We love a good reason for a themed afternoon tea; and nothing seems more appropriate than Easter. Why? There is something alluring about warm toasted hot-cross buns with softened butter, creamy milk chocolate and hot tea; They combine indulgently to make a comfort food heaven. If you are anything like me, tea, baked goods and chocolate are go-to comfort foods, and they all just happen to be 'in-season' at Easter time.
"Keemun Mao Feng black tea is the perfect cup for this Easter afternoon tea with it's notes of chocolate, fruit and nut"
We were up bright and early this morning to ensure our White Chocolate and Raisin Hot-Cross Buns were ready in time for afternoon tea. Hot-cross buns are not the most simple bun to make. The bun dough requires a 'hard' flour and yeast and also requires resting time of two hours before baking, so ensure you start the process a few hours before the buns are required. We used a recipe from one of our favourite recipe books and altered to include white chocolate. You can of course omit the chocolate and replace with mixed peel or candied ginger.
The best tea to serve with an Easter sweet-feast should be a black tea that is robust and able to cleanse the palate between bites. Keemun Mao Feng black tea is the perfect cup for this Easter afternoon tea with it's notes of chocolate, fruit and nut.
THE WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RAISIN HOT-CROSS BUNS
1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
625 g hard white flour (bread or pizza flour works)
1 teaspoon ground all spice
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup warm milk
100 g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200 g raisins
150 g white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons caster sugar
60 g plain flour
1. Place warm water in a bowl and sprinkle with the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Leave in a draught-free area for 10 minutes until frothing.
2. Combine the flour, spices and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and set aside
3. Combine the milk, butter, remaining sugar, eggs and 1 cup of the flour mixture with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the yeast mixture, raisins and white chocolate and stir. Add the remaining flour mixture and knead for 5 minutes until the mixture comes together.
4. Transfer the dough to a bowl and coat lightly in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a draught-free place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. The mixture will raise and become airy.
5. Knock back the dough by punching it then turn out onto a floured surface. Press the dough lightly into a flat square shape and use a large knife to slice through the dough four time vertically, then 4 times horizontally, making a checker-board pattern and 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place in the baking tray about 4cm apart from the next. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 180C. To make the glaze, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small pot. Boil over a high heat until sugar is disolved.
7. To prepare the cross dough, put the flour in a bowl and add 60 ml of water, stirring to form a dough. Roll out to 2mm thin and slice with a knife into long thing strips. Place two strips over each bun to form a cross.
8. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until golden brown . Brush with the sugar glaze.
THE TEA - Keemun Mao Feng
A black tea with body will work perfectly with this Easter Afternoon Tea. Keemun Mao Feng is the perfect partner for this afternoon tea recipe as it delivers a smooth cup that is full bodied enough to cleanse the palate between bites. It also adds to the experience by complimenting some of the flavours found in the hot-cross buns and the chocolate. This is one of our favourite black teas, so it was a no-brainer to enjoy it this Easter.
1. Warm the teapot by filling with freshly boiled water. Let sit for 1 minute, then discard.
2. Place 3 grams of the tea (per person) into a teapot. Smell the beautiful aromas from the tea leaves against the warm pot!
3. Bring the kettle to the boil. Let the water sit for 30 seconds (95 C is ideal) and then pour the freshly boiled water over the tea leaves. About 200 ml of water per person is enough.
4. Let the tea infuse in the warmed teapot for 2 -3 minutes, then strain into cups
5. Keemun Mao Feng is best enjoyed without milk, but of course- this is your cuppa, so enjoy as you please!
Don't throw out the tea leaves as you can re-infuse them for a second pot!
There's still one day left of the Easter weekend, so grab your apron, your tea cups and invite the family over!
High Mountain Keemun Mao Feng
A$5.95 - A$14.95
Keemun, or Qimen, tea is the most famed black tea of China. Harvested earlier than other Keemun teas, our Keemun Mao Feng contains the top newest leaf and some buds, making a lighter and sweeter cup than other Keemun teas. A sophisticated tea producing a ruby red liquor, complex flavours and a velvety mouthfeel, Keemun Mao Feng makes a wonderful morning brew, alongside a slice of buttery toast and eggs. Also pairs wonderfully with a piece of dark fruit chocolate and semi-hard cheese.