Cooking With Tea

Thinking outside the cup at DavidsTea Kingston.

Fantasy Brownies

This recipe is adapted from a classic recipe of my Mom’s. I have nothing witty, charming, or anecdotal to say about it-just try it and you’ll be at a loss for words too. 

Fantasy Brownies are made with “Fantasy Island” Tea-a heavenly blend of black tea, raspberries and coconut. Taste the whimsy. 

Fantasy Brownies 

1 cup butter 

3 teaspoons Fantasy Island Tea (One of my new favourites. I may or may not have had 5 cups yesterday.) 

3 cups brownsugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup cocoa 

2 cups flour

1.) Melt butter in sauce pan on stove. Add 3 teaspoons Fantasy Island loose leaves and infuse. Put on some Bob Marley and imagine yourself on an Island somewhere as you mellow out to the smell of the butter & coconut. (This is a totally made up step-I was definitely listening to Radiohead as I infused the butter. I was relaxed none the less.) Steep tea in butter for 5 minutes. When the butter changes colour and smells a little like heaven, strain through sieve. 

2.) Beat eggs well. Ad brown sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Stir until well blended. Add flour and cocoa and mix well together. 

3.) Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Frost and cut while warm. 

Frosting: 

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

3-4 tablespoons strong Fantasy Island tea. 

1.) Toss in bowl. I’m pretty sure you know the rest…(ie. beat till smooth & put on brownies) 

Brownies become extra nom nom worthy when served with raspberries. 

Anonymous asked: Can you recommend a tea that could be incorporated into apple pie, or maybe the pie crust?

The first one that comes to mind is Baked Apple-that would be amazing!!! It’s sort of like cider meets tea. Blissful! Cinnamon Heart would be nice too, as might Buttered Rum, Pure Chai, Saigon Chai, 3 Lemon Green, Vanilla Oolong, Cinnamon Rooibos Chai, Cocoa Chai Rooibos, Caramel Pear, Oh Canada (maple flavour) or Creme Caramel. Sorry that it’s such a lengthy list! When I think apple pie, I think tend to think of richer, warmer flavours. 3 Lemon Green may sound a little out of place in that list, but I always use lemon juice to keep my apples from browning. I love the combination of cinnamon & lemon as well. 3 Lemon is by no means tart, so it would still be nice in a dessert. Good luck!!

Exotica stir-fried shrimp & vegetables with Jasmine Rice

Saturday. I love that word. Saturday means sleeping in, leisurely sipping cups of tea, laughing with roommates newly returned from reading week. Revelling in the fact that Monday is still more than 24 hours away and I therefore have ample amounts of time to catch up on required readings, write essays, and study for my pending Art History midterm (hello Sunday) I benevolently decided to cook dinner for my roommate. Success!! Standing ovations, bouquets of flowers thrown on stage, and ballads written in honour of my creativity! Ladies and gentlemen, this humble cook presents a simple recipe that demands sharing: Exotica stir fried shrimp & vegetables with Jasmine rice. Bon Appetite tout le monde xo.

 

Wok & Roll Baby.

Jasmine Rice

1 ½ cups steeped Silk Dragon Jasmine.

½ cup rice

I’m not entirely sure I can legitimately get away with calling this a “recipe”. All I did was replace water with tea and proceeded to cook the rice in the rice cooker as per usual. I’m sure you could replicate it on the stove top with equally astounding results.

Feeds: two hungry 21 year old girls with left-overs in the pot

(feeds 4)

Exotica Stir Fry

About 300 grams / ½ pound shrimp-mine were from frozen

1 Asian eggplant

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

½ onion, diced

¾ cup chopped carrots

1 cup strong exotica

3 clusters of bok choy (Feel free to do your own thing and unleash your creativitea-haha)

salt to taste

1.)  If using frozen shrimp (as I did) thaw under cold water and remove shells, tails etc. Place shrimp in a bowl with ½ cup of the Exotica tea. 

2.)  Stir fry onions, ginger, and garlic with other ½ cup of Exotica in wok or large frying pan.

3.)  Add carrots, eggplant, and marinating shrimp.

4.)  Add bok choy when eggplant begins to loose its beautiful purple colour and shrimp begins to turn pink. Stir fry until bok choy is cooked.

5.)  Serve with Jasmine Rice. Just try to resist giving yourself a second helping. I dare you.  

 (feeds 4)

Vanilla Oolong Roasted Pears

Aaaaaahhhhh Vanilla Oolong. By far one of my favourite teas in the store, everything about Vanilla Oolong sings of beauty. From the silken taste, to the golden colour, to the magical way the leaves unfurl when steeped, this tea always feels right. With the advent of this recipe, I’ve found another way to enjoy my beloved Oolong.

 

Vanilla Oolong Roasted Pears with Mascarpone Cream

For the pears
5 pears, any type (I used red Anjou)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons strong Vanilla Oolong tea
 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons Vanilla Oolong leaves

For the mascarpone cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup mascarpone

3 tablespoons sugar 

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Make the pears
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve pears lengthwise and core. Place cut side up in a roasting pan and sprinkle with lemon juice. Sprinkle sugar evenly over pear halves and dot with butter. Pour prepared tea into the roasting pan and sprinkling loose leaves in pan between pears. Bake for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Flip pears over and bake an additional 30 minutes, basting with pan juices a few times. Pears are ready when a knife slips easily into the thickest part. Serve with mascarpone cream.

Make the mascarpone cream
Pour whipping cream into a small bowl. Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream, stirring to evenly distribute. Add mascarpone, sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract. Beat on medium high until soft peaks form.

Serves 5

Recipe adapted from Minimally Invasive


Vanilla Oolong Roasted Pears: Dinner Party tested & approved.

The Forever Tart

Go nuts. 

This seriously simple tart will make you crazy happy. True to my grandmother’s kitchen I’m giving you the recipe but feel free to play around with it to make it your own. An alternative I’ve tried already is using phyllo dough instead of puff pastry and layering about 6 sheets with the infused butter painted on between each sheet. 

2-3 teaspoons Forever Nuts

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 sheet butter puff pastry

2 small Macintosh apples

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 dash of vanilla

10 almond slivers (optional)

1 tiny circle of apple peel (optional)                                                                                                                                     


1.     Preheat oven to 400° F.

2.     Simmer butter at low heat in small pot, add Forever nuts and let steep for 4-5 minutes or until the butter turns slightly colored and you can smell the tea.

3.     Thinly slice apples and mix them with the brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

4.     Unroll your pastry (you’ll need to have let it thaw for at least 2 hours unless you make your own).

5.     Strain the butter and then brush a generous amount over the entire surface of the pastry.

6.     Layer your apples overtop in the middle of the pastry and fold the excess dough into the center, leaving the apples uncovered.

7.     Cook for 12-15minutes or until dough is golden brown.

8.     While it is cooling place your almond slices in a little circle in the center of the apples and then finally the apple peel on top.

Makes one large tart. Serve warm. Feeds 1-4 people depending on portions. 


Love Crepes

Pancake was a very popular girl. She had many friends and was rarely alone. A lazy Saturday morning seemed incomplete without her presence. One day, Pancake’s sexy European cousin, Crepe, came to visit. Pancake always secretly dreaded these family reunions. Crepe was a slender flirt with designer clothes and a beguiling accent. Whenever Crepe was around, Pancake felt invisible. She couldn’t help but be secretly jealous of her cousin. This particular visit however, there was something different about Crepe. She was softer around the edges. Rather than sporting an old world sneer and five inch Louboutins, she had a kind word for everyone, and spent all day smiling. At one point, Pancake even overheard Crepe humming “Moon River” to herself. Crepe had met a Canadian named David. It was a whirlwind courtship as David wooed her with gifts of tea and won her over with his North American charm. Before long, it was time for Crepe to return home, and just as quickly as the romance had begun it met its fated end. 

The memory of her Canadian summer stayed with Crepe forever. Even years later when she would smell the tender perfume of a rose, or see a young couple holding hands, she would smile to herself and make a cup of tea.


 Chocolate, Strawberries, and Rose petals!! In a tea!!! It’s so pretty! 

Confession: When I show this to you in the store, I don’t do it for you-I do it for me. 


 

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons love tea # 7 (loose tea leaves)

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup steeped love tea (cooled)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter, melted.

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

1.) Crush tea leaves until they are broken down into a powder.

2.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, tea and eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. (If you are not friendly with the whisk, you could simply put everything into a blender and pulse until smooth.)

3.) Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter covers the surface evenly. As crepes are meant to be thin, I found it easiest to remove the pan from the heat as I poured the batter onto it, returning it to the element once it was evenly distributed.

4.) Cook the crepes for about 2 minutes until the bottom is light brown. The edges will begin to curl inwards towards the centre of the crepe. When this happens, it’s time to flip them! Loosen with a spatula, turn, and cook the other side.

5.) Serve hot. Accessorize with fruit or topping of your choice. Turn on some heady music and taste the love.


 

My Love Crepes got a little amorous with the maple syrup. 

Lemon Dulce & Banana Pots de Creme

In Kingston, as in much of Canada, winter lasts for a minimum of five months. This year, our first snowfall came in late October, and let’s be honest-the cold will likely be here until at least the end of March. Nature’s colour scheme is reduced to a fairly monochromatic blur of dull blue-greys and snowy whites. Our hours of daylight are cruelly reduced and many of us end up feeling like vampires-not the trendy kind-as we rarely see the sun.

This week is reading week for many universities across the country, including Queen’s (where I am a student). With my facebook stalker feed constantly showing me pictures of tanned bodies soaking up vitamin D in climates far warmer than ours, I can’t help but feel I might be developing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I am in dire need of some sun. As I am not lucky enough to have found it on a beach in Cuba this reading week, I decided to make some for myself. Introducing, Lemon Dulce & Banana Pots de Creme. Like little bowls of sunshine, these lovely little custards are sure to brighten your day and leave you smiling :)

Steeping the Dulce & Banana in the heavy cream. My kitchen has never smelled so good.

These taste like 10 cent lemonade stands, running through sprinklers, and reading in the sunshine, hoping to get that summery blond hair.

1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream
2 ½ tablespoons Dulce & Banana tea from Davids
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt

1.) Preheat oven to 325F and position a rack in the center. Place your ramekins in a heavy deep pan and set aside.
2.) In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and the Dulce & Banana to a simmer. Turn the heat off and let the chamomile steep in the cream while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale yellow. Add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until smooth.

4.) Strain the heavy cream and discard the chamomile. (Dulce and Banana contains rooibos which is probably too fine to fit through a normal sieve. To ensure I didn’t end up with little bits in my custard, I strained the cream through a tea infuser.)  

5.) Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture, whisking well. Ensure that the cream & DB mixture isn’t too hot, otherwise the egg yolks will curdle. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let any foam rise to the top, skim it off and divide the mixture among your ramekins. Pour hot water inside the pan, making sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of your dishes. Cover ramekins and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. This is a smooth, delicate custard, not as set as what a creme brulee would be. Don’t expect the pots de creme to solidify.

6.) Enjoy with family/friends who are just as moody as you are and feel the sunbeams stream out of the tips of your fingers and toes and the ends of your hair. Smile!!

Check out Tartelette for the original recipe.

Saigon Chai Cupcakes with ginger-orange buttercream icing

Cupcakes are one of the easiest, prettiest, and tastiest things a person can create in the kitchen. The addition of tea to these dainty treats lends a beautifully subtle chai flavour, that can warm the soul on even the coldest of Kingston’s winter days.  This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's basic cupcake recipe.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 3 tbsp Saigon chai tea
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C 

2.) Melt butter over medium heat in small saucepan. Add tea and milk. Stir for a minute or two.  Remove from heat and allow to steep for several minutes until the kitchen is filled with a wonderful spicy aroma and the butter has changed colour.  

3.) Strain the butter through a sieve, pressing the tea leaves firmly against the mesh with a spoon in order to make use of as much of the butter as possible. Some of it will inevitably be lost as it tends to stick to the tea leaves.  

4.) Put all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.  

5.) Divide the mixture between a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top. Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.  

 makes 12 cupcakes   

Ginger Orange Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of one orange
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

 1.)  Cream Butter and icing sugar with electric mixer.

2.)  Add spices, orange zest and milk. Whip until smooth.

3.) Frost cupcakes with love