Melty Chai Ice Cream With Honeycomb

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Christiana George
Christiana George
Welcome to The Tart Tart, my not-so-tart take on food, writing, and photography. I decided to start up this sucker after repeated nagging from Chris, my fiance, who cannot understand why the sight of a farmer’s market would send me into ecstatic convulsions (okay, total overstatement. I can be quite the histrionic at times).With that said, my interests, though chiefly in food, also span fashion, design, literature, and photography. So don’t mind the seemingly non sequitur odds and ends I toss in posts at times.

I am long overdue with a post, yet would you believe me if I told you that nothing I’ve cooked lately has turned out well?

There was a cauliflower gratin that drowned in too much cheese sauce, there was a papaya lassi that in theory sounded great, but in practice turned out bland and nothing, nothing, could fix it. There were blueberry scones that confirmed what I already knew: I don’t like scones. There was carnitas, which actually turned out wonderfully, but since I didn’t take any pictures, it’s like it never happened. Remind me to share it with you some time.

Do you ever have weeks like this? Weeks where all your efforts seem in vain, where you can’t even make a batch of banana bread muffins without botching it somehow? (I forgot to mix the butter in until the very last minute. Oops.) These have been discouraging times.

I’ve finally hit upon a recipe that I like, a lot. It came out tasting the way I imagined, pretty much perfect, and I’m actually excited that there’s quite a bit left over in the fridge. Most importantly, it feels true to me. The only negative is that it’s really melty. But c’mon guys, it’s chai ice cream! And there’s honeycomb in it! Melty or not, it tastes pretty spectacular.

I thought I’d share. I need to share. I’m so tired of keeping all this frustration to myself, and I’m pretty sure you all understand. So with that caveat, plow ahead. I’m sure that with a little bit of tinkering, I’ll get it right. Plus, I think where I went wrong is that I didn’t freeze it long enough before churning it (try to refrigerate the custard overnight if you can).

Here’s the honeycomb. It hardens in the ice cream to about the consistency of cookie dough.


Makes about 1 quart


  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp loose black tea leaves (such as assam)
  • 3/8 to 1/2 tsp chai masala (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • about 1/2 pound honeycomb, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


In a medium saucepan, bring milk and heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat. Place an infuser with the loose tea leaves and spices in the milk mixture and steep for about 20 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar until combined. Slowly add the milk mixture, whisking all the while. Return the mixture to the medium saucepan and turn the heat on to medium-low. Heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and swiping a finger through leaves a line. Stir in the vanilla and transfer to a container, covered with saran wrap. Store in fridge at least 4 hours, although overnight is optimal.

The next day, churn the ice cream according to your manufacturer’s instructions, adding the honeycomb towards the end. Freeze until the ice cream is at the consistency you like.


Adapted from The Hathi Cooks

Will make more than you need, but you can keep it around and make chai whenever you feel like it. A little goes a long way.

4 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
pinch nutmeg

Combine and store in an airtight container.

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