Field Trip: Afternoon Tea at TWG (新加坡創立品牌 TWG 微風分店)

Information: TWG Tea at Breeze Breeze Center, GF, No. 39, Sec. 1, Fuxing South Road, Taipei City 105, Taiwan| PH: + 886 2 8772 4519| Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 11am to 9:30pm, Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 10pm| Please note they do not take reservations. 

Before taking friends to a particular place for afternoon tea, I like to try the places out on my own first, to make sure the atmosphere is right, the service is attentive and the food is scrumptious. I read about TWG’s opening on Vogue Taiwan’s website, and decided to stop in for a quick cup of tea while I was in the neighborhood. TWG (which stands for “”The Wellbeing Group”) is a Singaporean company that specializes in curating teas and tea ware from around the globe. They have locations in the United States, and throughout Asia, and just recently opened up shop in Taiwan. The TWG described in this post is located in the basement level of Breeze Department Store. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is quite a generous space for afternoon tea. The front of the shop has curved glass windows, the interior is a mixture of yellow, gold, black and dark wood furniture. The chairs are wicker and black velvet and quite comfortable. More importantly, there is plenty of space between the tables, so you can sit and chat without being too distracted by the neighboring tables. The tables have crisp, white table cloths (my favorite!) and crisp napkins to match.

I ordered their afternoon tea set, where you can choose either to have a scones or muffins, or a dessert from their dessert cart, and a pot of tea from their vast selection. The tea selection was about 10 pages long, which is to be expected from a tea specialist.  However, you start to lose your focus a bit after paging through the third or fourth page.  (I find that Smith and Hsu’s hands-on way of selecting from their collection of teas, to be much more user friendly, and entertaining, since tea is much more than a visual process, it’s a tactile and sensory process too) I chose a lemon tart from their dessert display. There were also different tea infused cakes and macarons to choose from, but I had the most desperate craving for lemon tart, so that was my first, only and number one choice.

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Late Night Cooking Series Part 5: Lemon Frozen Yogurt~深夜食堂第五話:檸檬優格

The weather is definitely warming up here in Taiwan. Believe it or not, but I  finally figured out that while eating ice cream makes you feel chilled and refreshed, the making of the ice cream is actually a pretty hot process. So this summer season, my new order of operations is to make the ice cream mixture at night when the weather is cooler, and then let the mixture chill in the fridge overnight before putting it through the ice cream maker the next morning.

I love lemon flavored desserts, and so this time, I decided to experiment with Jeni’s frozen yogurt recipe. Before you get started, please remember that this particular recipe involves a bit of prep work. You need to drain the yogurt of excess water, so you won’t end up with too much liquid in your ice cream. The yogurt needs about 6-8 hours to drain thoroughly.  Don’t be tempted to skip this step, because too much liquid means an ice cream full of icy shards. I’ve noticed that Taiwanese yogurt is actually much “runnier” in comparisons to the yogurts I ate abroad, so this step is absolutely necessary! For this recipe, I used unsweetened yogurt from Matthew’s Choice, available at Matsusei, or City Super. After draining, this yogurt is wonderfully thick and creamy, almost like Greek yogurt in texture.

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The next step is to peel the lemons for zest.  Jeni recommends that you peel the lemon zest into long strips, so they are easy to remove from the ice cream mixture before freezing. I found that my Oxo vegetable peeler worked beautifully for this purpose. Next, make the lemon syrup which consists of lemon juice and sugar (please see below for the exact measurements). Then as with all of Jeni’s recipes, you have to prepare the cream cheese mixture and cornstarch slurry.  (In one bowl, combine the cream cheese with salt, in a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk)

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