Herbal Tea and Chocolate
By Cal Orey
Chocolate and tea can be found as the perfect match in tea rooms to gifts for National Hot Tea Month and February’s Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day--and year-round.
Q: Why do you think chocolate and tea are a perfect match?
Both superfoods have amazing powers to help nourish the body, mind, and spirit. Pairing this mighty duo is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream or salt and pepper. Chocolate and tea are Mother’s Nature’s finest work and deserves kudos.
Q: Do you have a favorite chocolate and tea pairing?
This is a Sophie’s Choice question. If I have to make a decision today in the middle of winter with snow covered ground in the mountains, I’d choose a dark almond chocolate muffin with a cup of White Peony Tea.
Q: What's an interesting fact about tea that most people don't know?
A: You can cook and bake with chocolate paired with tea--leaves or brewed. You can incorporate chocolate and tea in recipes like Chocolate Lavender Torte, and Rosemary-Infused-Chocolate Fudge Cake.
Q: How is your new book The Healing Powers of Tea different than other tea books?
A: I focus on teas (black and white) that other authors have not. Also, I pair herbal teas with classic teas and new tea trends to give it an edge. Not to forget the health spin of the superfood is woven throughout the book full of original stories, including my own travels on the road while all types of tea and tisanes are my constant companion.
Q: Do you share chocolate recipes in your new tea book?
A: Ah, there are so many sweet recipes for the tea lover to choose from--I'm certain chocolate and honey sweetness sprinkled throughout the pages!
Healing Herbal Tea--
Paired with Chocolate
CINNAMON: Cinnamon, like anise and cardamom, the tummy helpers can also be used to treat colds and ease gas and diarrhea, which often accompany the flu. Best Choco Blend: Truffles, cakes, cookies. It is included in chocolate baked goods, hot chocolate, and exotic chocolate and truffles.
GINGER: Ginger root is another digestive aid, like tasty cinnamon, that can be soothing medicine for the stomach and intestines, relieving indigestion, cramps, and nausea. Best Choco Blend: It is used dark chocolate bars and combined with lemons in truffles, and in baked chocolate goods.
LICORICE: Another healing herb, licorice may soothe a sore throat. Also, ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians used the “love” root of the licorice plant as one of nature’s aphrodisiacs to enhance sexual arousal and stamina. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate truffles.
MINT: This spice releases a culinary scent that elicits pleasant memories and sensations of baked desserts in the kitchen. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, truffles.
VANILLA: Sweet vanilla enhances the flavor of a variety of foods, like cinnamon, especially in ice cream, chocolate, and coffee. Best Choco Blend: Milk and dark chocolate truffles, cookies, and cakes.
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington). It was previously featured in One Spirit Book Club.
Rocky Road Tea Bark
* * *
7 premium baking chips, 60 percent
7 ounces premium baking chips, milk chocolate
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
¼ cup tea leaves (green tea with
citrus notes) crush into bite-size bits
Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave for about two or three minutes, stir occasionally until melted. Stir the dark chocolate and spread it onto a nonstick cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper). Spread and shape into a rectangle. Chill in freezer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, nuke milk chocolate chips. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in marshmallows and nuts. (Save half of the nuts for the top.) Take out dark chocolate from freezer and frost with rocky road mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and tea on top. Put back into freezer for 10 minutes. Take out and pick up the entire chocolate candy slab, place on a plate. If you use parchment paper, take off. Break into peanut brittle-like square pieces. Place in airtight sealed containers and keep in refrigerator.
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, Revised and Updated (Kensington) It was previously featured in Good Cook Book Club.