I’ve more than sufficiently recovered from my ice cream maker fail from a few weeks ago, having come up with an even better recipe for vegan matcha ice cream. They do say that the best results often come from failure and I’m mighty glad that I persevered. I’m also glad that I don’t have to invest in a new freezer bowl for my ice cream maker which I suspected was starting to fail. I plan on making more ice creams this month so I’ll do a separate post with ice cream making tips later.
So why vegan matcha ice cream? Well I always enjoy a challenge and I wanted to see if I could come up with a recipe for a creamy but dairy-free green tea ice cream, that also tastes good to a non-vegan. Of course vegans are either none the wiser, or care less if something doesn’t taste conventionally good, but I figure if you can please a non-vegan’s tastebuds with a vegan recipe, then you’re onto a pretty good thing. My meat-eater husband still raves about this chocolate cake!
For ice cream, the challenge is in creating the magical creaminess of conventional ice cream but without the use of egg or dairy. Many vegan ice creams contain either soy and/or tofu, or mostly coconut cream to emulate that creaminess but the chosen base usually dictates what the ice cream tastes like overall. That’s fine if you’re making coconut ice cream or a variant, but when you want a different flavour to shine through, it doesn’t help.
My first recipe for vegan matcha ice cream involved tofu (thinking it could be a neutral base) and unfortunately you could tell. If you don’t mind tofu, then my first recipe was probably perfect but being half Japanese, tofu is kinda sacred. And savoury. Instead, I thought of other ways to bulk up vegan ice cream, as well as add fat, and came up with avocado. Of course, using avocado in ice cream is hardly new but I couldn’t think of a better complimentary flavour to green tea. I had a hunch that the avocado would lend it’s creaminess but let the matcha come through as the main flavour.
My hunch paid off and the result was a very creamy, mainly matcha ice cream with a hint of coconut and avocado. I actually couldn’t pick up on the coconut so much but my little girl noticed it. Either way, I actually wanted to finish the entire sample bowl of the stuff so big thumbs up!
I will try making this again some time without the coconut cream and using a larger avocado instead, but unless you hate coconut, the additional fat and creaminess it leant was good to have on board. A higher fat content helps to keep the ice cream soft for serving so it’s not a bad thing. I also used glucose as a way to keep the ice cream manageable but you can use regular sugar although you’ll need to make sure you dissolve it well in the mixture.
For this recipe, I used the Matcha Tea Co.‘s MatchaFit green tea which isn’t as vividly green nor has as much depth of flavour as their premium MatchaMind tea, but for ice cream, it was more than adequate. To be honest, unless your premium matcha is on its last leg, I would save it for actual drinking and not cooking.
Matcha Avocado Ice Cream
- ⅓/ cup light coconut cream (you're welcome to use full fat)
- 3 Tbsp Japanese green tea powder (matcha), sifted
- 1 medium-sized ripe avocado, seed removed and peeled
- 100g liquid glucose or preferred sweetener (maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave etc.)
- 40g extra sugar (I used maple sugar but the same syrup sweetener can be used)
- 1½ cup non-dairy milk (I used a coconut/almond milk)
- In the Thermomix (Speed 8 for 5 seconds) or similar food processor, blend the avocado and green tea powder together with the coconut cream until a smooth, liquidy paste is formed. You shouldn't see too many bits of avocado as long as it was ripe enough.
- Add glucose (or other liquid sweetener), extra sugar to the TMX bowl or processor and blend until well combined (Speed 6 for 10 seconds on TMX).
- Scrape down any of the mixture and add the non-dairy milk. Blend well on Speed 4 for 10 seconds on the Thermomix or until well combined.
- If using an ice cream maker, transfer ice cream mixture to a covered container and chill for at least 12 hours. The mixture improves in flavour the longer you can leave it chilled. When the mixture has been chilled enough, prepare ice cream as per your ice cream maker's instructions.
- If you do not have an ice cream maker, transfer ice cream mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze for one hour or until mixture has partially frozen. Scrape out mixture and blitz for a few seconds in the Thermomix or food processor until smooth, then return mixture to container and freeze again for another hour. Repeat the process once more before allowing to remain in freezer to set.