cream to your ice cream maker. Churn (stir setting) until it is the thickness of soft-serve ice cream, 20-25 minutes. You can enjoy it now as soft serve, or continue to the final step for ice cream consistency.
Transfer to a container you can freeze and freeze at least 4 hours.
What temperature do you cook ice cream to?
Cook your ice cream base over medium heat until it hits 170F.
What do egg yolks do in ice cream and gelato?
The egg yolks provide fat to the base that creates a smooth, creamy ice cream without the chunky ice crystals. Also, the yolks prolong the shelf life of ice cream and gelato in the freezer.
Not your average green tea ice cream
Hojicha is a roasted green tea, and tastes nothing like the green tea we are used to drinking. It has a roasted, coffee-like taste that is unlike anything you're used to.
Hojicha Ice Cream in Tokyo
I’m not in the very least embarrassed to share that when we were in Japan, I had ice cream at least once a day. Yes, at least…there were days when I got a little crazy. We never had hojicha gelato, but hojicha soft serve was incredible. After some seriously delicious recipe testing, I am excited to offer you this recipe for hojicha gelato. This is the good stuff…full of that roasted green tea coffee-like flavor, without all the extra sugar to distract you. Read more about our Japan trip here.
Equipment & Tea used to make roasted green tea gelato
- Ice cream attachment for Kitchen Aid mixer
- Kitchen Aid mixer
- Ice Cream Scooper
- Hojicha Tea
- Freezer container for ice cream
More ice cream & gelato recipes
Or head over and check out all my latest desserts here.
Hojicha Gelato Recipe
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 g loose leaf hojicha tea
- 1.25 cup heavy cream
- Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer overnight.
- Whisk the yolks and sugar together until pale yellow.
- Warm the milk and vanilla until it just lightly simmers.
- Temper the egg/sugar mixture with the milk/vanilla mixture.
- Return to the sauce pan and cook until thickened, stirring slowly and constantly. It should get to 170F.
- Remove from heat. Add the hojicha leaves to the pan. Stir. Steep for 30 minutes with the lid on.
- Strain. Add the cream. Stir to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator ideally overnight, minimum 4 hours.
- The next day, add your chilled ice cream to your ice cream maker. Churn (stir setting) until it is the thickness of soft serve ice cream, 20-25 minutes. You can enjoy it now as soft serve, or continue to final step for ice cream consistency.
- Transfer to a container you can freeze and freeze at least 4 hours.
This post was originally published in June of 2018, but was republished with step by step instructions and tips March of 2020.