hojicha pudding

February 7, 2010

Miles and Nozomi took us to a beautiful Japanese restaurant when we were in New York City last week. One of the highlights of the meal (there were many!) was a cold pudding, flavored with roasted green tea (hojicha). As we were eating the pudding, we discussed about how we could make it, and decided that it must have been made with soy milk, and that it would be nice and healthy.

Not the case. My mom asked the waiter if he could tell her what was in the pudding, and after a few minutes someone came back and told us that in the kitchen it was made with milk, cream, eggs, a little sugar at the end, and of course roasted green tea, or hojicha.

Upon further discussion, we discovered that the tea is steeped in hot milk, which is then added to cream, eggs, and sugar. We jotted everything down on a scrap of paper, and stopped at a Japanese supermarket down the street on the way home and picked up some hojicha.

When I got home from my trip, I was very excited to get started figuring out the recipe. Both Nozomi and I came up with a few similar recipes online, and I tried one today (slightly adjusted) with medium/good results.

The recipe below is very closely based on one that I copied from a website containing lots of green tea recipes.

Hojicha Pudding

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar

15 grams hojicha (toasted green tea)

Preheat oven to 320 degrees.

In a baking dish (I used a glass 9 x 13 casserole dish) place 6 little oven safe ramekins. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, steam milk, remove from heat and add hojicha. Cover with a lid and let tea steep for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix eggs in separate bowl and set aside. After 5 minutes, add sugar and cream to milk and tea mixture, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour tea mixture slowly into eggs through a strainer, whisking the eggs as you do. At this point, pour mixture through a sieve to remove any little lumps (I forgot this step…). Pour mixture evenly into 6 ramekins, and add hot water to the pan, being careful not to splash water into the ramekins. Place baking dish into oven, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until done. It is finished when it sets up nicely. I asked my friend Mary and she said pudding should be about like pumpkin pie…

Chill and serve.

I am not completely happy yet with this recipe. For some reason, it seems a bit heavier than the version served at the restaurant, and slightly different. I don’t have a lot of experience with making puddings, so I might have to do a little research to figure out what I need to change.

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