Do you ever get the urge to Produce Something New? Something fun, maybe a little wild, you haven’t dared make before? Sometimes I wonder if that’s really what winter stir-craziness is for – the urge to explore all those latent hobbies and interests you dismiss when the air is warm and the green breezes of temperate weather beckon us outdoors. And it’s not that we don’t go outdoors in the winter here at Wanderlust (the stargazing is superb!), but I admit I need a hot cuppa if I’m going to enjoy it out there for any length of time. Brr!
Today I decided I needed to experiment in the kitchen and Try Something New. I’ve always been intrigued by shortbread recipes that included tea in their ingredient list, and I recently learned how to make biscotti – it’s something I’ve loved but had never bothered to make myself. The stars aligned on these two thoughts: why not combine them? And it could be because I was watching Star Trek: Into Darkness at the time, but I decided our prize candidate would be Earl Grey Crème! Toss in the chilly weather, and the drive for something decedent took hold!
Earl Grey’s strong bergamot notes are assertive enough to dance with heavier flavor profiles like dark chocolate. Our Earl Grey Crème has soft vanilla and citrus notes that I felt brought new dimensions to these crispy cookies! They retained a surprising amount of tea flavor for the small amount that goes into the recipe.
I decided to make hot cocoa to go with the biscotti and made a perfect match by experimenting with a touch of orange extract. The citrus and vanilla in the cocoa gently mirror the flavors in the biscotti, and…wow. You really should try it for yourself!
Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Biscotti
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp Earl Grey Crème, crushed finely (food processor or mortar & pestle)
1 tsp baking powder
heavy pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
heaping 1/2 cup of chopped dark chocolate (or mini semi-sweet chips)
Orange-kissed Hot Cocoa
3 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp espresso powder (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp orange extract
Whipped cream to serve (optional)