Creating baked goods with the flavours and health benefits of tea is not as easy as simply tossing some tea leaves into the mix. The dry leaves don’t transfer much of their flavour or scent into the end product and are not particularly appetising to munch on. The most effective way to add the delicious tastes and aromas of your favourite tea is to infuse one or more of the recipes ingredients.
Almost all cake and biscuit recipes contain at least one of these three ingredients: water, milk or butter. So to add a new element to your favourite baked goodies you just need to infuse one or more of these with your choice of tea. Remember that teas with a very subtle flavour will require more tea leaves so the flavours will carry across.
TEA INFUSED WATER: Essentially this is just making tea except you want this infusion to be particularly strong. We use 1 Tablespoon of tea to each cup of water and steep for a little longer than usual. Using good quality loose leaf tea and the correct temperature of water should eliminate most of the bitterness which can occur when tea is steeped for too long. Strain the leaves out of your infusion and allow to cool before using in your recipe.
TEA INFUSED MILK: Infusing milk is very similar to infusing water and since milk is more common in baking recipes it is a technique you’re more likely to use. Make sure you don’t heat your milk to boiling point as this changes the chemical structure of the proteins and flavour of the milk. The best way to infuse milk is to place it in a saucepan and heat gently with the tea leaves for 10 minutes or more. Milk also helps to bind some of the tannins in tea, making the resultant brew less likely to be bitter. Again we use about 1 tablespoon per cup of milk or more for a subtle tea such as Water Dragons Tears. Make sure you allow your infused milk to cool down and remove tea leaves before using it.
“Our Tea Sacs are very useful for creating infusions as they hold a good quantity of tea and have room for the leaves to expand.”
TEA INFUSED BUTTER: This is the most effective way of getting the delicious flavours of your favourite tea into biscuits and other recipes which do not contain milk or water. It creates a stronger flavour than the milk or water infusions and is still relatively easy to do.
What you need to do is melt the required amount of butter in a saucepan, add an extra tablespoon to ensure you have enough butter left after straining the leaves out.
Add your tea leaves, roughly 1-2 tablespoons per half cup of butter depending on the strength of the tea you are using, then lower to a medium heat and steep for 5 minutes.
Using a fine strainer remove the leaves and allow your infused butter to cool before using in recipes.
So now you know the secret to adding the amazing flavours, aromas and health benefits of tea to your baking we’d love to hear about your delicious successes. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you go.
Bronte and Abbi xxx