Green Tea Creams With Strawberries
These little creams are really quick and easy to make, and remarkably good. The hint of lime adds a lovely background note to the delicate, grassy, green tea flavour. You’ll find they separate slightly so there is a shallow darker green layer on the bottom and a paler one on top – if you set the creams in little clear glass tumblers these layers look particularly lovely with the crimson strawberries.
- 600ml pure cream
- 2 teaspoons green tea powder (matcha)
- 180g caster sugar
- 4 x 5cm strips lime zest, about 1cm wide
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 – 350g ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted, or more or less to taste
Matcha is a particularly finely ground green tea powder and has the most gorgeous emerald-green colour.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the cream into a small bowl, add the green tea powder and whisk them together until they’re well combined. Pour this mixture into a large-ish saucepan then stir in the caster sugar, lime zest and remaining cream,. Gently warm the cream mixture over low heat, stirring regularly until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and heat the cream until it’s very hot, but not boiling (if it boils the cream scalds, which gives it a slightly odd ‘cooked’ flavour.)
Ladle 1/2 cup (125ml) of the hot cream into a small heatproof jug or bowl, and sprinkle in the powdered gelatine, whisking constantly as you do so. Dissolve the gelatine by sitting the jug or bowl in a saucepan of simmering water for about 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals. Tip the mixture back into the saucepan and, stirring constantly, continue to warm the cream gently for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes then gently whisk in the milk and vanilla.
Strain the cream mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. Sit 6 small tumblers or fine ceramic bowls (delicate Asian tea cups look lovely) in a flat dish. Divide the tea cream mixture evenly among them, then carefully transfer to the fridge and leave the creams to set overnight (I keep the gelatine to a minimum so they only softly set). Once they have set, cover them tightly.
Just before serving, tumble the sliced strawberries into a bowl and sift the icing sugar over them. Gently fold the two together, ensuring the sugar dissolves completely.
To serve the creams, sit each one on a small plate then pile, or overlap, strawberries on top.