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Author Notes: I am in love with sachlav, an exquisite cold-weather confection popular all over the Middle East. It falls somewhere between a dessert and a beverage and often appears as part of a copious and delicious Israeli buffet breakfast (and in my case, lunch, dinner and midnight snack). The traditional flavoring is orange-flower- or rosewater. A dusting of ground pistachios and cinnamon, golden raisins and even flaked sweetened coconut are sometimes added as a garnish, though to my mind the latter is a gate-crasher at the party.
I thought jasmine tea would make a delicious variation; the white chocolate is not traditional but adds delicate flavor and creaminess. It is a good idea to infuse the milk several hours or overnight to avoid bitterness, but if necessary you can heat the milk as in step 5 and infuse the teabags for 3 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. I substituted dried tart cherries for the raisins and added some fragrant candied orange peel. I was usually served 8 oz. portions in a coffee mug, but prefer smaller servings--a modest tea -or cappuccino cupful and is all you need to sweetly start the day or finish a meal. - creamtea
- 2 bags of jasmine green tea (I like Taylor's), tags removed
- 10 ounces milk (I used 2%)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoons organic sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons cold milk
- 1/4 ounce white chocolate (I used one-half square from a Ghirardelli bar), chopped into small dice
- finely chopped pistachios, for garnish (you can whiz the shelled nuts in a small food processor)
- finely chopped candied orange peel for garnish, if desired
- finely chopped dried sour cherries for garnish, if desired
- The night before, place the jasmine teabags in the milk. Press down so that they are partially submerged. Give a stir, then cover and refrigerate. For a more spur-of-the=moment preparation, see step 5.
- The next day, combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly to break up any lumps.
- Prepare a double boiler, filling the bottom with an inch or two of water. Set it on a medium flame and bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Place white chocolate in top and set it over the bottom of the double boiler. Stir with a silicone scraper until only small lumps remain, then separate top and bottom of double boiler, and stir until chocolate is smooth.
- Stir the 2 tablespoons of cold milk into the cornstarch mixture to combine. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Stir the teabag-milk mixture, then remove teabags from milk, squeezing slightly. Pour milk into a small heavy saucepan, and place the saucepan over medium-low flame. Scald the mixture, stirring. (If necessary you can add the teabags here, take the pan off-heat and allow to infuese 3-4 minutes. Remove teabags and slightly squeeze before proceeding).
- Scrape the cornstarch-milk mixture into the scalded milk. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until thickened, about 4-6 minutes. It will coat the back of a spoon and a finger drawn across it will leave a streak. You can thicken a little further it to the consistency you prefer: it can be pourable or spoonable, but as it approaches your preferred thickness, scoop a bit of the custard (about 1/3 cup) into the melted chocolate and combine well, then scrape this mixture back into the custard. Whisk well to combine smoothly, then pour or scrape the sachlav into 2 heated 5oz coffee cups. Decorate with chopped pistachios and optional orange peel and/or cherries; serve hot with a teaspoon.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Tea