What a lovely institution afternoon tea is – a fabulous
extra meal that revolves almost entirely around cake. But in some ways, that’s
also my problem with it – the tea part is actually quite often neglected,
completely ignoring the fact that a really good tea choice can make the
accompanying cakes, biscuits and sandwiches even more delicious. So I’ve taken
the opportunity to revisit some of my favourite baking recipes (the things I do
for you, eh) and work out which cuppa will complement each of them (tea graciously provided by tea suppliers to HRH herself, Twinings). Tuck in.
Chocolate Cookies & Assam
If you’ve never tried Assam tea, you really are missing
out, because it goes just beautifully with chocolate. Grown in North-Eastern
India, this deep amber-coloured tea is strong and malt-y in flavour, and with plenty
of milk it’s perfect to cut the richness of something that packs a serious chocolate wallop.
That’s why I’ve paired it with my Deadly Double Chocolate Cookies, which are
packed with melted dark chocolate and white chocolate chips – gorgeous.
& Camomile Tea with Spiced Apple
Next, something completely different. If chocolate’s not
your thing, give my simple flapjack recipe a go – what makes it really rich and
delicious is the addition of condensed milk (wonderful stuff). To stop it being
too sweet, pair with this slightly spicy, fragrant camomile tea, full of honey and cinnamon
Cheats’ Pastries &
Jasmine Earl Grey
I’ve always loved Earl Grey tea, but the jasmine-scented
version is a new discovery for me, and I think it’s fabulous. You can drink it
black but I actually think it’s better with just a dash of milk, and the lovely
flowery flavours require a little bit of richness to go with them. For
something a bit different in your afternoon tea (or for a really special
breakfast in bed), whip up some of my easy-peasy cheat’s pastries, and serve,
oozing deliciously with golden syrup, with a cup of Jasmine Earl Grey.
with Lemon & Ginger Tea
One of my favourite alternative fruit teas (ones that are caffeine-free) is this zingy lemon and ginger one – I’d recommend adding a
spoonful of honey to make it really delicious. To complement the fruitiness,
bake a batch of Jake’s Cookies – rich and chewy with plenty of sultanas.
Chocolate Chip Madeleines
with Lavazza Qualita Rossa
If you’re more of a coffee-drinker, then I’d definitely
recommend you pair a cup of good quality black coffee (Lavazza Rossa is my
favourite) with some freshly-baked chocolate chip madeleines. There’s something
about the light, honey-scented sponge and chunks of melted dark chocolate that
works just beautifully with the bitter edge of a cup of coffee.