In my new book, High Tea, I introduce a delicate and fragrant method of sweetening marijuana tea using candied flowers, fruits, and herbs with terpene profiles similar to the terpenes found in cannabis. What makes these candied botanicals different from the candied flowers and herbs you may have seen as dessert decorations is the way they are made–layered with culinary floral water, citrus and/or fruit juice, and acacia gum instead of egg whites. Free of all eight major allergens, these are also shelf-stable for several months if they are kept with a silicon moisture absorbing pack designed for food.
You can pair these with any tea–but the best teas to work with are teas that are good when they are sweetened. So, I’m talking about tea service such as Middle Eastern gunpowder green tea, high quality bagged black tea (I recommend Red Rose or Lipton Yellow Label Arabic-style specifically made for Arabic and Indian markets.), and a few other loose leaf teas like black tea used to make chai. I have enjoyed this with some Gong Fu service–but keep in mind the general rule that these delicate, nuanced teas are best enjoyed without sugar.
In my book I present a variety of ways to make these sweet terpene entourages for dropping into cannabis tea–or enjoying on their own as a sweet herbal candy during tea service. Using these fragrant herbs, flowers, and fruits is a terrific way to enhance the experience of marijuana tea as often the natural terpenes of cannabis that are desirable are stripped from the infusion of the cannabinoids into the tea. I’m talking about the limonene, linalool, pinene, and other delicate terpenes that have a very short life in the open air–but which can be captured from other herbs and re-introduced into tea infused with cannabinoids.
Here’s a recipe from my book for one kind of terpene entourage that uses both culinary rose water and lemon juice–you can find other fragrant combinations like this to layer and seal in the terpenes of the herbs, flowers or fruits of your choice:
For this recipe, select fresh mint leaves, rose petals, black peppercorns, strips of lemon zest, or lavender spikes. Float these in a bowl of water that has had a splash or two of culinary rose water added to it while you work.
You can also prepare a concentrated rice bran oil infused with cannabis and add drops to the candied herbs, flowers, and fruits and enjoy these as an uplifting treat on their own or as toppers for desserts. This recipe fulfills the standards of sensitivity cuisine–free of all big 8 allergens (egg, dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, wheat) + Chef’s extra of no sesame and no fermentation/yeast. Most candied herbal recipes you will find use egg whites–not this one! That makes it more shelf-stable in addition to allergy-friendly.
You will need:
1 1/2 tablespoons of culinary rosewater
1 tablespoon of Heather’s Tummy Fiber (high grade senegal acacia gum powder)
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup of caster sugar (must be caster or what is known as bakers sugar which is very fine grain. Table sugar will not work)
Extra rosewater for floating your fresh herbs and flowers while you work
Some tweezers, a small detail paint brush, and a fan brush for sprinkling sugar–you also need some parchment paper for the drying process
Assorted and highly fragrant flowers like rose petals, fresh lavender spikes, rosemary flowers, lilac flowers, mint leaves, black peppercorns, lemon zest etc.
Mix together the rosewater, acacia gum and lemon juice until you get a “syrup” like texture.
Using your tweezers, grab a rose petal or one of the other herbs and submerge it into the acacia rosewater syrup that you just made and tap on the side to get off most of the liquid. Use the small paintbrush to ensure the herb has been covered in a thin layer of the liquid.
Over the bowl containing the caster sugar you will take your fan brush and sprinkle sugar all over the herb. You can also bury it in the sugar and then take it out if you want something with more sugar and a more ‘ceramic’ look.
Place on the parchment for drying. If you are in a more humid environment you will want to dry this using a fan or in an oven that has been warmed slightly and then shut off. Otherwise, these will dry within a day, uncovered.
To store them you will want to include a silicon drying pack in the jar or container they are stored in that is changed out at least once a month. These stay crisp, pretty and fragrant for at least three months if you take care of them.
Use them as sweetening drop-ins for cannabis tea, or you may add a drop or two of cannabis infused rice bran oil directly to them before storage.
This recipe will make dozens and dozens 😋