the making of earl grey milk chocolate – Batch 22 Bakery

the making of earl grey milk chocolate

Earl grey is (to my surprise) the second most highly requested flavor over the last 3 years. To be honest, I'm a recent convert. Earl grey has often been a little overly floral or perfume-y for my liking, but Tong Sui's earl grey coconut pudding was game-changing and after a few months of it being my go-to flavor, I set out to develop an earl grey cookie.

As far as difficulty goes, we finished this in 8 versions (for us, anything in the single digits is pretty fast!). The crux was mostly in getting the right supplier for the tea.

How much earl grey is too much?

I'm still not a die-hard earl grey gal so I couldn't solo-test this one. With a group of earl grey lovers of varying range, we tested the earl grey amounts down to the gram (sidebar: this is why we never offer substitutions or changes to our cookies - no "less sweet" or omitting ingredients!). I went as far as to find what was a little too bright / too floral for most, and dialed it back 1g, comparing it against other versions. We've often tested things down to 5g increments (which really matters for sugars), but I can't remember the last time a flavor needed 1g increments.

As it stands now, the earl grey flavor is nice and bright, persisting even with bites of milk chocolate - but not so strong that you don't notice the milk chocolate at all. Together, the two flavors are a great pair - bright note of tea rounded out with a creamy chocolate. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.


The Supplier Makes or Breaks it.

This flavor would've been released weeks ago if not for the crucial element: the tea supplier While I won't disclose our winner, we went through a few more "premium" small suppliers - many that smelled more complex and promising, but ultmately didn't show up strong in our cookies, or didn't translate into a classic earl grey flavor. 

The Aesthetic: Ground or Not

At first we tested the cookies without grinding the tea - it wasn't noticeably gritty so we tested several versions like that (it affected some suppliers' tea more than others). 

Once we locked in the supplier, we tested grinding the tea and never went back. It yielded 0% gritty mouthfeel and the tea was much, much more immersed into the cookie. Not ground, it felt incomplete - more like a sugar cookie with essence of earl grey. The aesthetic (and don't tell me you don't judge a cookie by its appearance) was in my opinion better not ground. Thankfully, I got a little feedback that folks thought the ground version looked more like a tea cookie. I wouldn't have changed it back, but it was nice to know :) 

This flavor is available now - hope you enjoy it! I designed this one for the earl grey enthusiasts. I didn't make it to convert anyone, knowing how hard it is to get people interested in the more floral flavors, but just know that Lawrance (a more traditional/classic cookie eater) LOVES this new flavor, and I've never known him to like earl grey.