Homemade Kefir Cheese
2 cups organic whole milk yogurt
Place yogurt in a gold filter or in an unbleached coffee filter in a strainer, then place filter in a glass measuring cup. Refrigerate for several hours until liquid has strained from the yogurt, and it’s very thick. Place in a covered glass container and refrigerate for up to a week.
Homemade Crème Fraiche
1 cup organic whipping cream
2 tablespoons organic buttermilk
Stir cream and buttermilk together in a glass canning jar with no lid. Cover top of jar with a cloth. Allow to stand at room temperature 8-24 hours or until thick. Screw on jar lid, and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Strawberries or Figs with Crème Fraiche
A big bowl of fresh strawberries or dry figs
Bowl of crème fraiche
Organic honey for drizzling
Serve all together on a serving tray, along with a selection of raw nuts.
Juice and lemon zest from 2 organic lemons
½ cup organic sugar
5 organic egg yolks
1 cube organic butter
Combine egg yolks and sugar over low heat, then add lemon juice and zest. Add the butter, bit by bit, stirring well until the mixture has thickened and is cooked. Store in an air tight jar in the refrigerator for several days. Serve lemon curd and crème fraiche or kefir with a selection of butter cookies.
Sesame Cucumber Crackers
12 2” sesame rice crackers
½ cup organic kefir cheese, Greek yogurt or organic creme fraiche
12 slices organic cucumber
Spread crackers with yogurt or crème fraiche. Top with cucumber and fresh dill sprig.
Rooibos Ice Cream
1 ¼ cup milk
5 tbsp Ellen's Rooibos Tea (plain or flavored) tea leaves
1 ¼ cup cream
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup Rooibos Syrup
½ cup superfine sugar
6 egg yolks
4 egg whites
Heat the milk with Rooibos tea until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and discard the tea bags (or strain the leaves). Stir the cream, vanilla extract, Rooibos syrup and sugar into the milk and return to the heat. Stir in egg yolks. Stirring continuously, bring the mixture almost to boiling point. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Set aside to cool completely. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the cooled mixture. Churn in an ice-cream machine till frozen and keep in the freezer until serving. Note: If you do not have an ice-cream machine, pour the ice-cream mixture into a shallow dish and place in the freezer for 90 minutes, beating well with an electric beater at 30 minute intervals to prevent large crystals from forming in the ice-cream. Leave in the freezer until frozen. Makes about 3 cups ice-cream.
Jasmine Almond and Orange Sorbet
3 cups spring water
2 ½ tbsp. Ellen's Jasmine almond with orange tea leaves
¾ cup Ellen's organic sugar
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly add the tea leaves. Cover and allow the tea to steep 4 minutes. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Taste; if necessary, add 2-3 more tablespoons of sugar and stir until dissolved. Strain the liquid over a bowl; discard tea leaves. Cover and chill about 2 hours. Pour mixture into ice cream maker, following manufacture’s directions. Or freeze in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Every hour for about 4 hours, uncover and stir the mixture with a fork. Serve alone as an intermission; add some vanilla wafer cookies if served as a dessert. The texture and consistency will be more like a granita and must be eaten the same day. Makes 3 cups.
Green Tea Ice Cream
1 heaping teaspoon Ellen's green Tea leaves (any flavor)
1 cup cold spring water
5 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 cup half and half
2 cups whipping cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Brew tea leaves in cold spring water for about 30 minutes to best extract the green tea flavor. Remove leaves; cover and refrigerate. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium-size saucepan until creamy yellow, then add the sugar a little bit at a time, whisking slowly. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the half and half with 1 cup of the whipping cream, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat just until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the inside of the pan. Reduce the temperature and cook about 10 minutes, continuing to stir. Next, combine the egg mixture with the cream. To avoid curdling the eggs, pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks very slowly, cooking over low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool slightly, then pour into a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for about 4 hours. Remove the chilled mixture from the refrigerator. Stir in the chilled tea liquor, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Beat the remaining cup of whipping cream into stiff peaks and gently fold in to chilled mixture. Pour into an electric ice cream maker and freeze, following manufactures directions.
½ cup strongly brewed Ellen's Rooibos Tea
¼ cup brandy (optional - increase Rooibos amount by ½ if brandy is not used)
3 tsp honey
1 packet (5oz) lady finger cookies
3 large eggs, separated
2 ½ tbsp superfine sugar
9 oz mascarphone cheese
3 ½ tbsp crushed almond praline or peanut brittle
Mix the Rooibos, brandy (or extra Rooibos) and honey together in a small shallow bowl. Dip both sides of the cookies into the liquid and arrange half of the cookies in the bottom of a shallow dish, covering the base. Pour half of the leftover liquid over the cookies. Cream the eggs yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Add the mascarphone cheese to the egg mixture. Mix until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mascarphone mixture. Pour half of the mixture over the cookies in the dish. Arrange the rest of the dipped cookies on top. Pour the remaining mascarphone mixture over the top. Sprinkle the praline on top. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set. Serves 4-6 people.
Walnut Carrot Red Cake
¾ cup sunflower oil
1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
16 oz (2 ½ cups) carrots grated
1 cups walnuts chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons in which 2 tbsp Ellen's Rooibos tea leaves have been infused
Preheat the oven to 375*F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan and line with the greased baking paper. Combine the oil, eggs and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, strain together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add the grated carrots and stir to mix well. Add the egg mixture to the carrot mixture and blend thoroughly. Add the walnuts, lemon zest and lemon-Rooibos infusions and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 75 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. This cake can be frosted with a butter or cream cheese frosting if desired. Makes 1 cake.
Pineapple Green Chutney
21 oz fresh pineapple, cut into strips
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp tumeric
2 whole cloves
2 cardomon pods
½ cup superfine sugar
2 tbsp Ellen's green tea leaves
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on a very gentle heat until the pineapple is softened. Remove the tea bags after about 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow mixture to cool. Pour into a sterilized glass jar. Makes about 2 cups.
Traditional Scones & Tea
1 ¾ cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup cream
Sift dry ingredients together. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of small peas. Beat eggs with a fork. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the eggs, and add the rest to the dry mixture, along with the cream. Mix together, then using your hands, turn out onto a floured board. Pat together until about 1 inch thick. Cut with a knife into squares. Brush lightly with beaten eggs, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until slightly golden on top. Makes about 10 scones. Pair it with our Dessert Teas and enjoy.
Earl Grey Chocolate Cake
1 tablespoon solid shortening
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup boiling water
1 tablespoon Ellen's Earl Grey tea
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350*F. Use the solid shortening and flour to grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Brew the tea for 4 minutes; strain into a large measuring cup and cool. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients onto wax paper. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat paddle, cream the butter until it is light, about 1 minute. Scrap beater and sides of bowl; beat another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrap down sides of owl and beat for 1 minute. Fold in one-fourth of the flour mixture and one-third of the tea/buttermilk and vanilla mixture. Blend and stir. Once all the ingredients are added, beat in mixer on low speed just to mix until smooth. Pour batter into the pans and spread with a spatula. Tap pans on kitchen counter to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center springs back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a small kitchen knife around the edges of cake and sides of pan to loosen. Unmold on cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper. Use cake rack to turn cake right side up. Cool before frosting.
Tea Smoked Salt
There are many ways to smoke tea leaves. The traditional Chinese method is to combine equal parts dry tea leaves and dry uncooked rice and then add your aromatic ingredients such as cracked peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick, citrus peel, etc. Consider adding cracked nut shells, small wood chips or other items as well. This mixture would go into the bottom of your wok (lined with heavy duty foil first to facilitate cleaning) with a rack above to place the items to be smoked. When smoking salt, you can place it right onto an oiled rack like you might a quail or fish filet, so you would use a foil tray placed onto the rack.
Place sea salt into a coffee or spice grinder. Add a small amount of Ellen's Matcha powder and then pulse once or twice to completely distribute the powder. You can vary the tea used by grinding your own tea powder first. You can also combine your powdered tea with spices and then pulse to mix. Consider combining the methods as well and finishing a tea smoked salt with additional powdered tea and/or spice for further variety.