THE RIGHT TEA TO PAIR WITH YOUR CHRISTMAS FOOD & 5 POPULAR TEA GIFTS…

To enjoy your cuppa at Christmas, make sure you have the right flavour to pair with your Christmas food.

When drinking Lapsang have it with turkey or smoked salmon sandwiches or walnut cake or Stilton cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. Try Twinings Lapsang Souchong, smoked pine flavour.

Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate but with different strengths of chocolate, this does mean there is a choice of pairings. With dark chocolate, try Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, or Oolong. Try this Whittards Loose Leaf Darjeeling Black Tea. A distinctly delicate loose leaf black tea, picked by hand in the Himalayan foothills. Fresh and fruity, with a muscatel sweetness.

With milk or white chocolate try Darjeeling, Dragonwell, or Oolong. This Gingersnap Oolong from Whittards will go perfectly with white chocolate. A speciality of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces and Taiwan, oolong tea is semi-oxidised for an astonishing spectrum of flavours, ranging from “green” floral high-grown varieties to distinctive dark oolongs with nutty, chocolatey tones. A Whittard twist on a traditional chai, we’ve opted for a delicate, creamy loose leaf oolong base and layered it with sugar and spice, and all things gingery nice.

When drinking Earl Grey try The Tea Makers Earl Grey have it with fine pate or ham and mustard sandwiches or Crème Brulee or Leicester cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. This stunning version of classic Supreme Earl Grey has been conveniently packed into our biodegradable tea bags. This tea offers a blend of exquisite Ceylon teas scented with flavours of bergamot oil and blue cornflowers. 

Fortnum and Mason have some amazing goodies paired with specific teas like their Christmas Green Tea created especially for Christmas, their gently warming blend of green tea, star anise, liquorice, coconut and a hint of vanilla is a festive treat that can be enjoyed by a crackling fire at any time of day.

If you don’t want to buy lots of different flavoured tea blends then you could always go for this Twinings Christmas Loose Tea Caddy A Black Tea with Spice Flavour.

A wonderful tea for the Christmas season. A Christmas Tea spiced malty black tea that has been expertly blended with warming, spicy, Christmas flavours off safflowers and orange peel. Enjoy with or without milk for a delicious festive treat.

The caddy depicts a wintery scene in the heart of London where Twinings was founded in 1706. When Thomas Twining opened his Golden Lyon shop at 216 Strand, it was the first of its kind and London’s love affair with tea started to blossom. The Twinings flagship store recently celebrated its 300 year anniversary and now offers Tea Experience masterclasses.

5 popular teas to buy this Christmas are –

  1. Whittards selection of eight classic black, green and white teas. There are 40 individually wrapped teabags in total, and the whole collection is stunningly packaged in a decorative seasonal display box.
  2. Not On The High Street, Festive themed Book & Tea Box including a riveting read, divine tea and decadent biscuits.
  3. T2 Mulled Wine Loose Leaf Tube Fruity, zesty and oh-so warming, this fragrant loose-leaf drop comes in a festive feature box.
  4. Betty’s Tea & China Mug Gift Bag. A collectable gift for tea-lovers.  This limited edition china mug will have a special place in the heart of whoever receives this lovely little gift bag. Comes with a box of Tea Room Blend for a combination that tastes as good as it looks.
  5. Pukka Herbs | Herbal Tea Selection Box – Perfect For All Day Self Care | 45 Sachets | 9 Flavours – Made from premium recyclable packaging and finished with intricate gold foiling details and pukka flourishes, our selection boxes are the perfect thoughtful gift for all your friends and family, for any occasion from warming herbs to keep you feeling strong to soothing blends to help you drift off into a peaceful rest, our Selection Box is the perfect way to discover the delicious flavours of our herbal teas.

With so many black friday offers I decided to not add prices to the teas as they are on offer at the moment but may not be when you try the link. Enjoy…

WHAT IS FLOUR AND HOW SHOULD YOU COOK WITH IT?…

Flour is made by grinding grains, legumes, nuts, or seeds into a fine powder. When these substances are ground into coarse powders, the result is referred to as “meal” rather than “flour.”

When most people think of flour, they’re thinking of wheat flour, which clearly is off-limits on a gluten-free diet. In fact, flours made from wheat, barley, or rye contain gluten and will make those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Fortunately, there are a ton of other options and it’s getting easier and easier to find a variety of alternative flours. You can find them in the natural foods section of the supermarket and often in the same section as regular flour as well as online.

With gluten-free cooking and baking, it helps to know what gluten does before you try to work without it.

  • Gluten makes dough “doughy.” As soon as glutenin and gliadin are surrounded by water, the gluten molecules develop and begin to form strong, sticky, elastic bonds. These elastic bonds give the dough its stretchy qualities. Have you ever seen pizza being made? The bakers toss the pizza dough up in the air with a circular motion to stretch it. That stretchy dough has a lot of gluten in it.
  • Gluten helps the dough rise. The amount of water that’s added to the flour affects gluten development, with more water resulting in a chewier dough. The amount of mixing or kneading is the second factor. Kneading helps the bonded gluten molecules form into long elastic strands or sheets. That’s why dough can rise when yeast has been added. The yeast gives off gas, the gas is trapped by the sheets of gluten molecules, and the dough rises.
  • Different purposes call for different flours. Different types of wheat flours have different amounts of gluten development. Bread flour develops a lot of gluten, while cake flour is relatively low in gluten because cakes should be less chewy than pizzas and bread. Cake flour still has enough gluten to keep baked goods from crumbling. In contrast, pie crusts—which should be tender and flaky—have less gluten than bread or cakes. Instead, pie crust doughs have a lot of shortening and only a small amount of liquid, and they are mixed only enough to combine the ingredients.

Since gluten plays so many roles in baking, you’ll need to use different types of gluten-free flour to achieve the best results in different recipes. Gluten-free flours break down into four general categories:

  • gluten-free starches
  • neutral-tasting, low-protein flours
  • strong-tasting low-protein flours
  • high-protein flours

Each type of flour has a place in your gluten-free baking repertoire.

Grains contain both starch and protein (gluten is, of course, a protein). When you separate out the protein component of grain, you’re left with the starch. Gluten-free starches in common use in baking include:

  • Cornstarch
  • Tapioca starch
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Potato starch

These starches don’t have much taste; instead, their job is to thicken liquids and to add some bulk and texture to baked goods. You can use starch to make gravy or to thicken soups. In fact, many recipes call for cornstarch to make gravy, rather than wheat flour. However, you can’t use only starch in baked goods, or they’ll fall apart.

Note that you can substitute any of the four starches for another type of starch. They mostly behave the same in cooking.

When working with starch, beware of the lumps that tend to form when you heat it. To avoid a gooey mess, mix the starch and your liquid in a measuring cup first and then add them to a heating pan. In addition, if you find your gravy or soup is too thick once it has cooled, try heating it again to thin it out.

Note that gravy thickened with cornstarch or another starch will be clearer and less “creamy”-looking than gravy thickened with wheat flour.

Source: Very Well Fit