Tea, sacred revitaliser of the nation. Putting the kettle on for a cuppa forms no part of my own relaxation, the snap of a diet coke tin or popping of a prosecco cork being more likely. Throw chocolate into the mix however and you’ve got my attention.
I realised lately that it was not necessarily tea I didn’t like, but it’s opaqueness (or should that be opacity? Answers below please). Furthermore, it’s full fat milk with swirly stuff happening on the surface that worries me. A hangover from forced drinking of third pint bottles with thin green straws at school.
Lovers of tea, chocolate and strawberries alike will no doubt enjoy this Matcha Jade Selection:
Sencha – a smooth white chocolate centre with sencha green tea and a white chocolate shell decorated with a pretty gold design;
China Rose – milk chocolate centre with rose pouchong tea and a milk chocolate shell. It has a delicate tea flavour and a creamy texture reminiscent of Galaxy (not sure I’d be thanked for this comparison but you get the picture), as pictured on the cake;
Liquid Jade – dark chocolate centre with green tea liqueur and matcha green tea with a white chocolate shell. This was the strongest flavoured of the five, the alcohol flavour taking centre stage.
Masala Chai – milk chocolate centre with Masala chai tea and a dark chocolate shell, decorated with crystalised ginger. This one had a deeper chocolate flavour and the tea was less prominent.
Strawberry Summer – milk chocolate centre and strawberry scented tea and English breakfast tea and a dark chocolate shell.
This Nigella Lawson chocolate cake recipe originally using marmalade is a firm favourite of mine, not least because you can make it all in one pan and there’s barely any washing up. She suggests using other flavours of jam although I’ve taken this a bit further with some Turkish delight too – chocolate or sugar coated, either would work. If you don’t have a double boiler to mix it in one go you could substitute using a small sauce to melt the butter and chocolate and then tip these into a large mixing bowl before adding the remaining ingredients.
The ganache I confess was a problem. I blame my own impatience before holiday. Lack of time to refrigerate meant mine was more of a sauce. I like it that way but you can decide whether you want sauce or chilled ganache. Incidentally, Nigella advocates serving the cake straight from the oven with creme fraiche so maybe my warm sauce is not so far off the mark.
A quick word about two ingredients; I used chocolate coated Turkish delight, discovered After Eight style in Morrison’s and some Baxter’s strawberry jam. The chocolate was Green and Blacks. I received the jam at an afternoon tea event run by Baxter’s from which I have several other recipes to share with you very soon.
Matcha Chocolate Jade Selection Giveaway
I’m delighted to share with Maison Cupcake readers some of Matcha’s delightful tea chocolates.
To win a box of the new Matcha Jade Selection, leave a comment below this post by midnight BST Sunday June 20th 2010 answering the following question:
Which is your favourite summertime tea or beverage?
This giveaway is open to readers in the UK only. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!
Strawberry Chocolate Cake with Rose Tea Ganache
Adapted from Store-Cupboard Chocolate Orange Cake from Nigella Lawson, How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
For the cake
125g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200g strawberry jam
100g Turkish delight
150g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour
20cm round Springform tin, buttered and floured or lined with baking parchment
For the decoration
12-15 chocolates or pieces of Turkish delight. Or real strawberries. Or nothing. As you wish.
For the chocolate sauce/ganache
80ml single cream
1 tbsp rose tea leaves
125g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 180c or gas mark 4.
2. Using a double boiler, melt the butter over a low heat and then stir in the chocolate pieces until both combined and smooth.
3. Turn off the heat and using a wooden spoon, stir in the jam, Turkish delight, sugar, salt and eggs. When just about combined, beat in the flour a little at a time.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
5. For the sauce/ganache, warm the cream in a small saucepan on a low heat. Place the tea leaves in either a metal snap-shut tea strainer or a small muslin bag on a string and place in the warm cream leaving to infuse for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the tea leaves from the infused cream and drop in the milk chocolate squares, stirring gently until they melt. Allow to cool.
7. Place the cake on a pretty plate and spoon the cooled chocolate sauce over the top. Decorate the edge of the cake with chocolates, more Turkish delight or any other way you wish.