Tea Talks: Frozen Kuhsterd

Jason Angeles, founder of Frozen Kuhsterd truck.

If you don’t know what frozen custard is then you really need to try it. Unlike ice cream, frozen custard has less air beaten into the dairy base and contains a higher egg yolk content, making the end result richer, creamier and smoother. Frozen Kuhsterd churns out such a product and in an incredible number of flavors too — with about 4 flavors in rotation at its truck. Among the tea-based flavors, you’ll find Black Milk Tea, Thai Tea, Thai Latte, Earl Grey Tea, Dirty Chai, Matcha White, and Chocolate Barley Tea.

Traveling all over the SF Bay Area since 2011, the Frozen Kuhsterd food truck may get its stationary scoop shop in the Mission district of San Francisco later this year.

Frozen Kuhsterd founder Jason Angeles, who says he does not eat frozen custard everyday (we were in shock), offers some crucial advice on how to work with tea when you’re making chilled dairy-based desserts.

It can be hard to get tea flavors to come through when working with dairy since things like cream can dull delicate flavors. What are some tips on how to make the best tea-flavored frozen custards?

We cold brew the teas with our custard base overnight. Also we play with ratios depending on the strength of the tea flavor. Example, our Thai Tea is a 1/2 pound of leaves for every gallon of custard.

Can you make frozen custard at home and does it require a special machine? What would the process involve?

You could use home ice cream machines, but it wouldn’t be as smooth as coming out of our machines. Most home ice cream recipes are custard bases or a cream anglaise. I suggest adding an extra two egg yolks to really get that velvety texture. You can make the base in the morning, chill it, and churn it within a 4-hour period. Some flavors might need a day to set.

Is there a simple frozen custard recipe you can share with us?

This is a good one to use: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creme-anglaise-4984. Make a 1/2 gallon of frozen custard and use 1/2 pound of tea leaves. Pour the leaves straight into the custard base, stir it around for a minute and put the mixture into the refrigerator for one day, or at least 8 hours. (The longer the better.) Then, pull it out of the refrigerator, stir it around for another minute and then strain out the leaves with a strainer. Churn the custard in your ice cream machine to make frozen custard.

Thai Tea with corn flakes, back left, and Chocolate with caramel sauce

How long does it generally take from beginning to end to make one batch of your frozen custard?

Our frozen custard machines are complex machines that slow churn, which reduces the amount of ice or air injection into the product or also known as overrun. We are a scoop shop. Our machines churn a 4 gallon bucket in about 20–30 minutes.

What are 6 toppings that could pair really well with tea-flavored frozen custards?

My recommended toppings off our truck would be: Burnt Caramel, Condensed Milk, Boba, Almond Jelly, Cornflakes, Oreos, Almonds.

Not on our topping menu: Bird’s Nest, a cloud of Sugar & Spun cotton candy, a shot of espresso or, Foie Gras powder.

What makes Frozen Kuhsterd extra special compared to other frozen custard joints, ice cream shops and gelato stores?

We are the pioneers of frozen custard in the Bay Area. Even with frozen custard as it’s own frozen dessert segment, we use our scoops as the glue or binder for crazy sandwiches or sundaes that other ice cream shops are scared to do. Our “West Coast Style” frozen custard is different because we use only all natural and organic ingredients and cure our custard to allow us to use the scoop as a canvas for the wild creations that we make.

What are three other frozen dessert places that you love to go to?

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, Bi-Rite Creamery, Humphrey Slocombe.

Most importantly, how would you make an amazing tea float?

In a tall glass, I would drop a scoop of Vanilla from Strauss Creamery and fill half of the remaining space with Carolina Honey bottled tea from Argo Tea then fill it up with carbonated water.

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