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Monday, June 1, 2009

It's National Iced Tea Month

June is National Iced Tea Month! If you have a favorite iced tea, please leave a post and let us know what it is.

Here are a few iced tea facts:

Iced tea's popularity led to the introduction of the iced tea spoon. Its long handle allowed sugar to be added to a fashionably tall glass filled with iced tea.

About 80 percent of the tea served in the US today is iced tea.

Early on, American housewives brewed and mixed tea with various fruits, juices and syrups for a Tea Punch.

To celebrate National Iced Tea Month, freeze little slices of lemon in ice cubes or make limeade ice cubes for a refreshing touch in iced tea. Also, seltzer water added to iced tea creates a refreshing, flavored spritzer, or if you are ready to "kick it up a notch", add a splash of citrus vodka to iced tea.

Chocolate Pudding in a Teacup

Isn't this just the prettiest presentation you've ever seen for chocolate pudding?! And on the heels of that wine-tasting-bridal-shower I attended yesterday, I'm thinking what a lovely combination this would be with a glass of Port.

Wish I could take credit for this idea, but it belongs to my favorite British television cook Nigella Lawson. And many thanks to longtime tea friend Laura in Alpharetta, Georgia for sending it my way!

Here are Nigella's instructions for what I am calling Chocolate Pudding in a Teacup:


- 250ml full-fat milk
- 125ml double cream
- 60g caster sugar
- 1 x 15ml tablespoon cornflour
- 35g cocoa powder
- 2 x 15ml tablespoons boiling water
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 60g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

1. Put the kettle on [Note from Denise: How can one go wrong with a recipe that begins like that??? !!!], and warm the milk and cream together in a saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.

2. Put the sugar and cornflour into another saucepan and sieve in the cocoa powder. Add the 2 tablespoons of boiling water and whisk to a paste.

3. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the warmed milk and cream, then the vanilla extract.

4. Scrape down the sides of the pan and put it on a lowish heat, cooking and whisking for about 3–4 minutes until the mixture thickens to a mayonnaise-like consistency.

5. Take off the heat and whisk in the finely chopped chocolate, before pouring into 4 small cups or glasses, each with a capacity of about 150ml.

6. Cover the tops of the cups or glasses with clingfilm, letting the clingfilm rest on the chocolate surface, to stop a skin forming, and refrigerate once they are cooler. Make sure they are not still fridge-cold when you serve them. You can add a blob of cream on top if you like.

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