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Recipe Of The Month: Ambootia Tea

Lemon Ambootia jelly with hibiscus syrup and berries (Serves 9–12)

For the hibiscus syrup:

300ml water 
20g hibiscus tea petals
200g granulated sugar

For the jellies:

600ml water
6tsp (12g) Ambootia black tea leaves
55g sugar
240ml cloudy lemonade
7 gelatine sheets, soaked in water for 5 minutes
50ml vodka (optional)

To decorate:

100g blackberries
50g redcurrants
50g pomegranate seeds
Edible flowers (optional)

1- To make the syrup, boil the water in a small pan and add the hibiscus tea petals. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. 
2- Strain the liquid to remove the petals and add the sugar. Bring the tea back to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate. 
3- To make the jellies, boil the water in a pan, add the tea leaves and allow to infuse for 3 minutes. Strain using a fine sieve, discard the tea leaves and add the sugar to the liquid. Set aside.
4- In a small pan, heat the lemonade and add the gelatine sheets. Stir well to make sure that the gelatine has melted. If making alcoholic jellies, add the vodka.
5- Mix the tea with the gelatine-lemonade mixture, then pour into glasses. Place in the fridge for at least six hours (ideally, leave overnight).
6- Once the jellies have set, pour 2 teaspoons of hibiscus syrup over each one and decorate with the fruit and flowers.

Ambootia tea biscuits (Makes 40)

60g granulated sugar
1tsp (2g) Ambootia black tea leaves
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 egg white
125g plain flour
A pinch of baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
¼ tsp granulated sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

1- In a food processor or spice mill, grind the sugar and tea leaves together.
2- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
3- In a large bowl, mix the butter until soft, then add the sugar and egg white, and whisk until fully incorporated.
4- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then sieve them into the butter mixture. Mix well.
5- Scoop the biscuit mixture into a small piping bag with a star nozzle.
6- Pipe the mixture onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Each biscuit should be around 4cm in diameter and a maximum of 5mm thick. This recipe should make 40 biscuits.
7- Cook the biscuits in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning once to ensure an even bake and colour. Once the biscuits’ edges are lightly browned, take them out of the oven and allow to cool.
8- Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dip half of each biscuit into the chocolate then place back onto the baking parchment. Leave in a cool place for about an hour to allow the chocolate to set. The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Ambootia tea ice cream (Serves 8)

3 egg yolks
120g granulated sugar
200ml milk
6tsp (12g) Ambootia black tea leaves

300ml double cream
100g crème fraiche
½ tsp vanilla paste
Biscuits to serve (optional)
Please note, this recipe requires an ice-cream maker

1- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.
2- Place the milk and tea leaves in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cover.
3- Infuse the tea for 10 minutes, then strain into a measuring jug. If there is less than 200ml of liquid, add a bit more milk to make up the amount.
4- While the milk is still warm, pour the liquid in a thin stream into the egg-and-sugar mixture. Whisk thoroughly to form a custard.
5- Heat the custard on a low-to-medium heat, mixing well (and regularly, to avoid lumps) until it thickens.
6- Cool the custard to room temperature. If you are not churning the ice cream immediately, you can keep the custard in the fridge for up to 3 days.
7- Lightly whip the cream, then mix in the crème fraîche, vanilla paste and custard, and churn the mixture in the ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes (it may take a little longer depending on how cold the mixture was to start with). Once it has a gelato consistency, transfer it into a tub and freeze. 
8- Serve the ice cream with crushed biscuits such as ginger thins, shortbread or caramel biscuits.

Poached pears in Ambootia and apple tea (Serves 4)

4 pears, peeled
6tsp (12g) Ambootia black tea leaves
500ml apple juice
4tsp caster or granulated sugar
3 strips of orange peel
3 strips of lemon peel
4 cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods

1- Halve the pears and remove the cores.
2- Boil 300ml water in a small pan, then add the tea. Infuse for 3 minutes, then pour through a fine sieve. Discard the tea leaves.
3- Heat the apple juice and tea in a small pan, then stir in all the remaining ingredients. Add a little more sugar if the mixture is not sweet enough – the amount of sugar required depends on how strong the tea is and how sweet the apple juice is.
4- When the liquid boils, take the pan off the heat. Place the pears in a large bowl and pour the liquid over them. Cover the bowl with baking parchment and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least six hours.
5- The pears can be served warm or cold, and the poaching liquid is delicious either served with fruit or as a cool drink.

Shop from our selection of delicious teas and must-have accessories below.

If savoury dishes are more to your taste, try our Raclette recipes

Recipes written by Seiko Hatfield.

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