Earl Grey Raw Chocolate Terrine

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I love Earl Gray tea and I love chocolate. This terrine has been on my mind since I first spotted it on the Rawmazing site which I regularly follow. I never looked at the actual recipe before and just assumed it would be a pain in the ass to put together but it was SO easy, I could have smacked myself for not doing it sooner.

I am also now able to tell you what to avoid and what to consider and then hope that you will make this with your own interpretation.

Susan’s recipe calls for the following:

  • 3 tablespoons Earl Grey Tea
  • 1 1/2 cups very hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 6 ounces raw cacao butter, melted*

Method (this is all from the Rawmazing site, word for word)

1. Add tea to hot water. Let steep for 5 minutes, drain and cool.
2.  Place tea and cashews in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add agave and cacao powder, blend until well combined.
4. Slowly pour in melted cacao butter. Blend until well combined.
5. Pour into any rectangular container that will un-mold easily. I used a silicone mold that is 8 x 3 x 2 deep.
6. Freeze until solid. Dip mold briefly in hot water, un-mold. Slice into 1/2″ pieces to serve. You can let this warm, it will hold it’s form.

My Suggestions:

1. I used soaked, then frozen cashews. It really increased the water content, rendering a very  “iced” terrine as opposed to a smooth, creamy one. Don’t use frozen ones.

2. I ran out of every kind of sweetener in my house, except for coconut sugar which worked really well, but I did not use enough. The tannins from the tea have a beautiful bitterness to them, and I also like my chocolate quite bitter but the two together is overwhelming. Even if 1/3 cup of agave sounds like a lot, follow the recipe. It’s all about the balance.

3. The cacao butter doesn’t leave a creamy, comfortable mouth-feel. It feels kind of greasy and flat. Instead, try doing this recipe with coconut oil instead. It will be softer and creamier. Thank you, Adela Stoulilova for the suggestion.

4. Try adding different ingredients like avocado, lavendar, citrus, lemon…

6. Use a good quality Earl Grey.

5. I highly recommend a silicone mould as the hot water dipping thing didn’t really work well for me. Silicone moulds will give you a cleaner finish as well.

To make the chocolate drizzle, mix, cocoa powder with coconut oil and a bit of liquid sweetener. Alternately, make a coulis with apricots, or raspberries to contrast the flavour of the tea and chocolate.

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Rooibos-Apricot Flurry

Growing up in South Africa, Rooibos (Red Bush) tea was something that was always around the house. My sister drank it religiously from childhood up till now and probably beyond. I always preferred Lipton with milk and two sugars. I found the flavour of Rooibos to be bland and unsatisfying – even when I added milk and sugar.

Now that I’m in Taipei, I have noticed over the course of the past few years what a trendy drink Rooibos has become and how exorbitantly expensive to boot. The packaging and description on the boxes almost make me laugh out loud. It’s like seeing your funny tomboy cousin from the countryside in a dress for the first time. Weird.

I guess us humans have a tendency to glorify nutrition these these, to espouse each food’s incredible life-saving, super-hero powers. This intellectualization of food has numbed our taste buds to a certain degree. Computers are to the mind what nutrition-obsession is to the stomach.

I still want my food to taste great. Heck, I want it to taste gorgeous. I want to feel in my mouth, what my toes feel when they step on soft, sun-kissed grass – excitement and joy, connection and contentment.

The Rooibos-Apricot Flurry I tried out, does just that. You can’t have early Summer without apricots and iced flurries.

rooibos apricots dates cashews (9)

Here’s Ani Phyo’s Recipe:

2 Rooibos teabags in 2.5 cups of filtered water. Leave this in a sunny spot for 8 hours for a sun-cooked tea. I would add 4 teabags for a real kick of taste flavour as I didn’t feel it so much with 2 bags. If you don’t care for raw tea, boil your water and steep as usual for a few minutes then let it cool down to room temperature – or put it in the fridge. You damn city people and your crazy schedules.

Then pour the tea into a blender along with:

  • 1/4 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup of dried apricots or 1 cup of fresh ones
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (which have been pre-soaked for 8 hours)

Blend until smooth. Add ice then blend again. Drink immediately and watch your toes curl. Ah, Summer….