Tuesday, November 3, 2009

slightly smokey, slightly sweet

Last night I was thinking about lapsang souchong. It's not a tea I particularly like; it's more a tea I particularly dislike. Yet I have a tiny tin of it in the tea cabinet because I just know it must have a good use, that maybe if I try hard enough, I might just convince myself that I actually like it... All it would take is one recipe.
I don't know if this is the one; I can't decide. Tea-soaked figs, walnuts, honey - a little bit sweet, a little bit smokey - it sounds right, but...
Oh - butter and honey! That's the ticket...

Slightly Smokey, Slightly Sweet Fig and Walnut Bread


1 tsp. lapsang souchong tea leaves
1 Cup boiling water
3/4 Cup dried black mission figs, chopped
2 Cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tb. buttermilk powder
1/4 Cup honey
3 Tb. sweet almond oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
scant 1/2 Cup broken walnut pieces
butter or oil for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or oil a loaf pan and set aside.

Pour boiling water over the tea leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the leaves and pour the tea over the chopped figs. Steep the figs in the tea for 10 minutes; remove the figs and set aside, reserving the tea.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat together the honey, almond oil, egg, and reserved tea. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the honey-tea mixture. Stir until just combined and fold in the reserved soaked figs and the broken walnut pieces.

Spoon the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool a bit more on the rack.

Slice and serve warm with a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey.


Callipygia said...

Chelsea- how funny- Lapsang is my most favorite tea! And i'm always trying to cook with it.(tea smoked egg...ground up with sea salt for a salty smokey condiment.)

I can't tell if you like your bread or not? Either way I applaud your bravado. I find it pairs well with gingerbread and the like.

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Those things you don't quite like are always lurking in the cupboard! You've done a good job of finding a way to use your tea.

Chelsea said...

Hi, ladies:

Callipygia - I'm still deciding on this one... That smokiness seems to be an acquired taste I'm still trying to acquire ;) I'm curious though - how do you like to drink it? Plain? Milk? Sweetened? I love the idea of using it for a smokey sea salt, and the idea of matching it with gingerbread sounds promising too. Great ideas!

Arwen - You're so right about those items always lurking about. Of course, when one's in the mood, they provide a great culinary challenge...

Through My Kitchen Window said...

There is a great deal of fuss about being wasteful in our part of the world right now. I think a lot of people have a lot to learn about using up what is in the cupboard. What a terrific effort Chelsea. So original. Ten out of ten from me.

Chelsea said...

Thanks, Mariana!