Yes, we were both late with this post... but this recipe is worth waiting for:
I am a girl who loves strong flavors. Some of my favorites are: lemon curd, black licorice/anise, the darkest dark chocolate I can find, caraway seed, lavender, molasses, coffee, ginger, fennel--you get the idea. But waaay up there on the list of best flavors is Earl Grey tea.
I absolutely share Mia's love for all things tea and tea party. For my first "big kid" birthday party (you know, where you actually select the lucky invitees, as opposed to your parents just inviting your entire class) I requested a formal tea--everyone in their best ruffled dresses & a long table with china cups & saucers & trays of ladyfingers & tiny sandwiches. I invited ten proper 2nd grade ladies, & upon greeting each at the door, I was utterly impressed by their choices of couture. One girl came with a full face of makeup and a bulky knit shawl, & I remember feeling just a smidge of disapproval. My my. How Upper East Side of me! But look, people, I was 8 years old & a stickler for details. I would also like to point out that after tea, we all played freezedance to the California Raisins cassette.
Anyway, I was unwise to the bergamot-y, slight orange-y goodness of Earl Grey at that green age. If I were to have a tea party today, I would most certainly serve individual Earl Grey puddings as the perfect dessert. The cool pudding topped with a thin layer of caramel sauce is the perfect way to end afternoon tea service.
All you need for this delicious treat is: water, sugar, confectioner's sugar, eggs, milk and Earl Grey tea leaves. The best recipe I've found is Lynn Chen's at Teality-- find it here.
You can serve this with shortbread (recommended flavors: chocolate or orange--both excellent pairings) OR with petite lemon curd cookies! (see Mia's DOTW post below)