A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a tasting with Barry’s Tea and their master blender Denis Daly. I didn’t need to be asked twice. If there’s tea involved, I’m there with bells on. We were treated to tea based cocktails, iced tea and got to see some vintage stamps, order books and other items inside. I was particularly taken with these:
We ventured into the main room and Mr Daly turned into a tea tasting and teaology machine. It was a lovely evening and I went home with a bag of specially blended tea from the master himself.What do you do with a bag of specially blended tea? Apart from the obvious of course? It is a beautiful tea. Mam gave me a new teapot as a celebration present the day my book was published, it has a small infuser that sits inside so works perfectly with this robust, yet delicate blend. I figured why not up the tea content in my elevenses and come up with something that enhances the flavour.
All of the best instructions begin with:
First brew a strong cup of tea.
That is where my “tea biscotti” start.
- 1 strong cup of tea
- 200g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants and raisins for me)
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 400g semolina flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
24 hours before baking. First brew a strong cup of tea. Pour the tea over the dried fruit, stir and then cover and leave for a day or so.
The following day, line a 15cm square baking tray and preheat a fan oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs one by one, beating as you go until completely mixed. Stir in the semolina flour and baking powder. Strain away the tea and stir in the soaked dried fruit.
Pour the batter into the lined baking tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into pieces, approximately 5cm thick. Heat the (fan) oven to 170 degrees and place the slices of cake onto a baking rack – I use my grill pan here. Bake in the oven until golden and crisp. Store in a cool dry place.