A luxurious pairing that combines the energetic properties of chocolate with the flavor of tea made in gin, perfect to end the day or to make the evening more bearable, also at home.
Savoring a jasmine chocolate covered in dark chocolate while drinking white tea is always a pleasure. But if you take it in the middle of the afternoon, when the energies are weak and you only think about getting into bed, the experience is unbeatable.
Tonic and chocolates, the premium snack.
“Both chocolates and tea have some ritual and an emotional component that makes them a perfect pairing,” explain Rubén Da Silva and Judit Ballesteros, the master chocolatiers who won the National Gastronomy Contest in 2013 and now sweeten the afternoons with their delicate chocolates. .
Two preparations that are the main bet of Suite & Tea, the new gastronomic experience of NH Collection hotels, such as the one found on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. There, Da Silva’s workshop team and the NH group’s tea experts gave a workshop to make a homemade Suite & Tea, a very attractive option to renew Christmas snacks.
First, the chocolates
Da Silva and Ballesteros gave a live demonstration of how to achieve a perfect coating for chocolates: fine, bright and crisp. The key is in choosing a good chocolate, controlling the temperatures and putting a lot, a lot of love.
And it is that in their Valladolid workshop they work in a traditional way, making each chocolate by hand in a task that is half art and half science. In the case of topping, instead of using modern machines, they spread the hot chocolate on a marble plate and move it to temper it.
A step that they take out of pure love of the trade, because as Da Silva acknowledged, “it does not give chocolate anything that cannot be achieved with machines”, but it manages to maintain the “romantic and artisanal” character of this work.
The Da Silva chocolate collection inspired by the varieties of tea.
In this gesture, in addition, lies the scientific basis of chocolates, whose chocolate has to reach a correct temperature so that the cocoa butter does not separate from the rest: first 45 degrees, then it drops to 29, and finally it goes back to 31 before of filling the molds.
To reproduce that “temperature curve” at home, Da Silva recommends going to kitchen machines. Once the molds are filled, they are beaten in a bowl to eliminate the excess chocolate and they are left to rest upside down.
Finally, a more fun tea
The second part of the tea, the tonic, has two components: a dry gin, and the tea you want to infuse, depending on whether you are looking for a fruity, smoky or citrus infusion.
“Both chocolates and tea have some ritual and an emotional component that makes them a perfect marriage”, explain Rubén Da Silva and Judit Ballesteros
80 milliliters of gin are poured into a container, where the tea or mixture of chosen varieties is added. Some of the most common are Lemongrass, very citric and fresh, red fruits and hibiscus, to achieve that fruity flavor with a bitter touch, or black tea with roses, which is more reminiscent of a traditional tea.
After 20 minutes of rest you can filter the content and pour it into a glass bottle, until it is time to enjoy a “do it yourself” tonic, which can be mixed with tonic or with more gin if the taste of the infusion it is very strong.
“All chocolate contains theobromine, the molecule of happiness, which generates endorphins and activates us,” explained Da Silva. A dose of happiness enhanced with a glass of tonic, which promises to make Christmas snacks the best after-dinner, either at home or in a hotel.