French Tea Gummies

Artfully blended and bold, a good cup of French tea is the most decadent treat. Today’s recipe for French Tea Gummies is inspired by the gorgeous black and hot pink tin of tea that’s been hiding in the back of my tea cabinet since I bought it in Paris last year.

Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend has a perfume-like quality that makes it ideal for using as a base in simple and sweet food items like candies. If you are thinking that fancy tea should be left out of the cooking realm, this recipe will help to change your mind. When carefully selected, certain high-quality teas can take your food from one-note to extraordinary.

I became enamored by fleur di lys (literally translated as “flower of the lily”), a classic symbol of all things French, when I visited Quebec a few years ago. There are so many options when it comes to molds for gummy candies, but I must say that I was really excited to find this design. I don’t know who would have thought to make candy molds out of a motif so distinguished, but I’m glad they did because these gummy candies wouldn’t have half their charm without their artistic shape.

I hate to tell you this, but Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend isn’t available in the US. Don’t worry though, Harney & Sons Paris blend or Mariage Freres’ Marco Polo will both work great here. To put it simply, use any black tea that’s floral (roses) and fruity (berries), and has you coming back for more!

Adding milk into tea is a tradition in French tea-drinking. To honor this, I’ve introduced an option for a tea gummy that has a touch of milk added to it. This custom was started by none other than Madame de Sévigné, a French aristocrat who would add the liquid as a way to take the edge off of tea that had traveled for years before reaching her. It’s a custom that many still know and love, so I certainly didn’t want to skip it!

Instead of using corn syrup, which is typical for gummy snacks, I’ve used a combination of honey and stevia in this recipe. The honey helps to create a chewy texture, while the stevia gives a boost of natural sweetness to make these bites taste truly candy-like.

The black tea is steeped with triple strength here, so that it’s flavor is noticeable and shines through. This is a culinary trick anytime you cook with tea…steep it strong–very strong–much stronger than feels right! And even though we want a strong tea, we don’t want a tea that’s been over-steeped, so read your tea’s packaging carefully for brewing instructions.

Take my advice…get more than one mold and make plenty of these, because you seriously won’t be able to stop eating them once you start. Healthy, nutritious, and incredibly delicious, they are the most childishly sophisticated snack around. Kids will like these French Tea Gummies, but it’s the adults who will absolutely love them!

French Tea Gummies

Makes 2 cups of gummy candies.

Ingredients:

6 oz package organic raspberries

juice of 1 lemon (2 Tbsp)

4 Tbsp honey

1/4 tsp stevia

1 cup strongly brewed tea, preferably flavored, French, or French-inspired! (ratio of 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp loose tea leaves)

6 Tbsp gelatin

non-stick vegetable oil spray

5 Tbsp evaporated milk (optional)

Equipment:

Fleur de Lys candy/chocolate mold

medium pot

medium bowl

tea brewer

timer

medium mesh sieve

spatula

small spoon

Directions:

1.)  Place the raspberries and lemon juice in medium pot and place on low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the raspberries are completely broken down. You can use the back of the spatula to help with this process. Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Pour the raspberry mixture through the sieve to remove all the seeds. Add the honey and stevia to the strained juice and mix in. Set the raspberry juice aside.

2.)  Brew the tea. It’s typical to brew black tea for 4-5 minutes with water at 212 degrees F. Set aside.

3.)  Scatter the gelatin on top of the raspberry mixture and mix it in. Add the hot tea in and mix together until you get a homogenous mixture. If you notice clumps, add the mixture back into the pot and cook on low heat until the gelatin fully dissolves. Use a spoon to skim off and discard any foam off the surface of the mixture.

4.)  Give the candy mold a very light, even spray of vegetable oil. Using a small spoon, fill each cavity of the mold. Place the mold into the fridge or freezer until the gummies are fully set. In the freezer, it will only take about 5 minutes. Repeat the process as many times as it takes to use up all of the tea mixture. Meanwhile, if the raspberry-tea mixture starts to set in the prep bowl, give it a zap in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to return it to a liquid state. Store gummies in the fridge in an airtight container.

Variation:  If you like a bit of cream in your tea, add 5 Tbsp of evaporated milk to the tea after it has been brewed in Step 2. Alternatively, I like to add 2 1/2 Tbsp of milk after there is a half portion of the raspberry-tea mixture left (after you’ve spooned out 1/2 of the mixture). This way I get 2 types of gummies (one cup of clear gummies & one cup of milky gummies) from one full recipe.

Mariage Freres: A French Tradition in Tea

Mariage Freres, on 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg in Paris

Mariage Freres, on 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg in Paris

After getting lost for 45 minutes in not much more than a half mile radius northeast of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, there it was–the unassuming store front of one of the oldest tea stores in France:  Mariage Freres.  Upon stepping into the store, I was hit with the most deliciously fruity and floral fragrance, the smell of edible perfume.  It seems as though the best and most beautiful scents of tea have literally seeped into the wooden walls of this sophisticated little shop in the trendy Marais district of Paris.  Founded in 1854 by two brothers, this establishment has raised tea into an art form.

Mariage Freres Loose Tea

Mariage Freres Loose Tea

When you step into the tea room of Mariage Freres, it’s like stepping back in time.  In the tea room, there are vintage French colonial posters of tea production from early 1900’s Indochina (presently Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) covering the walls, crisp white table linens, and breezy rattan finishes.  Attempting to run down their impressive list of over 500 teas from over 35 countries, it’s easy to see why tea enthusiasts have Mariage Freres at the top of their to-do list when they come to Paris.  I decided on the crème brûlée infused with their signature fruity Marco Polo tea, with of course, another cup of tea on the side.

A cup of Marco Polo

A cup of Marco Polo

The tea at Mariage Freres is so exotic and treated with such respect.  There is a level of relaxed refinement at this tea salon sure to exceed the highest standards of any tea drinker.  The good news is, one doesn’t have to travel all the way to France for some of Mariage Freres’ extraordinary tea blends.  In America, these special teas can be purchased at William Sonoma, Market Hall Foods, and Dean & Deluca.  And for the most special of occasions, Mariage Freres ships out tea, tea accessories, and gift sets directly from its famous flagship store on Rue du Bourg Tibourg…Paris, at its finest, in a cup!

Mariage Freres Storefront

A very special memory of Paris

Mariage Frères, Salon de Thé

Address: 30 Rue du Bourg Tibourg, 75004 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 42 72 28 11

www.MariageFreres.com