Tea for Two and Two (Teas) for Tea: Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Loaves are, in my humble opinion, the underrated hero of the cake world. They often appear understated but, ooo baby, can they ever pack a flavour punch! This little earl grey number is one of my go-tos for tea time when I want to amp up a classic tea loaf just a bit.

It’s pretty darn easy to make and decorate and even easier to unwittingly polish off.

I mean, I can’t be the only one who continually goes back for “just another sliver” only to realize I’ve eaten half a loaf, right?


Earl Grey Tea Cake

 Makes 1 loaf

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea leaves, very finely ground
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup Earl Grey infused milk, room temperature, recipe follows
Earl Grey glaze, recipe follows
Loose leaf Earl Grey tea, for decorating
Lemon zest, for decorating

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9- by 5-inch standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the tea leafs and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  This should take about 2 minutes using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla and mix well to combine. 

With the mixer running on low, add in 1/3 of the flour followed by ½ of the earl grey infused milk and repeat until all of the flour and milk are used up.  Mix just until combined.  Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Once cool, drizzle the top of the loaf with a generous helping of Earl Grey Glaze and a scattering of loose leaf Earl Grey tea and some lemon zest. 

Earl Grey Milk

1 cup 2% or whole milk
1 Earl Grey tea bag

Heat the milk in the microwave and add the tea bag.  Allow this to steep for 10 – 15 minutes to infuse the milk then remove the tea bag.


Earl Grey Glaze

2 ¼ cups icing sugar
1 bag Earl Grey tea, cut open
3­–4 tablespoons milk or Earl Grey Milk, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, tea leafs, milk, vanilla, and lemon juice.  If the glaze seems a bit thick, simply add a bit more milk to thin it out.  If it is too thin, add some more icing sugar.

Matcha Cheesecake: A very Dr. Seuss-ian dessert

Matcha Cheesecake

Matcha Cheesecake

Green Eggs & Ham?

I mean, come on Sam-I-Am, why couldn’t you have offered something that sounded more appetizing? Say, a green tea cheesecake & raspberries?

I guess Dr. Seuss knew what he was doing because that would not make a very long book.

“Do you like green eggs and ham?”
”Of course I don’t, Sam.”
What about cheesecake??”
”… well duh”
Fin.


Matcha Cheesecake

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

2 cups gingersnap crumbs*
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups (3 packages) full-fat brick cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Matcha powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup heavy cream
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and lightly grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Wrap the outside of the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil so that the bottom, seam, and sides of the pan are covered and place into a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter.  Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of your prepared springform pan and bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and just slightly darker.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crust to cool.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat one cup of the cream cheese, ½ cup of sugar, the cornstarch, and Matcha powder together on medium-low until creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the remaining cream cheese and sugar, mixing on medium-low and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.  With the mixer running, add in the cream and beat just until completely blended.

Meanwhile, set the kettle to boil.

Gently pour the filling onto the cooled crust, place the cheesecake and roasting pan into the oven and carefully pour boiling water into the base of the roasting pan just so that it comes about 1-inch up the side of the springform pan. This allows the custardy filling of the cheesecake to bake gently and helps reduce the chance of cracks forming on top of your lovely cake.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 ¼ hours or until the edges of the cheesecake pull slightly away from the sides of the pan and the centre of the cake is just set. Cool the cake to room temperature then place it in the fridge to chill for at least 5 hours before serving.

When ready to serve, pop open the springform pan, garnish with fresh raspberries, and slice with a warm knife. 

*Graham cracker crumbs will also taste wonderful

PANNA-MA!... Cotta... with Goat Cheese... scream sang à la Van Halen

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Am I the only one who involuntarily starts singing Panama by Van Halen every time I see panna cotta on a menu? Well, even if I am, it remains a stinking delicious treat with or without the tune.

This is my take on the classic Italian dessert. By adding buttermilk and goat cheese to the mix, it makes for a tangy sweet delight that is oh-so perfect topped with a dollop of lemon curd, whipped cream, or your favourite jam!


Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

Serves 8

1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
¾ vanilla bean, scraped and pod reserved
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatin powder
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup buttermilk

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, vanilla bean pulp and the pod to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the crumbled goat cheese until melted. Remove the mixture from the heat.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it stand for about 1 minute to soften and bloom. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds or until melted and add to the cream and goat cheese mixture. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes then whisk in the buttermilk.

Pour the panna cotta mixture into 8 serving glasses or ramekins and cool to room temperature. Place the panna cottas in the fridge for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Serve the set panna cottas topped with your favourite jam, some lemon curd, fresh fruit, or a big spoonful of Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam.

It's Jammer Thyme: Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Who doesn't love jam? It's pretty much the perfect sweet saucy thing for everything from smearing on toast to dolloping over heaping bowls of ice cream. 

But, like, let's be honest here. Have you ever actually made your own jam? I don't know about you but classic jam making just doesn't fit in the square footage of my teeny little kitchen and picking up a jar from the farmers market or grocery store just seems 18,000x simpler.

That is, until now! 

Meet freezer jam, you're new favourite Springy/Summery thing to make. It's filled with fresh fruit flavours, stores beautifully in the fridge and freezer, and is a cinch to make!

This strawberry thyme freezer jam is the perfect recipe to use up all of those beautiful berries that are just about to pop up at markets and that little hint of thyme, lemon, and vanilla is a freaking dream!


Strawberry Thyme Freezer Jam

Makes three 250ml jars

4 cups trimmed and sliced strawberries
¾ cup sugar
½ lemon, zested and juiced
1–1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ vanilla bean, split and scraped

In a large pot over set over medium heat, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and thyme leaves. If you are using a vanilla bean, add the scrapings and the pod now but if you’re using vanilla extract, save that to add at the very end.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently with a spoon and mashing the strawberries slightly. I like to use a potato masher for this. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes or so or until jammy.

Remove the jam from the heat and add in vanilla extract, if using. Allow the jam to cool slightly then divide into your jars. Allow the jam to cool completely then seal with lids and pop one jar into your fridge to chill and two into your freezer for later use.