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Think Outside the (Chocolate) Box: Pairing with Tea

Jan.22.2015

Whether you are hitting the town for a decadent five-course dinner or spending a quiet meal at home where you don your apron as the Executive Chef of the night, a memorable Valentine’s night is best begun and ended at home.

Though the first beverage that comes to mind for Valentine’s Day is often champagne or wine, tea can be a great non-alcoholic alternative to begin or end the night. This year, surprise your loved one with handmade hors d’oeuvres and mini desserts, paired with a complementary tea.

Tealeaves reached out to three local Vancouver chef friends recently to bring you delightful tea and food combinations to contribute to a memorable experience.

· BASICS OF TEA & FOOD PAIRING ·

Tea naturally complements food by rounding off the flavors of the dish, delicately, without overpowering the palate. Though it is a complex art to learn the intricacies of food and tea pairing, it is possible to begin with the basics.

The ultimate goal with tea pairing is to enhance the taste of the tea and the dish: harmony in the palate. An approach often used by those unfamiliar with tea-pairing is to use foods normally complementary to white wine to pair with White and Green teas. Following this logic, foods best paired with red wine can also be paired with darker teas like Oolongs and Black teas.

· FLORAL JASMINE GREEN INFUSED CHÈVRE ·

Margaret Chisholm, the Executive Chef at Culinary Capers Catering, shared with Tealeaves her recipe for Floral Jasmine Green tea infused chèvre (goat cheese) on savoury shortbread with orange marmalade.

Tea pairs so well with cheese particularly because of the tannin content. The tartness produced by tannins, more evident in Chinese green teas compared to other green teas, help balance the tangy and rich character of goat cheese. The fresh, mellow overtone of this green tea, with a slightly astringent finish is a natural complement for goat cheese.

Full Recipe Here

· FROZEN MANGO PARFAIT ·

Chef Jason Pitschke, the Executive Pastry Chef of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver’s newest hot spot, has given us a sneak peak of his Valentine’s flavor harmony: a frozen mango parfait, warm coconut tapioca, feulletine sable, fresh mint sorbet—a dessert where the combination of warm and cold plays with all aspects of senses.

To pair with this dessert, Chef Jason has selected Lemon Mango Tango:

“Citrus and hibiscus notes meld beautifully with the coconut and exotic fruit flavors in this light dessert, acidity strengthening all aspects creating a nice experience for the diner.”
– Chef Jason Pitschke, Executive Pastry Chef of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

· PASSION IN YOUR EYES ·

Chef Bruno Feldeisen, the Executive Pastry Chef of Four Seasons Vancouver, has created “Passion in Your Eyes”, a Matcha & Passion Fruit Sundae recipe perfect for Valentine’s Day, and decided to pair it with Tealeaves Organic Jasmine Pearl.

Jasmine Pearl, one of the highest-grade white teas, is composed of the finest fragrant handpicked top leaves and buds, covered with silvery white down. This subtle, delicate tea is then scented in the imperial custom seven times. The delicate jasmine flowers are placed beside the white tea, and the enchanting fragrance is naturally absorbed by the prized leaves.

Notes from Chef Bruno Feldeisen on his recipe:

“I like the soothing effect of White Jasmine Pearl tea, as I enjoy this dessert. The contrast between the milky and earthy tone of the matcha white chocolate cream, and the sour taste of the passion fruit pineapple compote, call for a delicate tea that is clear as spring source, with floral tones of jasmine.”

See his recipe below:


RECIPE: “Passion In Your Eyes” Matcha & Passion Fruit Sundae

· INGREDIENTS FOR White Chococlate Matcha Cream ·

1 cup

Cream

1 cup

Milk

6

Egg yolks

1 Tbsp

¾ cup

Chopped White Chocolate

· INGREDIENTS FOR Passion Fruit & Pineapple Compote ·

1

Vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise

1

Whole Cardamom

2 cups

Pineapple juice

1 cup

Passion fruit juice

1 tsp

Corn starch

3 Tbsp

Sugar

½

Pineapple, ripe, peeled, and cut into small cubes

· INGREDIENTS FOR Red Velvet Cookie Crumble ·

1 ½ cups

Cake flour

½ tsp

Baking soda

3 Tbsp

Granulated sugar

1/8 tsp

Sea salt

1 stick

Melted butter

3 drops

Red food color

1 Tbsp

Milk

Yield: 4 to 6


· STEPS FOR White Chococlate Matcha Cream ·

In a sauce pan, bring to a quick boil the milk and cream.

Whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Pour the boiled cream and milk, stir well.

Cook again the whole mixture over low heat until it reaches about 90C. Remove from the stove.

Add the chopped white chocolate and matcha powder. Stir until smooth. Pour in a container and let cool down in a refrigerator for 6 hours.

· STEPS FOR Passion Fruit & Pineapple Compote ·

Beat butter just until soft and smooth, do not whip. The shortbread becomes too crumbly if over mixed.

In a small sauce pan, bring to a boil the pineapple and passion fruit juice, the vanilla bean and the cardamom.

Mix the sugar and corn starch and add to the boiling juice.

Bring to another boil and cook over low heat for 1 minute.

Remove from the stove.

Add the diced pineapple.

Pour into a container and cool down for 4 hours. Refrigerate until needed.

· STEPS FOR Red Velvet Cookie Crumble ·

Heat oven at 325°F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and mix at low speed.

Add the melted butter, milk and food color until mixture starts to come together.

Spray the mixture on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes, breaking any large clusters occasionally.

Remove from oven and let cool down.

Set aside until needed.

· TO ASSEMBLE ·

Stir the white chocolate matcha cream until smooth and spoon in the glasses.

Top with ½ cup of passion fruit pineapple compote.

Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Sprinkle the top with the Red Velvet Cookie Crumble.

Enjoy!!


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