Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When experiments fail...

A couple of flops made their way into our kitchen this weekend.   The culprit:

Vanilla Caramel Truffle Tea
To be honest I didnt buy this tea with the intention of drinking it straight.  I always say I want to be more of a tea drinker but have yet to enforce it into my life.  I have a box ful of green tea waiting to be used up and instead of drinking it we find ourselves using it for Cynthias Green Tea Chicken recipe. (One of our favorite recipes btw)

Its not that I don't like tea.. its just that I never care enough to make some.

That said I thought Liptons Caramel Truffle would be awesome to infuse into some recipes.   My first idea was to throw it into something sweet.  French toast could be perfect as the addition of fruits wouldn't require any additional sweeteners.
I tossed some of the tea blend into the eggs prior to coating the bread.  Though this wasn't exactly a "fail" of a recipe, I probably wouldn't make it again with the tea.  It has an overwhelming aroma to it thats almost perfumey.   The same way the Rose Biscotti I made a few weeks ago had... except with the Rose biscotti it was a rose aroma which was divine.  This one is one I can't quite put my finger on but I imagine would be because it is has a black tea as a base.  I've never had black tea before so perhaps I should research these things before I try to enforce them into cooking.

Or perhaps one might think I should just drink the damn tea as it was intended and stop trying to get fancy with it...

... so all in all, experiment #1 was just "so-so".  Experiment #2 involved a savory dish.

The way I see it if a Mexican mole sauce (pronounced moh-leh, not like the little animal creature "mole") works so damn well with chocolate and even peanut butter in some recipes then why can't this black tea with caramel truffle work in something equally savory?

The dish of choice:  Enchiladas.

I used a basic enchilada recipe and tossed in some of the tea...

It was... "interesting" to say the least.  Still haunted by the perfumey undertones it wasn't something I would do again BUT the original recipe is definitely staying in our "keeper" pile.  These are kale and kidney bean enchiladas snagged from Branny Boils Over.  Considering this was our first time actually cooking with kale I probably shouldn't have added the tea infusion just in case we didnt like the kale to start with.

Lucky for us, we loved everything about these enchiladas except for my silly tea shenanigans.   I've never deemed myself a fan of Kale but after reading her recipe and the intro to the recipe I trusted her words enough to give kale another shot...

it did not disappoint.

But, getting back to our tea here.....  am I admitting defeat on cooking or baking with this caramel tea?

For the moment, yes.  I am.  I am hopeful in thinking that creating a baked good with this tea will provide a winning combination but I will hold off on that for a while as I'm still in "disappointment" mode.   Last night in this defeat I suggested to Abel that we just make the tea as it was intended and unwind with it after a long day.

Surely if nothing else it would have to be a decent cup of tea... the undertones are strong but something I could see myself enjoying as a tea rather than in cooking.

When all was said and done, I added a teaspoon of sugar, taste tested it and thought "meh, its not bad I guess"...  I then thought adding in some milk would certainly boost its flavor points and thats where I ruined the entire cup.

The poor cup of tea ended up drained in the kitchen sink.   Abel was a trooper and drank 1/4th of his before declaring it a disaster.

I'm sorry Lipton... I oh so wanted to enjoy your tea...

perhaps another day in another experiment things will be different.  For now the poor box is being "benched" in our cupboard...

Would love to hear any recipe fails or disasters from anyone else out there.  Though I was pretty disappointed and felt like kicking rocks after all this I can't complain too much as most of the experimenting for other dishes has gone very well and nothing has been completely inedible...