custom cakes/cookies

Monday, March 18, 2013

Warming Matcha Smoothie & Thai-Tea Cream Biscuits

I contribute recipes to the blog of my friends' tea company, Arbor Teas. Here are two breakfast recipes that use their teas to begin your morning on a good note.  

I agree. A warm smoothie doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me either. But after a long, chilly winter of drinking cold smoothies, a hot one actually makes a lot of sense. Think drinkable oatmeal, fortified with energy and nutrients, including Arbor Teas' organic matcha green tea. Matcha provides a welcome dose of antioxidants, L-theanine--an amino acid proven to promote relaxation, chlorophyll--a powerful detoxifier, Vitamins C and A, selenium, zinc, chromium, and magnesium. All of this makes for a healthy, natural energy boost and a delicious start to your day.

Warming Matcha Smoothie

Makes about 2½ cups
1 very ripe banana
1¼ cups almond milk, steaming hot
4 TBS old fashioned oats
2 TBS blueberries, fresh or frozen
½ TBS coconut butter (try making your own)
½ TBS whey powder
¾ tsp organic matcha green tea, or more to taste
1 Medjool Date, seed removed

Blend all ingredients together at once, until smooth.
Enjoy straightaway.

Also, you might like to pair it with these...

Thai-Tea Cream Biscuits

You may call this a scone, but I prefer cream biscuit. It’s on the softer (less dense) side of the biscuit-to-scone continuum, especially if you take care to use the gentlest mixing possible. The lovely Thai mango scone I had as part of an impressively creative full-service tea at Craftsman & Wolves, a contemporary p√Ętisserie in San Francisco’s Mission District, inspired this attempt at replication. In addition to mango, I added Arbor Teas’ Organic Thai Iced Tea, unsteeped. Since it’s a mix of black tea, vanilla bean, cardamom, and anise seeds, when used dry in baking, the spices in the Thai tea toast in the oven, elevating their flavor quite favorably. I especially liked the subtle, fragrant black licorice taste from the anise. Green curry adds an usual twist that plays nicely against both the toasted spices and the slight sweetness of the biscuit.

makes about 8-10 biscuits

2¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (5 grams) organic loose Thai tea leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold, unsalted butter
½ cup chopped mango (dried, fresh or frozen)
½ cup (50 grams) shredded coconut
1 tablespoon (19 grams) green curry paste
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In bowl of a food processor, briefly pulse flour, baking powder,sugar, Thai tea, and salt to even distribute. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and pulse several more times until the mixture resembles a crumbly texture with tiny pea-sized bits of butter. Next add the mango and coconut, and pulse to distribute. Dump this dry mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the green curry paste into the heavy cream to create a slurry, then gently fold this into the dry mix with the spatula.  Lightly knead the dough just once or twice in the bowl, to bind all the ingredients in  one large mass. It’s important that the dough is not overworked, so don't worry about getting it completely mixed. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Using your hands, gently press the dough out to a ¾-inch thickness. Cut 2½-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter or the top edge of a drinking glass. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet,leaving a couple inches between each. Reroll the scraps of dough as necessary.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.