Ages ago I was sent a box of Lemon Green tea to try out.
Green tea is my least favourite tea (I only knew I was being sent some tea- no idea what type), but I found that the lemon flavour in it was lovely and refreshing. I had to let it brew for less than a minute, but it was rather zesty. I find with green tea that less is more (with the brewing time)- it seems to stew quite quickly- but leaving it for just a minute means that it is more delicate tasting.
I also had it as an iced tea (back in the Spring when it was warm- remember that warm weather?). To make it, I put the teabag in a cup and topped with about an inch of water. I let it steep for a minute, removed the teabag, then poured it into a glass and topped up the glass with cold water. I let it cool in the fridge for a bit, before adding a slice of lemon and some ice. This was delicious and very refreshing.
But what I really enjoyed the most (surprise surprise) was baking with it. Ages ago when I was in Waitrose I picked up a recipe card for a banana and fruit loaf (for Fairtrade week- that shows how long ago it was) and the dried fruit was soaked in green tea. As there was lemon zest in the recipe (actually it was orange zest, but I had lemons!) too, I thought lemon green tea would be perfect. I figure as the recipe cards are free in store I can write it out for this blog (plus I did change it a bit).
Banana Green tea loaf.
I green teabag
50g dried fruit (the recipe says cranberries, and I used a pack of Bear berries and cherries)
225g self raising flour (I used half plain and half wholemeal)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs ground cardamom
50g butter (or spread)
100g brown sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
1 medium egg, beaten
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a loaf pan. Put the green teabag in a cup, pour over 150ml boiling water, and add the dried fruits. Leave for 5 minutes, then remove the teabag.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the cardamom, then rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and lemon zest.
Whisk the egg with the tea-infused fruits, and add to the dry mixture. Finally stir in the mashed bananas. I was unclear whether to add the water or not (as the recipe did specify 150ml water, but then it also did not say whether to add the water or discard it)- in the end I added several tbs of the water because the batter seemed quite dry- I suppose some bananas are bigger than others so that would make the batter more moist.
Anyway, don’t over mix the batter; pour it into the loaf pan and smooth the top down. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes, until well risen, golden and firm to touch. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
Optional- wrap and leave for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
The lemon green tea soaking with the dried fruits.
The loaf cooling on the rack (alongside the little sourdough rolls I made).
A slice of the loaf- yes the last point was optional and we did not wait to try it!
This cake was lovely- the bananas made it nice and moist, and the cherries and berries were lovely. I usually soak dried fruit before I bake with it, as it helps it to plump up, but I usually just use water. I think the lemon green tea added a little extra to the flavour.
I am now looking forward to trying them out in different baked goods- Green tea cupcakes sound very summery, and I am sure I have seen a green tea biscotti recipe before now too.
Thanks Twinings! And if you like them you can visit the Twinings Facebook page.
So, any good green tea recipes that I should try out? Feel free to link! Thanks.