My Compassion Tea and Your Chocolate

A few weeks ago, one of our directors found a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens for a chocolate bark that incorporates tea. Of course, we were interested! But which tea should we use? The recipe indicated green tea leaves work the best. So, that’s where our testing kitchen began.

IMG_1357Jasmine with Flowers, Sencha Cherry Rose, and Hermes Orange all seemed like winning combinations to be mixed with chocolate. Indeed! However, Sencha Cherry Rose added the most flavoring to the chocolate. Subtle notes of rose floated over the chocolate in a truly enchanting way. Hermes Orange was a bit overpowered by the chocolate. “Ah, but what about Coconut Oolong?” we thought. That proved to be remarkably delightful as the flavor of coconut blended with the chocolate and the lovely curled leaves gave a delightfully subtle crunch to the bark. IMG_1375Feeling bolder now, we went back to our tea supply and looked again. The entire herbal and rooibos line looked interesting. What would happen with Lemon Mint Rooibos, Jasmine Vanilla Rooibos, Provence, Caramel Rooibos or Lemon Ginger Rooibos? Delightful flavors! But, go light because the actual rooibos bark can become a bit chewy. It’s fine for a panda bear but you might not enjoy it as much. The last flavor we gave a try was Lemon Black. IMG_1381Lemon and chocolate are so lovely together! The bites that had a smallish piece of lemon rind in them were delectable! The black tea itself added a heavy richness that counteracted the lemon in an interesting way. Again, remove the larger pieces of fruit from the chocolate as they tend to get rather chewy.

But don’t take our word for it. Try it yourself! Here’s what you need!

Ingredients:
8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate*
8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup tea leaves
½ tsp sea salt flakes

* Dark chocolate is too heavy for the lighter, floral notes of the tea. We recommend sticking with a regular chocolate.

IMG_1353Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
2. Line a half-sheet pan (13×18) with parchment. Pour melted chocolate into pan, spreading to the edges.
3. Sprinkle tea over chocolate and follow with sea salt.
4. Set aside in a cool place until firm (about 2 hours). Cut bark with a chef’s knife and enjoy! (Bark stays best if kept cool.)
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens recipe, April 2013)IMG_1367

Package up the bark in a sweet little bag and give as a gift to Mom, graduates, or someone who needs a little pick-me-up. And if you discover another Compassion Tea flavor that works well, please pass it on!

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