The creamy, nutty notes of China's most famous green tea - Dragon Well (aka longjing) - are infinitely more-ish. When paired with foods of similar character, even more so. We've used it as an ingredient in sweet, pink Longjing Shrimp and, this time, as a Dragon Well Tea Pairing with buttery babka rolls, rich with hazelnut chocolate and scattered with baked pecans. With thanks to Izy Hossack for the recipe.
Chocolate Hazelnut Babka Rolls
Serves: 6 | Time: 4-hours
80 g unsalted butter
45 ml milk
50 g granulated sugar
2 eggs , separated
250 g plain flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp active dried yeast
50 g chocolate-hazelnut spread
40 g unsalted butter
50 g dark chocolate
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
50 g pecans , finely chopped
Make the dough: In a small pot melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the milk and sugar. Add 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (save the white in the fridge for glazing the buns) and stir together.
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast - make a well in the centre of it. Pour in the butter mixture - stir together to make a soft dough.
Knead gently for about 6 minutes, dusting with flour, until the dough is smooth. Place dough in large, oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm - leave in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Melt together all the filling ingredients (except pecans) over a low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool as the dough continues to rise.
Once the dough is risen tip it out onto a floured surface. Dust it with more flour and gently roll it out into a roughly 25 x 35 cm rectangle.
Transfer the rectangle of dough to a floured tray. Cover the entire surface with a thick layer of the chocolate mixture and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Place tray into the fridge for 10 minutes so that the filling can firm up.
Remove tray from the fridge and fold the dough into thirds like a business letter - roughly a 25 x 10 cm rectangle. Cut the dough into six (25 cm long) strips. Twist each strip along its length and then coil it up. Line the tray with baking paper and place the buns onto it. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Remove the cling film from the buns. Take the egg white which was leftover from making the dough and whisk 1 tbsp of water into it with a fork - use this to glaze the buns with a pastry brush.
Bake the buns for 17-20 minutes, until dark golden-brown.
Eat warm or leave to cool on the tray before storing in an airtight container at room temp.
Dragon Well Tea Pairing
The unmistakable roasted, nutty notes of this tea, with a creamy finish and a delicate floral aroma, makes it an extremely versatile green tea to pair with foods of similar character. Think delicate fish dishes, fresh green vegetables, buttery pastries, and cream-based desserts.