Baking with TealeavesMar.31.2015
The holidays, such as Easter, can bring together a wide range of family personalities and preferences. If your family is anything like ours, the best way to bring them all together in harmonious bliss, is with something distractingly tasty. Using tea in your recipes like the professionals do, lets your innovative and creative side show while adding another layer of flavor to your repertoire.
Professional chefs and bakers around the world use Tealeaves as a great carrier of flavor into their favorite dishes.
· TEA & CHOCOLATE: PAIR LIKE THE PROFESSIONALS ·
Trendy chocolatiers are focusing on tea as a fresh way to introduce new flavors. So what is the secret to their success? – Knowing the character of the chocolate and pairing it with a tea that complements its flavor profile. As dark chocolate tends to overpower the notes of many delicate teas, they will use more full-bodied varietals such as Irish Breakfast, Monsoon Chai or Mountain Berry as a worthy partner. However, when it comes to the subtler palate of white chocolate, the sky’s the limit!. Some personal favorites are Mad Hatter’s Teaparty and Pina Colada Rooibos.
A great example of a match made in the heavens is a recipe inspired by Tealeaves by Executive Pastry Chef Kuok I Hoi at the Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou. Originally created to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, these Earl Grey Raspberry Chocolate Mooncakes will send you over the moon. Any time is a great time for celebration and for chocolate.
· TEA & CHOCOLATE ·
Trendy chocolatiers are focusing on tea as a way to introduce new flavours into their main medium. The key is to know your chocolate and pair it up with a tea that complements its flavor profile. As dark chocolate tends to overpower the notes of many delicate teas, try more robust varietals, whereas many different teas can be paired with the more subtle palate of white chocolate.
· LOVE IS BEST WHEN IT’S SHARED ·
Not sure what to do with that left over Eros tea from Valentine’s Day? Bake it like the professionals would. Love yourself and others with this treat to the senses, courtesy of Eros, a tea named after the Greek god of love, himself. Eros tea is an amorous inspiration, blending the dreaminess of vanilla with the sweetness of orange that tumbles into a warm embrace.
Make the following recipe from Tealeaves ICON and Chef Megan Romano, the former Executive Pastry chef at Aureole Restaurant in Las Vegas and you’ll never be lonely again! The ‘sweet life’ never tasted so good!
This delightful recipe was taken from Chef Megan Romano’s book: “It’s a Sweet Life”.
· INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE DIPPED CANDIED TANGERINE SLICES ·
Dark Chocolate Couverture
Yield: 24 Pieces
· STEPS FOR CHOCOLATE DIPPED CANDIED TANGERINE SLICES ·
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt dark chocolate in a very clean, dry, stainless steel bowl.
In a medium sauce pot on medium heat, cook water, sugar, vanilla bean, and tea leaves for 20 min.
Slice tangerines ¼” thick on commercial slicer #45.
Strain hot liquid through a chinois and pour over sliced fruit.
Marinate for 2 days.
Remove fruit slices from liquid, blot dry.
Place on sheet tray lined with a nonstick baking mat to dry in oven for 30 minutes or when fruit is 90% dry but still a bit tacky.
Tangerine slices should not be wet, yet still plump.
Temper* dark chocolate by warming to 115 degrees Fahrenheit and then reducing to 88 degrees to 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
*Use “Seeding Method”.
Dip half of the fruit in tempered dark chocolate and set on acetate lined sheet tray to dry.
Store in a cool place (approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
· SEEDING METHOD ·
Start by melting approximately 2 pounds of chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set high over an open flame or on top of a warm oven. When the chocolate is completely melted, drop a large block of chocolate into the bowl and reduce the temperature gradually as the large block melts, thus bringing it into the tempered zone.
I also add smaller pieces and use an immersion blender to emulsify the chocolate quickly. At this point, you must keep the chocolate in the tempered zone by either rewarming it periodically or setting it over a heating element. A simple, inexpensive solution is a back-warming pad. Cover it in plastic wrap, cover with a dry towel (to keep it lean), and set the temperature dial on medium. Then place the bowl of tempered chocolate on top of the towel, stirring regularly to keep the temperature distributed evenly.
At the restaurant, I have a tempering machine that essentially does much of the work for me. Of course, chocolate is such a delicate craft, it’s always good to know how to temper by hand.
For more desserts with tea, check out the sweets section in Tealeaves Recipes.