This month's We Should Cocoa challenge, in which tea is the special guest star ingredient, had me really stumped. I could only look on in awe as other bloggers created incredible cakes and puddings and was just about ready to throw in the towel altogether.
In a last-ditch effort, I idly Googled 'tea and chocolate' and somehow ended up at a site advertising chocolate and green tea face masks. Now, we all know chocolate makes us more beautiful thanks to its powerful antioxidants and green tea is often heralded for its detoxifying properties, but did you ever think of mixing them together and slapping them on your face?
While I was playing around with a homemade version - mixing a bit of green tea that I'd smashed to bits with a mortar and pestle with cocoa and a spoonful of manuka honey (also good for the skin) - it occurred to me that this trio could also make a delicious drink. In the time it took the kettle to boil I'd spread half the chocolatey goo on my face and scooped the remainder into a tea cup. I'm not sure that it made me any more beautiful but my skin did feel nice afterwards - and the chocolatea was delicious.
We drink buckets of peppermint tea at our house and so a peppermint version was the logical next step. I didn't spread this one on my face (there's only so much beautifying a Kitchenmaid can take in a day), but the tea smelled and tasted like a liquid After Dinner Mint. If I could distill this into a perfume I reckon I'd make a, err, mint...
Beautiful Chocolate Honey Tea
If you'd prefer to spread this on your face than drink it, here are a few handy hints. Use green or peppermint tea from a teabag (or matcha tea powder, if you're posh) to save yourself the trouble of grinding up leaves in a mortar and pestle. Otherwise you'll end up with scratchy twiggy bits on your face, which will be rather more exfoliating than you may like. Just mix the cocoa, tea and honey into a paste (add a drop of olive oil if it seems too thick), spread it on your face and lie down for 10 minutes. Wash off gently with a facecloth.
2tsp green or peppermint tea (about a teabag or two's worth)
Put all ingredients in a fine china cup and mix to a paste. Add just-boiled water and stir briskly. Sit and drink while thinking beautiful thoughts.