My entry this month for Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream, the theme for April being sorbets, granitas, shaved ice desserts, slushies and spoom, just had to make shaved ice. I first had shaved ice in Australia, I was living and working at a hostel in Cairns and my boss at the time absolutely loved Japanese food. Most lunchtimes we would go to the local mall to Sushi Train (it does exactly what it says on the tin!!) but one evening he decide to splash a bit of cash and take me to the posh Japanese restaurant in town. I can’t remember what we had for mains but what I do remember is the most amazing dessert of shaved ice, I don’t think I shared much of it with him.
Ever since then I’ll always seek it out during the summer at food markets and festivals but I have never made it before, I don’t know why I left it so long because it seriously easy to make. One of my Christmas presents was a new food processor, from a well known TV shopping channel, which came with the unique selling point of you can turn ice cubes into snow and as I hadn’t yet I just had to give it a go.
To make the snow you start with this….
And after waking the neighbours and scaring the life out of yourself as you blend the ice cubes to within an inch of their lives you end up with this….
A bowl of snow, on it’s own, is definitely healthy but really rather boring, but drenched in green tea syrup and condensed milk, and topped with sweet adzuki beans it makes a delicious and refreshing dessert. Ideally it is best eaten on the hottest day of the year but once I knew that I had the makings of shaved ice in my kitchen I pulled on my hat, scarf and gloves and ate it on a rather chilly April evening.
You can top the ice with any syrup you like, I’ve had it before with rosehip syrup but I really like the bittersweet taste of the green tea syrup. To make the green tea syrup, either use matcha powder or finely ground up green tea leaves mixed with about double the quantity of sugar and dissolve in a little bit of hot water.
Spoon the syrup over the snow in the bowl and watch the green colour spread… then pour over some condensed milk, this balances out the flavour of the green tea and adds a little more sweetness to the dessert.
I then topped off the green snow with sweetened adzuki beans, I used canned adzuki beans which I got from the local Japanese supermarket, halved lychees and some slices of fresh ripe mango.
I am now hoping some really hot summer days so I can use the excuse of “I’m just eating this huge bowl of shaved ice to cool down, it’s not anything to do with the fact it tastes so nice.”