Monday, 27 July 2015

Getting the Tea and Cake in Order ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ The weather in The Shire, in fact across much of the British Isles, today is appalling, so it is a day for taking my mind off the winds that howl around the cottage in their most unseasonal manner, accompanied by heavy rains of the same ilk ~~~ To the kitchen I go for a spot of comfort and distraction by baking cakes for the freezer.  Before I go, shall I reflect for a moment upon that most British traditional supplementary repast ~~~ Tea and Cake?

A gardener, or a crafter, or anyone who simply appreciates Elevenses as that most sacred of mid~morning rituals of refreshment, must get their priorities in order ~~~ ensuring a proper and constant supply of tea and cake.

To this end, last week, it was with shock and horror I realised that my tea chest was starting to resemble the cupboard of Old Mother Hubbard ~~~ looking rather bare ~~~


~~~ so I hastily put in an order to Twinings for more supplies, which thankfully arrived quickly ~~~


and now all is well, the tea chest is full to overflowing once more, with plenty of boxes in store {but I am sure they will not last that long, are you?} There are plenty of my favourites, Gingerbread Green Tea, Apple and Cinnamon Black Tea, as well as a new flavour, Cherry Bakewell ~~~ I'll let you know!

There, doesn't this look better?


In celebration of approaching Autumn, I treated myself to a new 'Autumn' mug {I buy one every year} in the Emma Bridgewater Summer Sale ~~~ the Sunflower half pint; Oh! My! while I was shopping, a Rose and Bee teacup somehow slipped into my cart as well ~~~ but I think it is just the perfect shape for hot chocolate in the cooler months ahead, don't you?

To the Most Important Matter of Cake ~~~ some considerable time ago, I came across a Delia Smith recipe that I wished to try, but could not find one of the key ingredients, Coconut Milk Powder. I then espied it on a well known online retail shop {I refuse to speak the name out loud} at an exorbitant price for a rather absurdly large quantity of a kilogram, when all I needed was three tablespoons! Well, that was no good so the wait was on.  I put on my Patience Hat.  Then, one day, as if by magic, the ingredient drifted on to my computer screen while I was looking for something else ~~~ a reasonable quantity at an acceptable price, so I snapped it up!  Cake baking ~~~ here we come!

So, today I can make the Fresh Lime and Coconut Cake ~~~ courtesy of Delia Smith's recipe here.  Off to the kitchen I go ~~~ Emily is ready to help ~~~

~~~ time passes ~~~~

The result is that it made an oddly shallow sponge which did not rise at all. Comparing it to the image in the book, Delia's Cakes, {below} Delia's didn't rise either ~~~ so I think it is how it is meant to be ~~~

Anyway, here it is ~~~




As you can see, I ran out of limes, and frankly it did not appeal to me to have raw lime zest, or wedges of pure, unsweetened limes decorating the cake ~~~ bit too tart, I think, so if I bake this again I will devise something more acceptable to my palette for decoration ~~~ I also made the icing slightly thicker as I did not want it running off the cake as Delias does ~~~


If I make it again, I will be making some serious tweaks to the recipe, not least increasing the eggs, flour, sugar, and butter to give a fatter sponge!

Even though it's a bit too fresh to cut, I could not resist temptation, so I took a small slice to test it ~ someone has to do it!  Frankly, it is disappointingly bland considering there are three fresh limes therein! Maybe it will improve after a day or two, so I'll let you know next time how it tastes.

Until next time,
Sincerely yours,
Deborah






26 comments:

  1. Hi Deborah, your tea box looks lovely, There is a nice selection of teas. The cake looks delicious and I hope the flavor improves for you. I did like the way you iced the cake and I thought the one in the cookbook looked a little messy. Here is MD(US), our weather is the three "h's" -- hot, hazy and humid. Thanks for sharing and have a great day.

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    1. Hello Joan ~~~ thank you for stopping by, and for your kind comments. Yes, that is the weather most of my American friends are reporting ~~~ and most can't wait for the more comfortable days to come.

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  2. Deb, I'm so glad your supply of tea arrived in time for stormy weather! Your tea chest is lovely and filled with my favorite Twinings teas. I think their tea is the most flavorful. Your Emma purchases are lovely. I love the Bee and Rose pattern and yes that cup will be just right for hot chocolate. Your cake is so pretty--sorry the taste isn't to your liking. Hopefully it will be more to your taste after sitting a while. Your weather sounds quite different than ours. Hot and humid here today. Enjoy your evening. ♥

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    1. Hello Martha Ellen ~ oh, aren't Twinings just one of the best? Well, except for Constant Comment {my most favourite flavoured tea} It is now bed time and the skies are dark and grey with rain clouds!

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  3. Tea and cake are perfect for rainy days...and regular days, too. lol Don't you just love seeing your tea chest all full? I know I would. The cups are lovely, but I have to admit that I like the sunflower one the best. It is wonderful.

    I think your cake looks yummy. I am not really a fan of lime. I do hope the flavor gets better for you. I think your cake looks much better than the other one. It is way too busy. I think you should make a lemon one the next time. Lemon + cake = Heaven.

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    1. Dear Friend, you read my mind ~~~ Great Minds and all that ~~~ yes, I thought lemon next time, maybe orange? Something that I can maybe add some essence oil too, to enhance the citrus flavour.
      For me, a full tea chest is a real security blanket!
      Deb xoxo

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  4. Color me green, once again, my friend with your perfectly appointed tea box and the lovely EB cups! And, so many different Autumn tea selections, too! They all sound yummy and with your weather turning so quickly, I think you made the right choices. As I can not fathom even the thought of hot beverages at the moment...Still in the 90's over here. But, we should be getting a little break at the end of next week. I've got my fingers and toes crossed! Your cake looks scrumptious! I do hope it improves. One of my favorite desserts is a key lime pie. I think it's the tartness that I am drawn to the most. Not too big on super sweet desserts. So, I might have to give this one a try and see how it does on this side of the ocean. I look forward to an update on it's taste. Hugs from across the sea ~ Donna E.

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    1. Good Morning Donna! Shall I use inks, watercolours, or crayons then? To colour you green, that is? lol I can understand why you don't want hot drinks right now, but did you know that black tea is considered cooling? It definitely quenches my thirst more than ice tea *when* we get hot weather, that is!
      Update on taste ~ it is sweet and bland, so sadly no improvement overnight, but it is easier to slice.
      Deb xo

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  5. I am finally getting caught up on my blog reading, and enjoyed your last couple posts. We have had an unnaturally hot summer, but this week we finally had some very welcome lower temperatures. Your plant and flower pictures are so pretty. Your cake sounds delicious, I love citrus flavors. Your tea flavors sound yummy as well, I like the idea of apple and cinnamon, and the gingerbread flavor, yum. I too fell very behind in ICAD, I still have hope to complete more cards, and will probably do a final blog post on them, but yes, I agree when art becomes work it starts being stressful, and then I can't get inspired, so I am waiting until I really have time. Such a fun group of people though, and a wonderful project, I learned so much from it. :) Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Oh, April, I hope you get caught up, falling behind is not a good thing as I know from this Summer! I'm so happy you enjoyed ICAD. I have joined the Daisy Yellow group on FB now, more my thing as we can work on any size, although I don't seem to find the time or space to work these days.
      Deb :)

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  6. How lovely to see a post from you.
    We have been having plenty of tea & cake here too with the amazing amount of rain. I have just tip toed outside to hang some washing as there is a window of a few hours without any rain.
    We just have plain old tea leaves here but I love all the names of your beautiful tea's, they sound lovely so I might get a box next time to go grocery shopping.
    I love your tea cup too, so pretty & your cake.
    Off to do some baking.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Hello Michelle ~~~ yes, it is difficult drying out of doors right now. Then again, I love clothes that have had an extra rinse with the rain! Great baking weather though.
      I do love to try new teas, so there is always something happening in my tea chest ~~~ Deb

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  7. I am afraid that I am not typically English. I just don't like the taste of tea, I don't even like the smell of it. I could manage to eat that cake though.

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    1. We'll have to get coffee for you, then, or maybe a G&T ~~~ it all goes well with cake! Well, maybe not the G&T.

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  8. Your favorite season is just around the corner! It's fun to see you getting ready, Deb! Your full tea chest looks so comforting. Last year, I received a tea chest for my birthday. I keep it downstairs, near my Studio, where there is always a chill in the air. Your new Emma mugs are just lovely! Mmmm ~ a new cake to sample!! Next time you bake it, lemon cake would taste oh-so summery! Would love to join you for a cup of tea, Deb! Constant Comment is one of my favorites, too!! ♡

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    1. Autumn feels well and truly here today, chilly, blustery, showery ~~~ nothing summery at all ~~~ Summer went on holiday, I do think I will be stocking up on hot chocolate supplies before very long! Deb xoxo

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  9. I have found that sponge cakes need to sit quite a bit so that the taste can really come through. It looks delicious though :0) mari

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    1. Of course, Mari, that is absolutely correct, but I am desperately weak of will where home made cake is concerned, so they often do not last that long! I can report, however, that the flavour and texture are improving, so next time I must bake two cakes, one to eat and one to keep for maturing.

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  10. Well, you sure have my appetite whetted for that cake! The one sponge cake I've made (Tasha Tudor's recipe) did not rise very much either--but it was good. Is Elevenses held at 11:00? If so, when do you have lunch if tea is at 4:00 (or is that later?). What time do you all eat dinner there?

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    1. I wonder if you used 'All Purpose' flour? I use Self Raising, and the noted amount of baking powder otherwise things can be very flat indeed. Yes, Elevenses is at 11:00 and lunch is usually my main meal, around 1:00, with a light snack mid afternoon {if peckish} and we have high tea most days around 6:00 ~ any later and it is supper.

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  11. What a selection of tea, I love Twinnings, your cake looks amazing, I wish I lived nearer x

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    1. The cake improved with a few days keeping! The tea is already diminishing!

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  12. What a selection of teas. I love all sorts of Camellia tea, green, black, smoked, perfumed but over the last few years I have developed an insatiable thirst for Rooibos. I still like my traditional tea but prefer my red nectar. I even carry some teabags around in my pocket in case.

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    1. Yes, I think I recall you mentioning Rooibos. I once drank much of it, but I now prefer black tea, but try to drink more green. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Tea and cakes, what I great idea! I had them recently too. I really need to discover more of the Twinings flavours.

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    1. Oh, the Twinings site is a field of confusion, they have just so many blends and flavours of everything you can think of! They do have a small sale on right now!

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments