Tag Archives: tea menu

From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Two Classic English Tea Cakes

If you’re a regular reader, it comes as no surprise that we are big fans of the English tea tradition and especially tea with sweets. This week’s focus is on a few of our favorite classic English tea cake recipes: Victoria Sandwich Cake and Battenburg Cake. We hope you’ll give them a try and share your results with us!

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Victoria Sandwich Cake, or Victoria Sponge Cake, is said to have been named after Queen Victoria who favored this cake with her afternoon tea. The first known recipe was printed in an 1874 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management.

The cake is made up of two layers of sponge cake with any seedless jam or marmalade and whipped cream in the middle. When cake is sandwiched with jam only, it is called a Jam Cake.

Battenburg Cake

Battenburg Cake has been reported as the wedding cake created for the 1884 marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Louis of Battenberg, a German prince. The four squares of its unique checkerboard design represent the four princes of Germany at that time.

The cake is actually quite charming. It consists of two square sections of pink sponge cake put together with two square sections of yellow sponge cake. The sections are “glued” together with apricot jam and wrapped in a layer of marzipan.

Below you’ll find links to classic English recipes and tips for these delicious cakes. We admit the recipes are extra work. However, once you’ve done it, the results are worth the effort!

Tips:

– A kitchen scale will be helpful, since ingredients are often weighed out instead of measured in English recipes.

– Castor sugar is superfine sugar. You can make it by whirling granulated white sugar in your food processor to a finer consistency.

– Golden castor sugar is less refined. You can make an acceptable equivalent by whirling Turbinado, Raw or Demerara sugar in  your food processor to a fine consistency. You can also substitute regular granulated white sugar as noted above.

– For Victoria Sandwich Cake, whipped cream or buttercream frosting may be used in the filling. We prefer whipped cream and seedless raspberry or apricot jam.

– A 190 C oven is about 375 degrees F, a 180 C oven is about 350 degrees F, a 170 C oven is about 325 degrees F.  A 160 C oven is between 325-300 degrees F. American sponge cake recipes bake at 350 degrees F. We recommend trying both recipes at 350 F the first time, but keep a close eye on it as actual oven temperatures vary.

– A Battenburg Cake Pan is helpful when making this cake. They appear to be available only from England.  See an Amazon UK listing for this product by clicking on the above highlighted link.

Victoria Sandwich Cake Recipe:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1997/classic-victoria-sandwich

Battenburg Cake Recipe:

 http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1120657/battenberg-cake

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.

Almond Lover’s Scone Recipe

Almond Lover's Scones

We present for your baking & eating pleasure, our new Almond Scone recipe featuring marzipan, almonds and almond extract. Serve them with clotted cream and cherry preserves, pear conserve, orange marmalade or even Nutella!

Almond Lover’s Scones

Makes 24 small scones, 1 1/4 inch (our favorite size) or 10-12 scones, 2 inch or 8-12 wedges.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder (Yes, that is a Tablespoon.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
8 Tbsp. butter
8 Tbsp. (4 fl. oz.) milk
1/2 c. marzipan or almond paste, diced small
4 Tbsp. sliced almonds, divided in half, crushed small using fingers
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar for topping

Almond & Sugar Mixture

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. 

Make Ahead Option #1: At this point, you can turn the oven off and seal this mix in an airtight container (such as a plastic bag) and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place. When ready to use, place mix in a large bowl and proceed with step 2. You’ll have tea & scones within a 1/2 hour if you multi-task on the tea. 🙂

2. Cut butter into dry ingredients until approximately the size of peas. Add the diced marzipan and two Tbsp. of the sliced & crushed almonds. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 2 Tbsp. of almonds and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar.

Flour Mix with Marzipan & Almonds

3. Measure out milk and add in almond extract. Pour the almond milk  into dry mix and stir to moisten. Dough should be moist enough to form a soft ball, but not sticky. If needed, additional milk may be added 1-2 teaspoons at a time.

4.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and press out with hand to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Tip: Do not knead dough and use as little flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking to the board.

Cutting out the scones

5. Cut into desired shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly brush tops with milk if desired. Sprinkle with previously prepared almond & sugar mix, reserving some for a second dusting after the scones are baked. Tip: If using a biscuit cutter or glass, dip the cutting edge in flour first.

Make Ahead Option #2: At this point, place your scones on a cookie sheet and freeze. When completely frozen, wrap scones well in plastic wrap and foil. Well wrapped scones will keep at least one month. When ready to use, proceed to step six, using frozen scones. Do not thaw first. You’ll have scones in about 20 minutes! 😀

Almond Scones ready to bake

6. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on size. The 1 1/4 inch scone will be done in approximately 10-13 minutes. Scones are done when lightly golden and the center springs back. Sprinkle again with remaining almond sugar mix while scones are still hot for visual appeal. Best served within 1 day of baking with butter or clotted cream and jam. Store in airtight container if serving later in the day. Tip: When baking, start checking your scones at the minimum baking time. You can always bake longer, but overdone is ruined.

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole…Yorkshire Pudding with Sausage

Toad in the Hole - http://www.emerils.com

An easy and delicious English recipe!

Makes 4 individual servings.

4 custard cups or large muffin tins
4 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
4 thick sausages (preferably pork, but any thick savory sausage will do)

1. Precook the sausages, cut in quarters and set aside on paper towel.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs and some of the milk. Mix to make a smooth paste.

3. Gradually whisk in the remainder of the milk and mix again to a smooth batter.  Allow batter to stand for 15-20 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 450 F. Place 1 Tbsp of oil in each cup and put cups on a cookie sheet. When oven reaches correct temperature, put cups in until oil starts to smoke and then take out of oven. (Watch carefully as this will happen rather quickly!)

5. Reduce oven to 400 F.

6. Place 2-4 sausage pieces in each cup. Remix the batter and quickly fill cups halfway.

7. Return to oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until batter is puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately because the puffs will deflate as they cool.

Tip: For a spicier version of Toad in the Hole, try this recipe from Emerils.com. There are many recipes, so if you don’t like these look around on your search engine of choice.

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Mock Clotted Cream

A  yummy, inexpensive substitute for Clotted Cream or Devonshire Cream!

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese (equal to 1/3 cup)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar and butter flavoring and beat well.

2. Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until solid peaks form. Do not overbeat or cream will separate.

3. Handle gently and as little as possible. Turn gently into a plastic container, seal tightly and refrigerate until use. Will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

4. On the day of your tea party, transfer mock clotted cream to your serving bowls. Cover and keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve with the scones. This cream will separate if it sits on the table too long, so be sure to keep cold until used.

Tip: Butter flavoring can be found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, near extracts or from cake decorating supply stores such as Wilton Cake Supplies.

Gift Idea: Consider giving this recipe on a cute store bought or handmade recipe card as an inexpensive, but much appreciated, party favor!

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, tea spices, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

World’s Best Scones Made Even Better

Cranberry Pecan & Triple Chocolate Scones

What’s different? Since scones are basically a sweet biscuit, we dropped the egg. Additionally, we reduced the milk and added two Make Ahead Options. These options allow you to make scones in as little as 20 minutes. We’re especially excited about Make Ahead Option #2 which goes from freezer to oven. We hope you enjoy this new & improved recipe!

World’s Best Scones (made even better)

Makes 24 small scones, 1 1/4 inch (our favorite size) or 10-12 scones, 2 inch or 8-12 wedges.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder (Yes, that is a Tablespoon.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. (3 fl. oz.) milk
1/4 cup chopped nuts, if desired
1/2 cup of one or two of the following, if desired: currants, raisins, dried cranberries, dried chopped cherries, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, dried chopped apricots or apples, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add one or two of the above dried fruits, nuts or chips or leave plain.

Make Ahead Option #1: At this point, you can turn the oven off and seal this mix in an airtight container (such as a plastic bag) and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place. When ready to use, place mix in a large bowl and proceed with step 2. You’ll have tea & scones within a 1/2 hour if you multi-task on the tea. 🙂

2. Cut butter into dry ingredients until approximately the size of peas.

3. Measure vanilla into a small bowl and add milk. Pour most of the vanilla milk  into dry mix and stir to moisten. Dough should be moist enough to form a soft ball, but not sticky. If needed, additional milk may be added 1-2 teaspoons at a time.

4.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and press out with hand to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Tip: Do not knead dough and use as little flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking to the board.

Sparkling White Sugar Crystals

5. Cut into desired shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly brush tops with milk if desired. Sprinkle with raw sugar crystals or Sparkling White Sugar crystals such as those found at cake decorating supply stores or King Arthur Flour. Raw sugar crystals can be found in the baking aisle of many grocery stores. Tip: If using a biscuit cutter or glass, dip the cutting edge in flour first.

Raw Sugar

Make Ahead Option #2: At this point, place your scones on a cookie sheet and freeze. When completely frozen, wrap scones well in plastic wrap and foil. Well wrapped scones will keep at least one month. When ready to use, proceed to step six, using frozen scones. Do not thaw first. You’ll have scones within 20 minutes! 😀

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size. The 1 1/4 inch scone will be done in about 10 minutes. Sprinkle again with large sugar crystals while scones are still hot for visual appeal. Best served within 1 day of baking with butter or clotted cream and jam. Store in airtight container if serving later in the day. Tip: When baking, start checking your scones at the minimum baking time. You can always bake longer, but overdone is ruined.

Check out our Triple Chocolate Scone recipe too!

Tips for great scones: Scones are like biscuits. To get a tender, flaky scone, the dough should be handled as little as possible and you should always use cold butter and cold milk.

For more tips, check out our article on Squidoo: How to Make Great Scones.

Some of our favorite combinations are:

Cranberry-Orange Pecan:  1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 tsp. orange zest

Cinnamon Chip: 1/2 cup mini cinnamon chips and 1/2-1 tsp. ground cinnamon

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of english bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and bone china tea sets. 

Tips for Tender, Tasty Scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

It’s early morning and I’m making mini scones (about 6 dozen) in preparation for a meeting…pumpkin, cinnamon chip and golden raisin. A good flavor combination considering the season. Crunched for time, I’m resorting to my favorite box mix, Iveta Gourmet, which has me out of the kitchen and on my way  in an hour. I love that mix!

As I’m patting and cutting 4 bowls of dough, I find my inspiration for this post. How many times have I served scones only to hear this comment, “These are scones? But they taste so good!”?

While I appreciate the compliment, scones aren’t difficult to make. The appeal of a good scone is in the texture as well as the taste. It should be a little crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. So without further comment, here are my tips for tasty, tender scones.

– Use cold butter or margarine and cold milk.

– Scones are basically a sweet biscuit, so follow the same rules: Don’t overmix and handle the dough as little as possible.

– When rolling out the dough, use as little flour as possible and roll to about 1/2 inch thick. Remember to handle the dough as little as possible. I’ve found that patting out the dough with my hand allows me to use less flour.

– Cut out small scones instead of large. I use a 1-2 inch round cutter. It’s a great size that your guests will appreciate.

– Don’t overbake! I know this is obvious, but still important.

– Make your scones the morning of your event. Remember, scones are basically biscuits, and therefore, will get stale more quickly.

Turbinado Sugar

– For extra table appeal, sprinkle your scones with coarse sugar before andafter baking. You can use raw sugar, demerara sugar, turbinado sugar or decorative sugars. I pick up decorative white sugar crystals from our local cake decorating shop and keep a vanilla bean in the sugar for extra aroma and flavor.

– If you’re crunched for time, don’t be afraid to use a mix. I’ve got a favorite scone recipe, but there are some good mixes on the market. As I mentioned, my favorite is Iveta. With a mix, you can have scones and tea ready in about 30 minutes.

If you’re looking for a good scone recipe instead of a mix, I recommend this one: The World’s Best Scones. As always, we’d love to hear your comments or questions.

Happy Baking!                                                                                                            Michelle in Customer Service

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.