The Tea Deck - Review
50 Ways to Prepare, Serve, and Enjoy
by Sara Perry
Delve into the world of tea with The Tea Deck. This set of 50 cards is equipped with nearly everything you need to know about green, black, white, oolong and herbal varieties. Each card is dedicated to a specific tea, and includes information on origin, taste and brewing tips. The deck also has a recipe section on how to make sweets and other treats to go with your tea, pairings included. So whether you're looking to make something as traditional as Buttermilk Scones with Warm Strawberry Jam, as regal as Buckingham Palace Shortbread, or as ritzy as Fresh Figs with Bacon and Goat Cheese, this deck will show you how.
With its classy design and durable, easy-to-read cards, this deck makes a nifty gift for an avid sipper or just about anyone interested in the brew. The only oddity to this product was its deck format: despite being separate cards, there was also a table of contents included, which compelled us to keep our cards in order. But on the other hand, there's the option of pulling out your favorite cards for use in the kitchen (they're liquid resistant) or organizing them in the order you like, because in the end, they all fit nicely in their quaint box anyway. All in all, it's tea-licious!
Buckingham Palace Shortbread
Along with her Darjeeling, it is said that Queen Elizabeth also enjoys this very recipe with her afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace.
Makes about 2 dozen 1½-inch squares
2 cups cake flour
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
superfine baker's sugar for sprinkling
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt until blended.
In a stand mixer set of medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the granulated sugar until light, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. On low, add the flour mixture in several additions until it forms a soft dough. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or leave ungreased.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a ¾ inch slab, about 5 by 8 inches. (Use a kitchen ruler to measure and press the edges into shape.) Transfer to the baking sheet and bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Slip the parchment with the shortbread onto a hard surface. Immediately sprinkle the shortbread heavily with the baker's sugar. While still warm, use the ruler and a paring knife, pointed straight down, to cut the shortbread into 1½-inch pieces. The shortbread tastes best at room temperature.
(Updated: 12/07/12 SG)