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Vanilla gelato in a milky green tea bath

Light on the belly and delectable to eat, the key to this 'matcha-ffogato,' green tea mixed with warm milk, is good quality ingredients. Pour over a scoop of vanilla gelato for a pick-me-up treat.

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    Sweet vanilla gelato swimming in a green tea and milk bath perfectly balances warm and cool textures with sweet and bitter flavors.
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Three years ago this August, I gave up caffeinated coffee.

I still drink decaf coffee and I still drink tea, both black and green. However, I feel like a disgrace to my Seattle-bred espresso habit every time I order a decaf, soy milk caffe latte. (Yes, I’m lactose-intolerant, too.)

Then recently, my husband ordered himself an affogato (a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in espresso) while we were vacationing in Philadelphia. It seemed the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. The bitterness of the coffee was the perfect foil to the sweet ice cream and the caffeine gave him a much needed jolt after our heavy lunch. I was envious.

Recommended: National Ice Cream Day: 7 smooth recipes

A few weeks later I discovered an affogato of sorts, but this time made with matcha, that shockingly-green tea powder, the star of Japanese tea ceremonies and assorted wagashi. Thank you Bon Appetit magazine!

I tweaked the recipe a little and sprinkled a little nori furikake (seaweed seasoning) on top. “Huh?” you might wonder. It’s no more unconventional than a shower of Maldon salt over chocolate truffles. And trust me, it’s delightful!

If you can find a local tea shop, ask for their recommended matcha powder. If not, Republic of Tea has a nice one. I also prefer gelato to ice cream but feel free to use either/or.

Green tea gelato or Matcha-ffogato
Adapted from  Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves 4

1 teaspoon matcha powder
1 cup unsweetened soy, almond or cow’s milk
1 pint vanilla gelato (preferably vanilla bean)
Nori furikake for sprinkling

1. Place the matcha in a medium bowl with a lip. Pour the soy milk into a measuring cup or a mug and microwave on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until hot. (My microwave is 1100 watts). Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot soy milk over the matcha and whisk, pressing out any lumps, until you have a smooth paste. Pour in the remaining milk and whisk until all the matcha dissolves.

2. Divide the gelato among 4 small bowls or coffee cups. Pour about 1/2 cup matcha milk into each bowl and sprinkle with nori furikake. Serve immediately.

Notes: You can buy nori furikake at most Asian stores. If you can't find it, crumble some toasted nori (seaweed) instead.

Related post on Pickles and Tea: A Childhood Revival—Yakult Float

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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