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What is Hojicha?
Hojicha (ほうじ茶) is a type of Japanese green tea that has been roasted at a high temperature in a porcelain pot. This process results in a reddish brown tea with natural sweetness, a slightly smokey and nutty flavor with subtle notes of caramel.
Hojicha usually starts its life as “bancha” which is a cheap everyday green tea with a robust flavor. Bancha is made with the leaves of the second, third and fourth harvest of the tea tree, and these tend to have a strong bitter taste with some astringency. When roasted, the bitter flavors are softened and the natural sweetness emerges.
Due to its unique flavor and low caffeine content, hojicha is a well loved tea that can be enjoyed any time of day. Japan is a nation of tea lovers, and while matcha often takes the spotlight when it comes to tea flavored desserts, hojicha shouldn’t be forgotten! In this recipe, I will teach you how to highlight the delicious flavor of hojicha in a creamy and decadent homemade ice cream!
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
Other than hojicha tea, my ice cream recipe only requires a few ingredients, all of them are easily accessible! For this recipe, you will need:
- Hojicha: For a stronger flavor, use hojicha made with stems if you can get it. I also prefer teabags over loose tea since it’s easier to remove them from the mixture. You could also try Hojicha powder which can be simply mixed in!
- Egg yolks: Give a richer and creamier flavor and texture. I recommend using pasteurized eggs since we won’t be cooking them thoroughly.
- Sugar: Regular white caster sugar is used not only to add sweetness, but also to lower the freezing point of the liquids in the ice cream. Adjusting the sugar can result in an ice cream that is either too hard or too soft so keep this in mind if you plan to adjust the sugar quantity.
- Whole Milk & Heavy Cream: Combining these two ingredients results in an unbeatable rich and creamy texture! For best results, use heavy cream with at leave 35% milk fat. I don’t recommend using skimmed or low fat milk in this recipe since it’s more likely to create ice crystals, but half and half is a good substitute. I haven’t tried plant-based options yet, but I will update the post when I do.
- Corn Starch: Thickens the base mixture for the ice cream, which will help prevent ice crystals from forming when frozen.
Curious about the exact brands and products that bring my recipes to life? Discover the brands and ingredients behind my recipes at the Sudachi Amazon Storefront. Explore my handpicked pantry essentials and find your next kitchen favorites!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make Hojicha Ice Cream at home. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
This recipe is designed to be made by hand (hand churning) but the mixture can also be used in an ice cream machine if you prefer.
First, add the cold milk and 2-3 teabags to a saucepan. Leave them in there while you prepare your other ingredients.
Mix the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch in a heatproof bowl.
Heat up the pan of milk and stir the tea bags around to help release the flavour. Don’t allow it to boil.
When you start to see tiny bubbles around the side, add the cream. This will lower the temperature, giving the hojicha time to release more flavor.
Continue to heat until the little bubbles start appearing around the edge again. Once they do, turn off the heat and remove the teabags. (I use tongs and squeeze the teabags out.)
Temper the eggs and sugar mixture by adding a ladle of the hot milk/cream to the bowl and whisk it well. This prevents the egg from cooking and making chunks in the mixture.
Gradually pour the rest of the milk and cream into the bowl while whisking and then pour it back into the saucepan.
Tip: Wipe out the pan and pour the mixture through a sieve to make it extra smooth.
Stir continuously on a low heat until it thickens into a thin custard consistency. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Transfer the mixture to a steel container and cover the top with plastic wrap touching the surface. (This is to prevent a skin from forming.)
Leave the mixture to cool down, I like to speed up the process by placing the loaf tin in a bowl of ice.
Once it’s cool, put it in the freezer and whisk every 30 minutes for 3 hours. (6 times in total) If it becomes too stiff to mix, switch to a spatula and make sure to scrape the edges and mix them into the middle.
After the final churn, freeze for 3-4 hours or until set enough to scoop!
Leave the ice cream on the counter for 5-10 minutes before scooping to soften slightly.
Scoop, serve and enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
Tips & Tricks
- Don’t allow the milk or cream to boil, this will effect the taste and texture. Keep it on a low heat, take your time.
- If the teabag breaks, do not fear! Just pass the mixture through a strainer to remove it.
- When churning, set a timer so you don’t forget.
- I churn 6 times, but of course you can churn more than that. The more you churn, the softer the ice cream will be.
- I recommend wide containers rather than tall ones, it will freeze faster!
- Use a steel container since they conduct heat better, and store it in the freezer before you start the recipe.
- Cool the ice cream in a separate container so that the container in the freezer stays cold when you add it.
- If you double or triple the recipe, I recommend using 2-3 containers to keep the setting time the same. One single large container will take longer to set.
- If you make this recipe in the morning, it should be ready by the afternoon!
- Eat within 1-2 weeks for best taste and texture.
Hojicha is a type of Japanese tea made by roasting green tea (usually bancha or sencha) in a porcelain pot over charcoal.
Hojicha has a toasty, smooth taste with hints of caramel and natural sweetness. Since it’s been roasted, it is not as bitter as regular green tea.
A lot of the caffeine is cooked away during the roasting process, but hojicha is made from green tea so it still contains a small amount of caffeine.
I hope you enjoy this Hojicha Ice Cream recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Tea Recipes
Want more inspiration? Explore my Japanese Dessert Roundup Post for a carefully selected collection of tasty recipe ideas to spark your next tea party!
Homemade Hojicha Ice Cream (Roasted Green Tea Flavor)
- 200 ml whole milk
- 3 teabags roasted green tea (hojicha) 1 tea bag = 3g loose tea
- 2 pasteurized egg yolk
- 75 g sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 200 ml heavy cream
- Add 200 ml whole milk and 3 teabags roasted green tea to a saucepan. Leave them to steep while you prepare your other ingredients.
- Whisk 2 pasteurized egg yolk, 75 g sugar and 1 tsp cornstarch together in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat up the pan of milk and stir the tea around to help release the flavor. Don't let it to boil.
- When you start to see tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, add 200 ml heavy cream.
- Continue to heat on medium-low until the little bubbles start appearing around the edge again. Once they do, turn off the heat and remove the teabags. Use tongs to squeeze the teabags.
- Temper the eggs and sugar mixture by adding a ladle of the hot milk/cream to the bowl and whisk it well. This prevents the egg chunks in the mixture.
- Gradually pour the rest of the milk and cream into the bowl while whisking.
- Once well incorporated, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan. Pour it through a sieve to catch any lumps.
- Stir continuously on a low heat until it thickens into a custard consistency.
- Transfer it to a loaf tin/metal container and cover the top with plastic wrap touching the surface. (This is to prevent a skin from forming.)
- Allow the mixture to cool down, speed up the process by placing the container in a casserole dish with ice.
- Once it’s cool, put it in the freezer and whisk every 30 minutes for 3 hours. (6 times in total)
- After the final churn, freeze for 3-4 hours.
- Enjoy! (After 4 hours or so, it will need 5-10 minutes on the counter top to soften before serving.)