cooking with tea

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Recently, I’ve had the luxury of experimenting with chocolate. My last attempt at chocolate was a good 10 years ago when I was an absolute failure at cooking. haha. Till today, my dear friends still tease me about it. Salty rocky road. *shakes head* all because I thought there wasn’t much of a difference between salted and unsalted butter.

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago, I tried a recipe from a book which I borrowed from the library, tea cookbook, by Tonia George. It is a simple book, but the recipes were interesting. Every single recipe had a type of tea as an ingredient. Being a chocoholic, I had to start with the earl grey truffles. I mean, earl grey and chocolate? You don’t have to ask me twice.

All I needed was 4 ingredients. Cream. Chocolate. Earl Grey tea leaves. Salted Butter.

I halved the ingredients for my first batch. There was just enough of that bergamot aftertaste. Taste wise, match made in heaven. Texture, feedback was that it was similar to Nutella. Meh, which also meant it wasn’t smooth enough. Other grief I had was it softened very easily. The recipe had stated that I needed to put it in a pan, and cut it into squares. Well, I didn’t have a small enough pan, so I ended up using my silicon muffin trays, which sorta worked and didn’t work. It popped out easily, but softened just as easily too.

Otherwise, first attempt, successful. =D

On Friday, I decided to dig the pantry and see what other tea I had to infuse the cream for the chocolate. There was only matcha. So I made a full batch of matcha truffles and another full batch of early grey tea truffles. I ended up with 144 pieces of chocolate in these tiny candy cases. It was simpler to transport around, and well, manage. But it also meant it made things more interesting when it soften, and we couldn’t get the candy cases off to eat the chocolate.

I brought some to a cousin’s house-warming party yesterday, and the kids were squeezing it out of the cases. haha. well, it worked, somewhat. The texture this time round was a lot smoother (probably because I didn’t stir as much). Despite using 1.5 tbsp of matcha, there was just a hint of matcha, compared to the earl grey tea. Could have been because both the chocolate and tea were strong. Might try matcha with milk chocolate another time.

tea truffles

300ml thickened/double cream
250g dark chocolate
5 tbsp earl grey tea leaves / 1.5 tbsp matcha powder
30g salted butter
cocoa powder to dust
a 20-cm square cake tin, lined with baking parchment.

Put the cream and tea leaves in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and leave to steep for 15 minutes. (For the matcha powder, I used the chasen to whisk the powder evenly into the cream without having to steep). Strain into a small bowl, making sure you press all the flovour from the leaves and top up to 250ml cream if the tea leaves have absorbed lots of the liquid.

Put the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until thoroughly melted, then remove from heat. Pour the infused cream into the chocolate mixture and stir until velvety smooth. Pour into the prepared cake tin – it should be 2-3cm deep. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Tip out onto a chopping board and cut into 3-cm squares. Sift over the cocoa powder. Store in the fridge and eat within 3 days.

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