This is the first in a new series of recipes for cooking with tea and tisanes, and teatime treats, from a vegan perspective.
Here’s a variation on the traditional Blanc mange that I came up with when I had some leftover flavoured rooibos. When I created this recipe a number of years ago, hardly anyone had heard of rooibos, but now it has become so popular that most people are familiar with it. Rooibos is actually not a tea, but a tisane or infusion that is prepared from a unique South African plant. Rooibos contains high levels of protein, Vitamin C, flavanoids, minerals, and anti-oxidants — plus it’s low in tannins and completely caffeine-free. While it will never replace my favourite cuppa, I do enjoy rooibos as an evening beverage, and like to serve it to those who prefer to avoid caffeine. You can get this particular flavour of rooibos (as well as other flavours and unflavoured) from Simpson & Vail. You can also prepare this pudding with your favourite flavoured teas or a hearty English or Irish breakfast blend — nice as a light teatime treat. (Just a reminder: steeping strong tea or rooibos means using twice as much leaf, not extending the steeping time, as this will make the tea or tisane bitter.)
Vanilla Roo pudding
About 4 to 6 servings
1-1/2 cups strong-steeped Strawberry Almond Mint rooibos
1-1/2 cups vanilla-flavoured soy milk, lite or regular
1/4 cup sugar, Sucanat®, or other granulated sweetener
4 rounded Tablespoons cornstarch
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Mix together in a saucepan the rooibos and milk, then whisk in the sugar, then the cornstarch, until smooth. Heat the mixture, preferably placing a heat diffuser under the pot (if you don’t use one, cook over a lower temperature and watch constantly so it doesn’t burn). Stir very frequently, scraping the solidifying curds from the sides and bottom and mixing them in. The mixture will eventually begin to bubble, making the surface look kinda bumpy. Keep cooking/stirring. As soon as the bubbles begin to break at the surface, the pudding is done. Pour the mixture into one big or four to six smaller serving dishes, and refrigerate until set. Please note: The amount of sweetener you use, and the type, is up to you — the milk is already sweetened so you might want to taste the mixture before you add too much additional sweetener.
> If you prefer to use a liquid/syrup sweetener, add an additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
> Reduce the amount of milk and rooibos or tea to 1-1/4 cups each and you’ll have a delicious filling for cakes, cupcakes, and pastries.
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