the taste space

Baked Rhubarb and Apples with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts, Favourites by Janet M on June 3, 2010


It is no secret that I love tea (in addition to visiting Penzeys when I went to the States, I came back laden with tea from Teavana). I only drink herbal and caffeine-free teas (er, tisanes) but I confess that I have one black tea in my collection. It is Earl Grey Cream. It brings Earl Grey with its hint of bergamot orange to the next level with vanilla and cream.   It is also wonderful to incorporate into dishes while cooking and baking. I have used Earl Grey in delicious (and not as delicious) shortbread cookies and here it is paired elegantly with baked rhubarb.

Let me preface this by saying this baked rhubarb is stupendously good*. It helps that it has a lot of my favourite flavours mixing sweet and sour perfectly. The rhubarb and apple are baked until softened, but not mush.  Pick an apple that holds its shape, like Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp (one of my my favourite apples!), Gala, Northern Spy, etc – unless you prefer apple sauce. The fruit is lightly sweetened and the flavours abound with citrus (lemon juice and orange zest) that complements the pool of Earl Grey sauce. Cardamom adds the finishing touch. Perfect! Bliss!

I originally served it warm from the oven over chilled vanilla yogurt, and I am sure it would be delicious over ice cream as described by Chez Danisse where I found the recipe. The next day, the sauce thickened slightly and was wonderful for breakfast with yogurt again, but also served over oatmeal. If you prefer more of a smoother sauce, zap it in the microwave for 2 minutes and it disintegrates into a thick sauce.

This is my sweet submission to Ricki and Kim’s SOS Kitchen Challenge, featuring sweet or savoury natural vegan cooking highlighting rhubarb this month.

PS. Does anyone know where to get a good decaf Earl Grey Cream tea that ships to Canada? Bonus if in Toronto!

*It was so good that I called my mom past her bedtime (and past mine) to tell her how awesome it was. Thankfully I didn’t wake her up. It was also too late to share it with all of you, as I try not to photograph food without natural light.  I knew I’d have to wait until the morning before I could snap some photos!

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Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies, Revisited and Improved

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by Janet M on April 15, 2010

I am new to food blogging, if you haven’t already noticed.  This blog is just over 6 months old (woohoo!) but sometimes I have questions. Like what should I do if I have a better version of something I already posted?  I’ll write a new post, for sure, but I would hate to mislead people into trying a different sub-par recipe when I have a better one! What to do with the older post? Write a disclaimer with a redirect to the new revised recipe? I think that sounds best, but let me know if you have better ideas.

The recipe I recreated was for the quite popular Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies from Martha Stewart. Sorry, Martha, I have a better recipe. A hundred times better! They are subtly addictive, not overtly obvious with its prowess until you’ve munched on a few cookies.. or maybe that’s from the caffeine? ;)

This recipe came from the George Brown College Chef School, through Tastes of Tomorrow, their student cooking club. This is why you pay the big bucks for culinary school! Or the small bucks to go to their student club – a wonderful bargain if you ask me and blogTO (sadly I missed the frozen pastry demo and the one with Chef David Lee of Nota Bene restaurant).

Anyways, I didn’t tackle this recipe originally because I didn’t have a scale but bakers will tell you that weighing your ingredients is the best way to consistent results. Plus, the recipe is just plain better than Martha’s. Definitely pick up a scale just for this cookie. They can be found fairly cheap ($20) at kitchen supply stores, amazon, etc. Just make sure it measures to the gram (not rounded to the closest 5 g) and can weigh at least 5 kg.

A few other tips for optimal earl grey cookies I picked up from my last batch: the quality of your Earl Grey tea matters.  Instead of tea bags, I opted for Earl Grey Cream loose leaf tea from Tealish. Delicious as a tea with a hint of vanilla, and fabulous in the cookies. Plus, I loved the coarse sugar dancing on the outsides of the cookie. It added a burst of sweetness from an otherwise mild cookie.

This is my submission to this month’s Sugar High Fridays, hosted by Vampituity, featuring Personal Feats of Dessert (Recreated Failures).

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Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies

Posted in Desserts by Janet M on December 13, 2009

I debated whether I should put these cookies on the blog. I had high hopes for them, despite mixed reviews, but tackled them regardless.  I was initially disappointed with the results. However, friends loved them and I agreed that they tasted better the next day.. so much so, that I couldn’t stop munching on them and there are none left… so they must be good as my tummy will attest. :P

This is a slice-and-bake shortbread-like cookie with a hint of Earl Grey tea and lemon.  It is a pretty simple cookie with only a few ingredients.  I found a sharp chef’s knife helped to cut the cookies without too much crumble (some cookies still needed to be sacrificed, though). I used the tea leaves from 5 bags of Earl grey tea but the next time I try it, I will buy some loose leaf tea.  Since Earl Grey is the main flavour, it would be best not to use subprime tea.  I also plan to coat the outside with sugar, as I am still on a quest for a better Earl Grey shortbread. I have a recipe I want to try, as we were served them at the tea event run by the George Brown cooking club (Tastes of Tomorrow). However, I need to find a scale first. UPDATE: That much better recipe has been posted here.

The recipe is slightly altered from the Martha Stewart original, found in Martha Stewart’s Cookies, and also reprinted online here.

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