I thought I’d play this a little differently, and give you a review of one of my favourite tea brands along with the biscuits I made this week. They’re the perfect match, so I thought they deserved a bit of joint attention!
So the biscuits first… I found this recipe ages ago in a magazine. Unfortunately, I can never remember which magazines I find these recipes in; I tend to just cut out the ones I like and stick them into recipe “scrapbooks” I have – I have one for sweets, one for salads and side dishes, one for breads and pastries, etc. It’s just way easier to keep what I want and recycle the rest of the magazines, otherwise I’d have no where to put them – the scrapbooks are filling up enough as it is!!
The first time I tried this recipe, quite frankly, it didn’t work very well. I’ve made it a few more times since, stuffing around with different ingredients, quantities, methods, etc. I think I’ve finally nailed it. What you end up with is a lovely, crumbly biscuit, perfect to end the night with a good cup of tea. The whiskey gives it a really nice, unique flavour – noticeable but not overpowering. The toasted cacao nibs are probably my favourite part, the rich chocolatey flavour complimenting the whiskey and toasted walnuts perfectly. Definitely a new favourite that I expect will stay on the regular baking rotation in my house from now on!
– 140g butter, brought down to room temperature, then microwaved for 15 seconds
– 30g caster sugar
– 40g brown sugar
– pinch of salt
– 3 tbsp whiskey
– 1 cup plain flour
– 1 cup crushed, toasted walnuts
– ½ cup toasted cacao nibs
Let’s make some biscuits..
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and line two oven trays with baking paper.
3. Gently fold in the flour, then the walnuts and cacao nibs – we’re trying not to knock out too much of the airiness from the electric beaters here!
4. Roll heaped teaspoons of dough into balls, flattening them slightly as you place them on the baking trays. Sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar over them and bake for 25 minutes, until they start to turn a light golden colour around the edges.
5. Let them cool completely on the tray – they’ll store for almost a week (if you don’t eat them first) in an air-tight container.
And now, you’ll be needing some tea to go with that jar of biscuits…
English Tea Shop
I originally found this stuff at Aunt Maggie’s on Gertrude Street a while ago – I’m gonna be honest here: it was the pretty, bright colours and cute tea pot design that caught my eye. Then I picked up one of the bright boxes and found out that the tea from the English Tea Shop is not only organic, but also Fairtrade. Further research showed that they also purchase majority of their ingredients from small, third world producers, are on their way to making their Sri Lankan factory carbon neutral, and use “ozone friendly” plantations to supply their tea leaves. Not bad for a random little find! Anyway, I’m now hooked on the stuff, and can actually taste the difference between this and some of the more widely available, mass produced supermarket stuff.
The Green Tea is delicious, and I drink a cup every morning to start my day at work. It’s subtle, but actually has a taste (you know how some teas don’t really have a taste, they can be kind of bland? This isn’t one of them) without being overpowering. These things are different for everyone, but I get an earthy flavour, and as long as I don’t brew it for too long in water too hot (I usually go with around 2 minutes, boiling water plus a splash of cold water, and a pinch of sugar) it never gets that bitter taste that is sometimes associated with green teas.
The English Breakfast tea is fantastic for that afternoon slump, I find. Brewed in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes, it gets a gorgeous, rich colour and flavour. A splash of milk is all it needs (I don’t ever have sugar with black teas), and it always warms me and up re-energises me.
The Earl Grey is my favourite – again, steeped for 3 – 4 minutes, the colour is rich and the smell is incredible. I find that a lot of earl grey teas can be too over-the-top with the flavour, but this one is perfect for my tastes. The subtle kick of flavour that differentiates it from the English breakfast is the natural bergamot flavouring – this is how I choose to end my day most evenings, the perfect cup to unwind with, and it goes perfectly with most sweets (and puppy cuddles)!
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find many places that sell this tea – the ones I have found:
– Aunt Maggie’s (Gertrude St, Fitzroy)
– Terra Madre (High St, Northcote)
– Habib Wholefoods (Flinders St, Melbourne CBD)
If anyone else knows other places to get this tea from, please let me know!!!
Also, if anyone has some more tea recommendations, let’s hear them – I always love to find out about other amazing brews 🙂