When you pair the unique ingredient of loose tea leaves with a love for cooking and baking, the unlikely marriage delights the taste buds with indulgent and exotic flavors. Are you bored with rotating your dessert recipes and meal plans? Challenge your skills in the kitchen with an innovative tea confection or food by introducing tea-infused dishes to your traditional menu. Not only does tea as an ingredient flare up your cooking, baking and dining experiences, it even provides excellent health benefits.
FoodNetwork.com’s nutritional blogger Katie Cavuto-Boyle, a registered dietitian and personal chef, discovered that tea, such as oolong tea, is a flavorful replacement for less-healthy sweeteners and additives such as sugar, extra-fat juice or cooking stock. As a cooking liquid packed with mouthwatering tastes and floral fragrances, such as rich caramel, rose petals, refreshing mint and cinnamon bark, tea adds supreme flavor to common recipes. Tea is a universal ingredient with the power to enhance everything from savory marinades and sauces to sweet confections and treats. These teas offer the following distinct aromas and flavors:
- White Persian Melon: Succulent nectar and melon
- Sugar Caramel Oolong: Burnt sugar blended with smooth caramel
- Moroccan Mint: Green tea with fresh-mint infusion
- Honey Pear: Juicy fruit with remnants of sweet honey
Drinking three cups of tea a day promotes healthy habits. The Linus Pauling Institute explains that drinking tea daily can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 11 percent. Tea also decreases risks
for kidney stones and helps prevent cavities.
The following types of teas offer excellent health benefits:
- Green: Contains antioxidants that help aid cancer prevention and metabolism
- Herbal: Contains medicinal remedies that help fight colds, infection and nausea
- White: Contains nutrients and antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Black: Contains components that help reduce the risks of stroke and cardiovascular problems
- Oolong: Contains enzymes that help promote weight loss, prevent cavities and protect skin
The following recipes are delectable desserts that will leave a lasting impression:
Thai Tea Cake with Condensed Milk Custard Sauce: Arouse the palate with the exotic tastes of Thai tea with Thai food blogger Leela Punyaratabandhu’s melt-in-your-mouth Thai Tea Cake. Perfect for an afternoon bridal shower or Sunday brunch, Leela’s Thai Tea Cake is served warm with homemade custard sauce.
David’s Tea-Infused Creme Brulee: Replace boxed brownies or pre-packaged cookie dough with a creme brulee recipe that pleases the palate with nutty and Amaretto decadence. Serve the creme brulee in classic white porcelain ramekins from Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma or Crate and Barrel for an elegant presentation. Fiesta ramekins in bold colors such as cobalt, lemongrass or flamingo are trendy bakeware that catch the eye and enhance the senses.
Jasmine Tea-Infused Truffles: Exceed the expectations of your palate with bittersweet Jasmine Tea-Infused Truffles by Charles Chocolates’ Chuck Siegel. A union of finely chopped, bittersweet chocolate with the floral aromas of jasmine blossoms creates a superior after-dinner treat. Serve the bite-size truffles in small white paper cups on a double-tiered serving tray for a stylish arrangement.
Japanese green tea soup: White tea-infused cantaloupe goat’s-milk frozen yogurt. Chai tea scones. Butter mixed with loose tea leaves. Special tea recipes capture rare aromas and flavors that will draw “oohs” and “ahs” from your friends and family!