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Cooking with tea
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The partnership of tea and food dates back to ancient China, where tea was often used in savoury dishes. One such recipe involved adding the leaves to the fire when cooking duck, which infused a wonderful smoked seasoning in the meat. The Chinese would also stuff tea leaves inside fish, just as we do with lemon and herbs, before steaming, which similarly created a delicate aromatic flavor.

Tea goes hand in hand with baking - and not just as a brew alongside a cake. It works particularly well in fruit cakes, as soaking the dried fruit in freshly brewed tea produces plump pieces and gives the bake a pleasingly moist texture. You can also use a delicate tea such as Earl Grey to add a new dimension to biscuits, sponges and even ice cream.

Generally it is best to use a stronger brew in baking to allow all the aromatic notes of the blend to come through. When preparing tea to use in baking, pour cold or warm water over the leaves and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes - any longer and the flavor will become stewed and bitter and affect the taste of the baked goods.

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