Edible Madras: Matcha Ice Cream and Ginger-Coconut Madeleines


Lilly Pulitzer and Hostess Sno-Balls have about as much in common as country clubs and gas stations, but both played a key part in my inspiration for today’s recipes. Since I started this blog, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about the way my food looks. I always knew presentation was important and have made efforts to make my dishes look just as good as they taste, but it was never the first thing I thought about when conceiving and planning new recipes. This all changed once a camera became part of my kitchen arsenal; shooting has quite literally given me a new viewpoint when it comes to preparing my dishes, and it is hard to ignore the lessons learned when crouching in odd corners of the kitchen trying to capture that perfect angle.

Today’s dessert is just as much about color as it is about flavor. I’ve been planning to make matcha ice cream for a few days now--ever since I picked up a package of the gorgeous ground tea powder at the Japanese grocer. That same afternoon I purchased a quart of fresh cream from the dairy vendor at the farmer’s market near NYU. The cream comes in old-fashioned glass bottles and is shaken up just enough so that when you open the seal and remove the cap, you find a thick layer of fresh whipped cream floating on top. I usually scoop it out with my finger and lick it off slowly, relishing the taste of what is quite possibly one of the most incredible natural treats available. This cream served nicely in a custard base for my matcha ice cream—three egg yolks, a bit of sugar, a cup of warm water, and ground tea comprising the rest of the ingredients for this simple and yet incredibly rich dessert.

The green of the matcha tea reminded me of the bright green tones in the famous preppy designer’s apparel. It was practically screaming for me to pair it with something pink! I decided that a few drops of food coloring added to my coconut financier recipe would do the trick and work as a sort of sophisticated Sno-Ball.

With this, my plan seemed complete. That is, until my eyes fell upon the giant pound of ginger root that was still waiting patiently on my countertop to be converted into tea and stir-fry. The flavors would meld perfectly with the Asian theme and would serve to brighten the earthiness of the green tea ice cream. I decided to peel and slice a quarter cup of root and add it to the simmering, browning butter (beurre noisette) so as to infuse it with the spicy ginger flavor.
This proved genius as it infused not only the butter, but my entire apartment with an incredible spicy aroma. Once brown and nutty flavored, I strained the hot butter and let cool before adding to the coconut flour batter. The ingredients were reminiscent of Thai dishes, and left me wishing I had some lemongrass on hand to round out the flavors. The cookies baked quickly, and I cannot even begin to explain the sheer perfection of the moist coconut and ginger combination.



Matcha Ice Cream
The tannins in the tea temper the sweetness of this pretty green ice cream, making for a pleasant, but subtle flavor. It makes an ideal end to a heavy meal. If you would like a more pronounced green tea flavor, feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two of matcha to the base.

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar or substitute
4 tablespoons matcha (ground Japanese green tea)

1. Bring cream, water, and salt to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in matcha until dissolved.. Remove from heat.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until creamy colored. Slowly pour in 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking vigorously until completely blended.

3. Whisk egg/cream mixture into the remaining cream in the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon. This happens quickly—probably in about 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Immediately pour the custard through a fine sieve to remove any particles or tea lumps.

5. Cool the custard to room temperature, then cover and place in the fridge to chill until cold.

6. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.


Ginger-Coconut Madeleines
Tuck one of each color with a scoop of ice cream or even just alone. The cookies bake quickly but need to be cooled, so you can start on them while you wait for your ice cream to freeze and both should be ready to eat at the same time. Whatever you do, I suggest doubling or tripling the recipe as these are the kinds of cookies that will disappear within moments.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for buttering
1 cup unsweetened coconut flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
¼ cup peeled and sliced fresh ginger
6 large egg whites
3/4 cup butter
red food coloring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

1. With a pastry brush, use the 2 tablespoons of melted butter to thoroughly butter the madeleine pan then place in the freezer to solidify the butter.

2. To make the beurre noisette: In a small saucepan, place ¾ cups of butter plus the sliced ginger to simmer over low heat. The butter will begin to foam after a few minutes and then the solids will separate. Stir it a bit and allow to remain on the heat until the butter turns a lovely golden brown color and gives off a nutty, spicy aroma. Strain the browned butter to remove the ginger and the butter solids and then let cool to room temperature. If you’d like, you can use this butter to add another layer to the pan (and then freeze again).

2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix a few times to combine thoroughly. Add the egg whites and mix until completely blended--this part will take a bit of elbow grease as the egg whites have a tendency to slip around all over the place.

3. Add the 3/4 cup of browned butter, and mix until completely blended. No butter should be visible on the sides. (Note that the batter will be pretty thin.)

4. Divide the batter into two bowls. Add a few drops of red food coloring to one bowl and stir in.

4. Spoon the batter into the madeleine shells about 3/4 of the way up, leaving just a tiny bit to rise. Place the filled pan in the center of the oven. Bake until the cookies just being to rise, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake until the financier are golden brown around the edges and begin to firm up, about another 5 minutes.

5. Turn off the oven heat and let the madeleine rest in the oven until firm, about another 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the madeleines cool in the molds for 10 minutes. Unmold.

The madeleine may be stored in an airtight container for several days, but really do taste much better right away (even if they're still a little bit warm!)

13 comments:

  1. Absolulutely delightful! Honestly, when the photos loaded I started feeling like "spring" and all of the pretty colors that should be sprouting from mother earth soon. I'm certain that this pairing of sweets would be welcome at any time, but it's making me think of Easter...and that's not so far away!

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  2. Sometimes I burn my fingers being too anxious to steal goods when they're still oven hot. But sacrificing raw fingers is worth it for pleasure of eating them fresh! You are giving me too many projects to work on! :)

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  3. Those are some great creations. I have to get some Matcha now.

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  4. Rowena: Thank you! I love the colors of these treats. I will definitely be bringing them out again around Easter time...

    Cakewardrobe: Me too! My madeleine pan gets ridiculously hot and i'm always too impatient to wait for them to cool. I know you should to keep the tops from sticking to anything, but I always cheat and pull one out (much to the chagrin of my fingertips).

    glamah: Thank you! Yes, do try making the matcha ice cream. I would even add a vanilla bean the next time I make it. Just simmer in the cream along with the matcha powder.

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  5. My first impression was, "Why are her madeleines covered in guacamole?"

    I always look at the pictures first.

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  6. Haha... I do love guacamole... I may have to come up with a savory madeleine now. Oooh! Maybe a salty jalapeno corn madeleine with a guacamole dip?! Must try it out...

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  7. very very well done - and beautiful...

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  8. The specs of vanilla bean would really be awesome. Not to mention the added flavor. Thanks!

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  9. I know exactly which dairy vendor you refer to! And the way you described the quart of fresh cream had me running to my freezer to get a pint of ice cream. No the fresh-made kind unfortunately :-(
    But good enough for a sudden craving. haha.

    I love the idea of ginger-coconut madeleines. It all looks great! And don't break a rib like i did trying to capture the perfect shot :-)

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  10. So gorgeous! I can't help but be happy looking at these creations and imagining how wonderful they taste :)

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  11. I miss my ice cream maker! I love green tea ice cream and always get it at the end of a sushi meal.

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  12. complicatissimo fare mochi complimenti!!!!

    comidademama

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  13. Wow, this looks so wonderful. I think it's the whole deal: the smell, taste, texture...great job!

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