Tres Leches and Tea – Cooking With Tea T Ching


This is a time for indulgence, a time of why not. My indulgence? I want to eat cake every day. Baking for me provides Zen moments of calm and focus which are worth every calorie. And drinking cup after cup of good tea is a given at home – spending countless hours, from morning ‘til night, on Zoom speaking into a flat screen; But finding it a challenge to really connect. But I can connect with the fresh tea leaves kept in perpetual cool darkness in their tins in my tea cabinet. Cake tins, too, speak to me and almost beg me to be used. I obey and pull one out frequently during the week. Now, to fulfill my side of the bargain, I need to fill them with a simple batter. The most recent, a straightforward combination of only four main ingredients—butter, sugar, eggs, and flour—draws its inspiration from the tres leches cake: A yellow sponge-textured cake which is soaked in a mixture of three different milks – condensed, evaporated, and whole milk.  Here I am adding a fourth element—strongly brewed tea—to the enriching soaking liquid poured over the cake when it first emerges buttery and hot from the oven.  Here, I love to use a rich Assam-like Sessa: Something malty, pungent, and full bodied which will take well to the mellowing influence of condensed milk and the other dairy.

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