Baked Camembert, Blog, Food & Drink, Recipes

Baked Camembert

Reader, I am a glutton for all things cheesy. After a long day at work, there is nothing more satisfying than getting a bottle of Rosé out of the fridge and making some baked Camembert to tuck into with someone.

One thing I do recommend if you’re a semi-regular Camembert eater like myself is invest in a baker. It stops the fear of your gooey goodness spilling out of its original packaging and keeps your cheese warmer for longer when serving. Oh, and they’re relatively easy to clean with a soft brush and sponge.

Also if you host dinner parties as often as I do, small pronged cocktail sticks work a treat when serving and save on washing up!

Camembert with a meat selection from a dinner party. There was salad and bread too!

Before you place your baker in the oven, lightly score the top of your cheese and sprinkle a little Rosemary and Thyme. Then bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Most things can be served with Camembert but the classic is always crusty bread. I normally put a small bowl of flavoured vinegar on the side for extra dipping goodness!

These Balsamic Vinegars work well a treat from The Little Herb Farm

Cured meats is always a natural go-to for me with Camembert. My personal favourites are Prosciutto and Chorizo however Salami works just as well. For a more healthier option, fruits and veggies such as carrots and apples work just as well too.

Don’t shy away from being creative with your dipping! Potatoes can be quite crumbly but mixed with onion and egg into mini frittata bites have proven to be a success for me as well as mushroom arancini and spinach samosas.

Enjoying some Camembert with Potato and onion Frittata bites

How do you serve your Camembert and what do you enjoy serving it with?

AJ x

Blog, Food & Drink, Negativitea - Overbrewing, Tea

Negativitea – Overbrewing

Reader, there is nothing more satisfying as sticking on the kettle for a cuppa. After patiently waiting for your kettle to shake with excitement as the water bubbles and pour the steamy water over your leaves, the waiting game of brewing begins. Once completed, you take a sip and experience every tea lovers worst nightmare. The Overbrew.

This is such an infuriating experience, especially if you’re needing to be woken up by your caffeine fix and you’re still half asleep pouring the mucky, bitter water down the sink as you try again to make a better brew just to get that horrible taste out of your mouth.


So why does this happen and how can it be avoided?

 

Why does overbrewed tea taste so damn gross?!
Over brewed tea had a greater concentration of tannins. Tannins can be found in a variety of fresh foods including berries, legumes and is also found in wine. It is a defence component in plants to prevent them from being eaten.

Tannins make the plant undesireable to some animals, though tannins are not concentrated enough in tea to harm you if they are used in moderation, so don’t worry! These tannins bind the salivary proteins, leading to a rough and dry feeling in your mouth.

 

Is your water too hot?
The popular misconception that boiling water can be used on any kind of tea. In fact, each type of tea requires a different temperature to brew, this is because each variety is processed differently and has a different strength. Black tea is fully oxidised and more robust than the buds and dried delicate white tea. Brewing your tea at a warmer temperature can overwork the leaf and spoil the flavour.

Puerh tea should be brewed at 100 degrees
Black tea, Fruit & Herbal teas should be brewed at approximately 95 degrees
Green & White tea should be brewed between 74 and 85 degrees
Oolong tea should be brewed at around 85 degrees

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Are you using too much tea?
It is recommended you use 1 teaspoon per cup of tea however with larger leaf teas, you might need a bit more. Having your infuser packed with tea can stop the tea moving around which can impact the brewing process.

I find that when brewing White tea putting less tea sometimes prevents overbrewing. With it being a delicate leaf, if you put more tea in your infuser , it is therefore making a stronger brew which takes away from the original intended light flavour and can leave it tasting gross.

 

Are you just simply waiting too long?
Each packet of tea you buy should come with a set of brewing instructions, however there seems to be a general consensus amongst the teas that the standard recommended brewing time is 3-5 minutes for all teas with exception of white tea which is recommended 2-3 minutes.

Brewing your tea longer than the advised time realises a greater proportion of tannins, leaving your tea undrinkable.

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Can you overbrew Cold brew Tea?
Not really. You can brew cold brew tea for anything between 3 hours and overnight. However, you might get bitterness if you put too much tea in your cold brew equipment.

 

Hopefully this has troubleshooted some of your tea troubles and banish negativitea from your lives!

AJ x

Blog, Food & Drink, Tea, Top 5 Whittard of Chelsea Teas

Tea and Bake’s Top 5 Whittard of Chelsea Teas

Reader, Tea and Bake was clearly inspired by one of my loves, tea. One of my favourite shops which caters to this thirst is the English heritage brand, Whittard of Chelsea.

Founded in 1886, it stocks over 100 different varieties of loose leaf tea across over 50 stores nationwide. Having tried approximately 80 of these delicious blends (yes, I told you that I’m an addict!), I had to compile a list of my Top 5 Teas from the shop. This was not as easy as I thought it would be so after a lot of tasting, recasting and thinking… here it is!

 

All of these teas are best enjoyed without milk.
The brew times below are just my personal recommendations.

 

5 – GARDEN PARTY OOLONG
Flavour Profile: Papaya, Pineapple, Strawberry, Almonds
Brew Time: 5 Minutes

GPO.jpg

This gorgeous tea brings summer right to your cup! The Oolong Tea itself brings a nutty taste to the tea and gives it a taste of warm almonds. This tea is great infused as part of a cocktail.

 

4 – CHELSEA GARDEN
Flavour Profile: Peony, Rose, Strawberries
Brew Time: 3 Minutes

Chelsea Garden

This White Peony Tea is laced with rosebuds is a light and refreshing drink. It was actually the first ever tea I bought from Whittard of Chelsea and remains a staple in my cupboard. This tea is exceptional as a cold brew on a hot summers day.

 

3 – EXTRAVAGANT EARL GREY
Flavour Profile: Vanilla with a hint of bergamot
Brew Time: 2 Minutes

EEG

This delicate tea requires little brewing and can be very easily over brewed (yuck!). It is a definitely a classy twist to your standard brew, with the White Tea giving a lightness and vanilla giving a sweetness to your cup. The Earl Grey flavour comes with the cheeky hint of bergamot.

 

2 – ORANGE BLOSSOM
Flavour Profile: Orange, Orange Blossom
Brew Time: 3-5 Minutes

Orange Blossom.jpg

Orange Blossom is a beautiful blend of Black Tea with Orange Blossom and Orange Peel. It is the perfect ‘wake me up’ tea to get you out of the bed in the morning. Utterly refreshing!

 

1- BLUEBERRY ROOIBOS
Flavour Profile: Blueberry, Honey
Brew Time: 3 Minutes

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This is my absolutely favourite tea at the minute from Whittard of Chelsea. What makes this tea extra awesome is that it is caffine free so you can enjoy it any time of day! I have always described this tea and a warm hug. It’s malty flavour from the Rooibos added with the blueberries gives it a soothing quality and an easy drink.

 

Do you agree with my list? Are there any more teas I should try?

Leave your Comments below!

 

AJ x

 

Aubergine and Coconut Mash, Blog, Food & Drink, Recipes

Aubergine & Coconut Mash

When I was in Berlin, I visited the amazing restaurant called Spreegold. This was where I had my first experience of Aubergine & Coconut Mash.

So I had to try and replicate this at home and it worked out a treat! Yes, before you say anything reader, it doesn’t look like the most appetising thing in the world but trust me, it is delicious!

Food2.jpg(Top: Spreegold  Bottom: Pulled pork burger with homemade slaw and Aubergine & Coconut Mash)

 

Ingredients
Serves 2

2 Aubergines
150g King Edward Potatoes
1/3 cup of Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp of crushed garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp of Desiccated Coconut *

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

*For something more savoury, try replacing the desiccated coconut with thyme!

 

Method

1. Pierce your aubergine several times all the way around. Place them in a heatproof oven dish and drizzle 1tbsp of olive oil over each aubergine. Place in an oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until the aubergine is soft.
(Times can vary depending of size of your aubergines)

2. Whilst your aubergines are roasting, peel your potatoes and place them in a pot of boiling water and place over a medium heat on your stove, seasoning the water with a little salt. Wait until the potatoes are soft and strain.

3. Once your aubergines are soft, remove from oven and strip them of their flesh, scooping out the soft pulp with a spoon. Place this in a bowl and start mashing using a masher.

4. Add the garlic and coconut milk and slowly integrate the potatoes. Once the mix starts to incorporate, change from using the masher to an electric whisk to eradicate any lumps.

5. Once the mix starts to look like mashed potatoes, fold in the desiccated coconut. Season with salt and black pepper to taste

 

Food(Sirlion Steak, Aubergine and Coconut Mash, Sliced Greens, Garlic Potatoes & Peppercorn Sauce)

Tip: Why not make your Peppercorn sauce with Coconut Milk?

 

What is particularly awesome about this recipe too is that it is Vegan friendly for those who have dietary requirements. Also it is quite filling. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Have you tried this recipe? Let me know your thoughts.

Share it on Instagram and don’t forget to tag me @teaandbake!

 

AJ x