Friday, February 28, 2020


Tea strudels are the epitome of afternoon coffee treats. Slightly crumbly, slightly tangy, and full of walnuts and vanilla, with just the right amount of sweetness. I love the pairing of the crumbly tea dough with the creamy filling; it is such a delightful contrast.
Although very humble, all of the ingredients pair perfectly to create a delectable treat. Camomile is a very traditional, yet still quite welcome addition to any sweet dough, as it makes it almost florally fragrant. Tangy and flavourful, the cherry jam mixes perfectly with the warm, earthy walnuts, and vanilla. And walnuts not only help absorb some of the moisture from the jam, making the filling wonderfully rich, they also add lots of flavour, and even a slight crunch, if you decide to grind them coarsely.
This is the type of dessert that is best when cooled completely. Usually best made in the evening, then carefully wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, and left until the next day. That way, all of the flavours meld wonderfully, and by the afternoon, it is ready to be served sliced thinly, with a cup of coffee, and a nice chat.

For the dough
100 ml water
2 tablespoons loose-leaf tea camomile tea
15 grams fresh yeast
50 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
40 ml vegetable oil
275 grams plain flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
For the filling
200 grams sour cherry jam
90 grams ground walnuts
50 grams baking chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

To make the dough, start by pouring the water in a medium pot and placing it over high heat. Let it come heat up the same way you would when brewing tea, then remove it from the heat, sprinkle in the tea, and cover the top. Let it steep for about 20 minutes, and then strain and discard the tealeaves. When the tea has cooled enough for the yeast, crumble it in, sprinkle in the sugar, and let the yeast activate. Once ready, pour the yeast into a large bowl, add in the vanilla and oil, and whisk well. Sift in half of the flour and the salt, and whisk well. Sift in the remaining flour, mixing with your wooden spoon as you add it in. Once the dough forms around the spoon, transfer it to a floured surface, and knead it for a few minutes, until soft, supple, and not sticky. If the dough is still sticky, add another tablespoon of flour, and knead a bit longer.
Let the dough rest in a large bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for about an hour or so, until doubled in size. When the dough is ready, transfer it to a floured surface, press to release all of the air, and roll it out to a rectangle of about 5 millimetres thickness. For the filling, mix together the jam, vanilla, and walnuts, and spread it evenly all over the dough, leaving one of the edges clean, to be able to seal it after rolling. Grate the chocolate all over the filling, fold the longer edges about a centimetre towards the centre of the roll, and roll the dough by its shorter edge into a somewhat tight roll, being careful to pinch and seal it well, so the filling does not leak out during baking. Let the strudel rest and rise for about 30 more minutes in a warm place, then generously mist it with room temperature water, and bake, in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the cool down completely, and then slice it up, and serve. Yields 8 servings.

1 comment:

  1. Tina, these little treats would not last long in our house. As a matter of fact they might call us from the middle of the night. LOL


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