Two weekends ago my husband and I hosted a wizard-themed Halloween party in our home. All wizards and magical creatures from Hogwarts to the Unseen University were welcome. I also took this chance to test out some recipes I’ve had in mind for awhile. This week I’ll be opening with the first of the five: Rowena Ravenclaw’s Jasmine Tea Cranachan.
During this year’s DragonCon I happened upon a company called Tea & Absinthe in the dealer hall. Among the shelves of tea accessories and nerdy loose-leaf teas, I was exhilarated to discover that they carried Hogwarts inspired tea blends and bought a couple ounces of each. The idea I had was to create tea-infused appetizers inspired by each one of the school’s founders.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Rowena Ravenclaw’s Jasmine Tea Cranachan!
Note: The links to certain products on this post are affiliate links from Amazon and I do receive a small commission if you choose to purchase them.
Tea & Absinthe’s Ravenclaw blend contains Ceylon black tea, mallow and jasmine petals, and lychee pieces. Jasmine is the strongest note in this brew with its floral notes marrying and rounding out the otherwise bold tea leaves. This kind of combination both focuses and relaxes the mind before one dives face-first into a massive spellbook for some light reading. The lychee pieces also sweeten the pot with a subtle fruitiness that pairs well with Scotch whiskey. I’m not kidding when I say this tea makes a fantastic and downright intriguing hot toddy. This fact only solidified my decision to make the following recipe.
Wit Beyond Measure…
So I will flat out say it, I don’t care what Pottermore says. I am a Ravenclaw. I’ve known myself to be a Ravenclaw since I read the books back in grade school. That said, I wanted to make sure that the dish inspired by my House’s Founder fit her perfectly. So like any self-respecting Eagle/Raven worth her colors, I flung myself into my research while sipping on a delicious hot toddy.
Rowena Ravenclaw hailed from Scotland, was thought to be “beautiful yet slightly intimidating,” and was ultimately noted for her intelligence and creativity. While I first wanted to play off her Eagle sigil by making scotch eggs, I felt the spicy sausage coating would drown out the jasmine notes in the tea. So when I discovered how delicious the tea tasted paired with scotch whiskey, I sought out a different and traditional recipe that would better fit our mother of magical mad scientists.
Cranachan, as I said, is a traditional Scottish dessert (or breakfast, or second breakfast, or afternoon tea) consumed around June when local raspberries are in their peak season. Traditionally its oats are mixed with crowdie cheese (a cream-cheese very similar in texture to ricotta or cottage cheese) and raspberries. Modern versions involve toasting the oats before soaking them overnight in Scotch whiskey and layering it with freshly whipped cream. In my version, I soak the oats in both Scotch AND tea, and then infuse the cream with a syrup made from the soaking liquid. I wanted to use crowdie cheese, but sadly, I live stateside and have not earned my apparating license yet.
My experiment was a success, however. My guests cleared out all but the photo-sample I reserved before any of the other dishes. That’s right. I didn’t to get even taste my creation until AFTER I took the main post photo. I only have the shot above due to my camera-happy roommate The Lady Nerd who was kind enough to document our party while I was running around like a stressed out, headless hippogriff in the alternate Potter universe where time-turners do not exist. My patience was well rewarded, though. Those sweet floral notes took to the cream like Luna Lovegood to questionably fabulous fashion choices and evolved into a curiously delightful Highland candy.
So here it is, something that will pique your academic interests but will also give you plenty of time between steps to catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Like Rowena Ravenclaw, it may appear beautiful and slightly intimidating, but I heartily believe your tastebuds will treasure the results of your newly earned wisdom.
BY THE WAY, I’ve included printable PDFs of the little serving flags pictured in this post. And before you book purists rail on me, yes, I’ve made printables for both the book and movie versions of Ravenclaw’s colors.
Beautiful and Slightly Intimidating…
Ravenclaw's Jasmine Tea Cranachan
Makes 24, 1-oz cups
Equipment: hot water kettle, tea infuser, stovetop, skillet, saucepan, measuring cups, immersion blender with wire whisk attachment, 24 disposable shot glasses, 24 miniature disposable spoons.
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 3 teaspoons Ravenclaw blend or jasmine black tea leaves
- 1/2 cup Scotch whiskey
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 packet gelatin powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 12 oz. raspberries
The night before you intend to serve:
- Bring water to a boil in the kettle and pour into a measuring cup. Add the tea to the infuser and drop it into the water. Let steep 8-10 minutes
- Toast the oats in a skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop for 3-5 minutes while constantly stirring until lightly browned. Remove from heat and scoop the oats and half of the raspberries into a container with a lid.
- Stir the scotch and brown sugar into the tea until dissolved. Pour the solution into the container of oats and seal to soak in the refrigerator overnight.
The following day, at least 3 hours before you want to serve:
- Drain the remaining liquid from the container into a saucepan. Stir a 1/2 cup sugar into the tea, bring to a boil, and simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and let cool at least 15 minutes before stirring in the contents of the gelatin packet and letting sit for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the cream into a large cup and start whipping with the stick mixer. Slowly pour in the tea syrup and whip until thickened to soft peaks.
- Mash the raspberry and oat mixture together and divide between the serving cups.
- Pour whipped cream to fill each cup and chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator.
- Top each cup with a raspberry before serving with a mini spoon.