At the end of last year, I had a lovely visit from Jess Salter, a journalist for The Telegraph. Over afternoon tea and a pot or three of Mr Shao’s green tea we nattered about all kinds of things: growing up – unknowingly down the road from each other – in Yorkshire, tea, business, my love of flavour and aroma and more! And it was fantastic to read Jess’ article recently featured in The Telegraph’s weekend magazine regular Word of Mouth feature. Read more here >>>
1. Make a simnel cake
Rich simnel cakes were originally made to celebrate the end of Lent and enjoyed for Mothering Sunday, although they have recently become part of Easter celebrations. This simple yet flavoursome Earl Grey simnel cake is perfect to share.
2. Cook with eggs
Eggs are a symbol of Easter and rebirth. Nutritious and very versatile, they add a pop of colour to minipizzas or this spring soup. We’ll definitely be trying these Chinese style Earl Grey marbled eggs too!
3. Easter eggs.
Can you imagine Easter without Easter eggs? Here are some of our favourite DIY ideas.
Chalkboard Easter eggs by Oleander and Palm
Little Easter egg man by A bit of Pilli Pilli
Eggshell planters by Le Robin’s nest
4. Bake some hot cross buns
5. Sow your seeds
Calendulas, poppies and snapdragons or freesias, irises and anemones. It’s time to sow your favourite seeds and plant your favourite bulbs!
You might have used mulberry fruit to make jams and cakes, but have you ever cooked with mulberry leaves? Our tea hero this month is the sweet and fruity Mulberry infusion, caffeine-free, restorative and revitalising. With 25 times more calcium than milk and 10 times more iron than spinach, it’s perfect for mums and mums-to-be. But it’s also a surprising ingredient in this amazing cake, created by Emily at Lahloo Pantry.
for the white chocolate and Mulberry mousse
- 2tsp Lahloo Mulberry
- 780ml double cream
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ vanilla pod, seeds only
- 420g white chocolate finely chopped
- 2 gelatine leaves*, optional
Infuse 4 tsp Mulberry leaves in 300ml the double cream for 4 hours.
Over a bain-Marie whisk 180ml of the remaining double cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean seeds and heat to 70C
Remove from heat, stir in the white chocolate and combine until completely smooth (*add bloomed gelatine here if using). Split into two bowls and allow to cool to 40C
Meanwhile in another bowl whip the Mulberry-infused cream with a couple of drops of natural green food colouring to a soft not peaked consistency.
And in a separate bowl whip the remaining 300ml double cream to a soft but not peaked consistency
Add both whipped creams to the already prepared white chocolate mixtures and fold delicately until combined.
for the almond sponge:
- 3 large free-range egg whites
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 125g icing sugar
- 3 large free-range whole eggs
- 32g plain
- 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter plus extra fro greasing
Preheat oven to 210C. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and grease with butter.
Make a meringue by beating egg whites in a bowl to soft peaks. Add caster sugar and beat until stiff and glossy
In another bowl beat ground almonds, icing sugar and whole eggs until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat until just combined through
Fold meringue into almond mixture. Fold in butter. Pour batter into trays and spread it out thinly.
Bake until lightly browned and just springy to the touch, about 6-9 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the tray. Peel sponge from parchment paper. Cover the sponge while it cools.
To assemble the layer cake
Once cooled place sponge in back in tray.
Carefully spread a 1 inch layer of white chocolate mousse onto the sponge, using a warmed palette knife to spread evenly
Chill before taking the mulberry mousse and layer in exactly the same way
Add another layer of sponge and repeat with two more layers of the white chocolate and mulberry mousses.
Chill before using a knife to carefully loosen layer cake from tray. Cut into rectangular servings and serve at room temperature.
The highlight of this month’s Tea and Chocolate Workshop at Lahloo Pantry will be the preparation of these chocolate truffles, infused with the delicate flavour of Green Jasmine. A fabulous homemade gift or a luxurious treat to enjoy when you fancy something sweet, satisfying and uplifting. Here’s our recipe!
Ingredients (for about 40 truffles)
- 250g dark chocolate
- 280ml heavy cream
- 50g butter
- 2-3 tbsp Lahloo Green Jasmine
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder (for the coating)
Heat the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, add the tea and let it infuse for 15 minutes. Strain.
Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bain-Marie and strain the cream into the mixture. Whisk well until combined. Pour into a stainless still bowl and refrigerate for two hours.
Place 1 teaspoon of the truffle mixture into the palm of your hand, rolling it into a ball. Place each truffle on a lined baking tray and repeat the process. Chill the truffles until firm.
Once the truffles are firm, coat them with the cocoa powder (if you like them sweeter, add some brown sugar to the cocoa powder and mix well) and leave them to harden.
Our tip: Bring truffles to room temperature just before serving.
If you’re one of the regular readers of this blog, chances are that you wholeheartedly agree with the title of this post. It’s a universal truth: tea and chocolate can make everything better. The possibilities are endless: tea-infused hot chocolate, tea and chocolate biscuits, tea and a slice or two of chocolate cake, tea and a chocolate brownie, a chocolate pudding, chocolate doughnuts…
If you’re a scientist, a nutritionist or a health food fanatic, a word will spring to mind: flavonoids! Both tea and chocolate contain this antioxidant organic compound, which is actually good for you. But this time we aren’t going to talk about health benefits. We want to let our senses do the talking. This post is intended as a guide to satisfying all your tea and chocolate cravings. So here are our favourite combinations:
For a true chocolate feast… . Amber and chocolate brownies
Squidgy, decadent brownies, with an intense chocolate flavour and crunchy chunks of walnuts or hazelnuts require a sumptuous, full-bodied tea like our Taiwanese Amber oolong, with a light smokiness and hints of chocolate and passionfruit. A combination that will satisfy even the greediest chocaholic.
For a little treat… Earl Grey and a chocolate madeleine
A petite chocolate madeleine is lighter, fluffier and smaller than a brownie, but sometimes that’s all you need to get your chocolate fix. The zesty flavour of Earl Grey will complement that of the chocolate as they both play in your mouth. If you take your Earl Grey with milk, try dunking your madeleine and enjoy an afternoon tea reminiscent of Marcel Proust, but still quintessentially English.
For a sophisticated healthy boost… Green Jasmine and single origin dark chocolate
Single origin, bittersweet dark chocolate is probably the most satisfying form of cocoa that exists – the food of the gods. Marvel at the way the divine flavours dance on your tongue when you pair the chocolate with a pot of fresh, crisp Green Jasmine tea. You won’t think of champagne and strawberries in the same way ever again.
For a dainty dessert… Rosebud and chocolate mousse
There’s something intriguing in a chocolate mousse. The combination of the light, airy texture and the intense flavour of chocolate is intriguing and provokes avid reactions. A cup of the alluring, pure and delicate Rosebud will enhance this otherwordliness and provide the best romantic dessert we can think of.
Enjoy 20% off our chocolate partner tea heroes throughout February. Visit our online shop >>
It’s the end of winter, so let’s step out of our caves and take a good stretch under the weak, timid sunshine while we get ready for the spring! And what better way to get our mojo back than a month dedicated to tea and chocolate. We have a tea and chocolate hamper to give away to one of you, Lahloo friends. The prize contains four tins of our chocolate partner tea heroes (Earl Grey, Amber, Green Jasmine and Rosebud), a packet of the decadent Jaz and Jul’s hot chocolate and three irresistible Amelia Rope chocolate bars.
To enter the competition, you just have to answer the following question in the form below and submit it: what is your favourite type of chocolate?
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Terms and conditions
1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, 18 years or over, with the exception of employees of Lahloo Tea and their families or partners.
2. All entries must be received by midnight on Friday the 1st of March 2013.
3. Only one entry per person. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date.
4. By entering this competition you agree to have your name released as the winner. The winner will be contacted through e-mail after the 4th of March.
5. If the prize winner fails to respond to correspondence from Lahloo Tea or to claim his/her prize within 72 hours of receipt of notification, Lahloo Tea shall be entitled to select an alternative prize winner. The prize winner who has not responded won’t be entitled to a prize.
6. Prize is non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
7. Lahloo Tea reserves the right to record the entrants’s e-mail addresses for promotional purposes. We won’t share your details with any third parties!
Our star recipe this month is this satisfying and indulgent Earl Grey chocolate cake, one of the regulars at the Lahloo Pantry counter – it never lasts long, as you can imagine! With a decadent chocolate glaze and fresh raspberries to decorate, this cake screams romance, so it’s perfect for your Valentine!
- 1 1/3 cups boiling water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Lahloo Earl Grey
- 1 3/4 cup plain flour
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and stir in 1 tbl sp lemon juice)
- 115g butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup steeped Lahloo Earl Grey (reserved from the previous)
- 115g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- raspberries to decorate