Get the Recipes
Cold icy desserts are probably the most refreshing snack you can get out of a street cart. Wooly's Ice's Green Tea Ice recipe in Alexandra Penfold and Siobhan Wallace's new cookbook, New York a la Cart, is a perfect example. While the guys behind the cart make their ices with a heavy-duty ice shaver, it's easy to replicate the process by freezing green tea and condensed milk granita-style. Simply pour your base into a large baking dish, and stir with a fork every 30 minutes or so until every bit has frozen into fluffy bits.
Why I picked this recipe: I've recently tried a green tea ice dessert at a local Tawainese dessert place, and it was far too sweet for my taste. I was excited to try making my own and sweetening it as I saw fit.
What worked: Cool, earthy, and just sweet enough, this makes for a delightful afternoon treat.
What didn't: It took a long time for the mixture to freeze in an 8-inch baking dish (pretty much all day). To freeze faster, I'd pour this into a 9x13.
Suggested tweaks: I used Chinese green tea in this recipe, but you could use any of your favorite green teas (matcha would be particularly good). Wooly's serves this with chopped mango and mochi pieces in addition to the sea salt leche. Both of these options are great, but you don't need to stop there. Most fruit would taste great here, as well as more Asian ingredients like agar jellies, red beans, and chopped nuts.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.