Me and tea have a complicated history but long story short I drink chai, mint tea and some herbal teas if they don’t taste of dust. But I keep trying, which is why I went to a tea mixing workshop at Bird and Blend in Manchester* and I’m now obsessed with their blends.
I bought quite a stash for me and my friends – including my own spiced, chocolatey blend- and it got me thinking about different ways to use teas.
I’m using the gingerbread chai for ice cold lattes, which have been a godsend over the hot summer. The carrot cake blend is made with caffeine free roobios, actual carrot flakes, caramelized hazelnut and spices. It’s delicious and it does smell like actual carrot cake, so why not add it?
It seemed daft to add it to the cake as it wouldn’t stand out, but the icing was there for the taking. Most carrot cakes come with cream cheese icing, but I like mascarpone icing because it’s less sweet and so can be flavoured.
It’s not a smack in the face flavour, but a lovely hum that compliments the carrot cake. And you could use this mascarpone icing method with all sorts of teas and cakes:
Earl grey with a citrus cake
Chai with rose and cardamom cake
Toast and jam (yep that’s a tea!) With chocolate cake
I used Nigella’s carrot cake muffin recipe which you can find online.
A simple way to infuse your icing with a flavour to compliment a cake.
Cupcakes, Icing, Mascarpone, Muffins
Servings: 12cupcakes / muffins
Author: Claire Thomas, she-eats.com
2tsploose leaf teaheaped tsps
Add 2 heaped tsp of tea to 50ml of boiling water. Leave for 5 mins then strain and leave to cool slightly.
Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric whisk, mix the double cream and 2 -3 heaped tbsp of icing sugar until softly whipped.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the cream and whip until fully mixed. Add the strong tea infusion and mix. Add more sugar if required.
Pipe onto cake or cupcakes as required.
Add sugar to taste. I don't like it too sweet but add a tbsp at a time if you require more.
This recipe is easy to scale up - use the same amounts of cheese and cream and sweeten to taste. Make the tea infusion stronger rather than add more liquid though - so maybe use 3tsp of tea in 50 ml water for a larger quantity.
SHE LOVES: using ingredients in new and delicious ways. Tea lovers should definitely visit Bird and Blend – they even do a tea cocktail class!
*Thanks to Bumble and Yolk for a fab night and opening my eyes to so much tea!
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