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Carrot and Clover Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 8 oz. carrots
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (heaped) extra- fine sugar
  • 6 white clover flowers (washed & segmented)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • Heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 oz. soft butter
  • 5.25 oz. sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 purple clover flowers (washed & segmented)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F

  2. Line eight inch square cake panwith baking paper

  3. Wash, peel and finely grate the carrots.

  4. Measure the oil and sugar into a bowl, add the segmented
    clover heads and beat in the eggs.

  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and add the
    grated carrot. Fold the flour and carrot into the oil, sugar, clover
    and eggs. Then fold in the milk.

  6. Turn the mixture into prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated
    oven for 40-45 minutes until the cake is firm and well risen (it will
    shrink away from the sides of the tin). Allow to cool for 5 minutes,
    and then turn the cake on to a cooling rack.

  7. To make the frosting: sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl
    and beat in the softened butter. Add most of the segmented clover
    flowers, reserving a few to decorate the cake.

  8. Spread the frosting on top of the cold cake and sprinkle the
    reserved flower segments over the top.

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Gin & Tonic Drizzle Cake

A strong flavored gin is recommended. Sometimes, the cake can take longer than the stated time due to oven temperatures. Keep an eye on it and make sure the tester comes out clean.

Cake Ingredients

  • 8 oz. (two sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups extra fine sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lime

Drizzle Ingredients

  • ¾ cups extra fine sugar
  • 5 tablespoons gin
  • 5 tablespoons tonic

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gin

Directions for cake:

Time needed: 1 hour and 35 minutes.

  1. Grease and line a 2 lb. loaf pan and preheat oven to 350˚F.

  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add in the eggs, flour and lime zest. Beat until smooth.

  4. Pour cake mixture into the pan and bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes. When fully
    baked, a cake tester should come out clean and the cake will leave the sides of the pan.

  5. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the pan while making the drizzle.

Directions for drizzle:

  1. Add the sugar, gin and tonic to a small pan.
  2. Heat on low-medium while stirring and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Once dissolved, turn off the heat.
  3. Poke the cake lightly with a cake tester/fork and then pour over the drizzle. Leave the cake to cool completely in the pan.

To decorate:

  1. Once the cake has fully cooled, remove it from the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, add your confectioners’ sugar and gradually mix in the gin until you get a thick pourable consistency. Don’t make it too thin or it will just run off the cake.
  3. Pour the frosting over the cake, sprinkle with lime zest and then add some lime slices for more decoration.

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Blueberry Basil Frosty

Cheers! Perfect for a summer party or family reunion, our non-alcoholic drink is made even more summery with the addition of blueberries and basil.

  • 4 cups of white tea (we used White Peony)
  • 2 cups Blueberries (reserve about ½ cup of berries for the garnish)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • Soda water (optional)

  1. Let the tea come to room temperature then pour into ice cube trays and put in freezer until ALMOST frozen. (If you don’t have ice cube trays can use a shallow metal pan.)
  2. Put four glasses in the freezer.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine frozen tea, blueberries and other ingredients. Puree.
  4. Divide among the four chilled glasses.
  5. Add a splash of soda water.
  6. Garnish with the reserved blueberries and a sprig of basil.
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4 Perfect Iced Tea Recipes For The Summer

Think outside of the box when brewing a batch of iced tea this summer. Here are 4 recipes perfect to quench that summer thirst.

1. Green Tea Sangria

Here’s another refreshing drink to cool down with as the temperatures creep into the triple digits.

Stir all ingredients until sugar dissolves. Add melon. Chill. Garnish with lime slices before serving.

2. Green Tea & Ginger Ale Iced Tea

After trying Canada Dry’s version of Green Tea & Ginger Ale and finding it tasteless, decided to make our own. So easy to prepare and full of flavor!

Combine 1 level teaspoon of green tea with 10 oz. of cold ginger ale. Let steep for 90 minutes. Strain into an iced filled tall glass and enjoy. What could be easier?

3. Limeade Rooibos Iced Tea

  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 6 slices peeled ginger (each a 1/4 inch thick) 
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 lime cut into eights
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 24 oz. brewed rooibos tea, chilled

Combine the sugar, ginger, thyme and lime in a cocktail shaker. Don’t have a shaker? Use a sturdy mixing bowl or pint glass. Place the muddler in the glass. Don’t have a muddler? Use the end of a rolling pin. Press down with it lightly and give a few gentle twists. You should see juice squirting out from the limes and the ginger and thyme will begin to break down. Add the lime juice, stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved.
Strain the mixture into a pitcher partially filled with ice, or divide between four tall ice-filled glasses. Top with the tea and stir well. Garnish with lime slices.

4. Pomegranate Iced Black Tea

Nothing cools you down on a hot day like iced tea – and the drink can be a beauty elixir. Tea has compounds such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and tannin – that enhance the look of your skin. The results can be increased by adding ingredients such as pomegranate juice which has its own beauty benefits. 

  • 1 Tsp black tea or tea bag
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice

Steep tea in 1 cup of boiling water for 3 minutes. Add sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. While tea is cooling pour pomegranate juice into a tall glass over ice. Add brewed tea mixture and stir to combine.
Makes 2 glasses. 

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Chocolate Tiffin

We discovered this treat in a tea shop in Wexford, Ireland. Was intrigued with the name because the only “tiffin” I was familiar with is the India tiffin.

During the time of the British Raj, it was used to define the British custom of afternoon tea. It is derived from “tiffing”, an English slang term meaning to take a little drink. By 1867 it was used by Anglo-Indians in northern British India to mean luncheon. In South India and Nepal, tiffin is generally a snack between meals. In other parts of India, it mostly refers to a packed lunch.

The tiffin we tried was a cake-like confectionary that doesn’t need baking. Instead, following preparation of the mixture, it is chilled until set. Apparently, it was invented in the early 1900’s in Troon, Scotland.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 8 oz. crushed rich tea biscuits or McVitie’s Original Digestive Biscuits
  • 1/3 cup raisins, or to taste
  • 8 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Combine butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat; cook and stir until smooth about 2-4 minutes. Stir in crushed biscuits and raisins. Pour into a 8”x8” pan; press down firmly to flatten.
  2. Melt the milk and dark chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently and scrape down the sides of the pan with a spatula to prevent scorching. Watch carefully. Cook 3-4 minutes. Pour melted chocolate over biscuit base.
  3. Refrigerate until set. This will take at least one hour. Cut into squares.
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Curry Shortbread

I had never considered adding curry to cookies before that pantry raid, but it’s a delicious combination.

The curry powder gives these shortbread cookies a warm, golden color and intriguing, almost savory flavor. So even though these cookies make a great dessert, they are just as at home with a glass of champagne or a cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1& 1/2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 & 1/8 Teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ Teaspoon Paprika
  • ¾ Teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Set oven rack to the middle. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift flour with spices. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until blended. Scrape dough onto parchment paper and shape into a log shape. Chill until firm. Slice dough into ¼ inch pieces. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick each slice with a fork before baking for 20 minutes.
Particularly good with a cup of fine Indian Darjeeling – the champagne of tea.

From the Kitchen of Shelda Matthews.

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My Mum’s Prized Butter Tarts

This recipe was on our old web-site and we’ve had lots of requests for it to be reposted on the new site.  It was one of my Mum’s best recipes and she always made the tarts at Christmas time or when I went back to England to visit.  They were a special treat.

(Butter tarts are a type of small pastry that is primarily eaten in and associated with the English-speaking provinces of Canada.    It is thought they were common in pioneer times.)

Pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup of unsalted butter
½ cup lard
About 1 cup of ice- cold water

Put first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Empty into a large bowl.  Add the flour, a little at a time, using just enough to bind the mixture. Collect all moistened particles into a ball.  With as little handling as possible, form dough into a round disk.  Place on a lightly floured surface.  It should be soft enough not to break when it is rolled. Handle the pastry as little as possible.  Kneading will toughen it. Roll with a light even pressure to a thickness of ¼ inch.  Cut into 3-inch circles and line tartlet pans.

Butter Tart Mixture:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 beaten large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup currants

Preheat oven to 450˚F

Mix all the ingredients together and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into tartlet pans that have been lined with pastry.  Put on center rack in the oven. Bake at 450˚F degrees for eight minutes.  Reduce to 350˚F degrees and bake until the pastry is lightly browned.  Remove tartlet pan from oven and place on cooling rack for about ten minutes.

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Apple-Green Tea Cocktail

 

Ingredients:
10 heaped teaspoons green tea
2-1/2 cups water
½ cup ice
Hard cider
Vodka
Apple slices for garnish
Blue sugar for garnish

  1. Heat 1 cup of the water until nearly boiling. Add the tea and let steep for five minutes.
  2. Strain the tea over the remaining 1-1/2 cups of water and add ½ cup of ice cubes.

For each glass:

  1. Rim a tall glass(16 oz.) with Blue Sugar.  Fill with ice. Add 1 shot of vodka, 2/3 cups of hard cider and top off with the green tea.
  2. Garnish with an apple slice and serve.

Serves five.

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Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles

Do you like making Christmas gifts for your friends and family?  Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles are so easy to make and delectable to eat.
INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
2 heaped teaspoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

PREPARATION

Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan and stir in tea leaves. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely grind chocolate in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Pour cream through a fine-mesh sieve onto chocolate, pressing on and discarding tea leaves, then whisk until smooth. Chill ganache, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.

Spoon level teaspoons of ganache onto a baking sheet. Put cocoa in a bowl, then dust your palms lightly with it. Roll each piece of ganache into a ball (wash your hands and redust as they become sticky). Drop several balls at a time into bowl of cocoa and turn to coat. Transfer as coated to an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper.

Makes approximately 34 truffles

Note:  Truffles can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, or 1 month ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Advise making them on the small size because they are very rich.

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Pumpkin Scones

pumpkin scones

This month’s recipe is for pumpkin scones with a caramel drizzle.  This scone is a good spicy, sweet treat in the morning with a hearty breakfast tea or as an after-dinner dessert.

Many people think of pumpkins as little more than a Halloween decoration or a Thanksgiving pie filling. It’s time to rethink this plump, nutritious orange plant. Pumpkin is a highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins minerals but low in calories.  Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch. There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flourpumpkin scones
2 tsp baking powder (Make sure it is fresh)
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 ground cloves
¼ cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into ¼ inch pieces
½ cup + 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin
3-1/2 Tbsp sour milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp milk

Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
1 Tbsp milk, more as needed
Pumpkin Icing
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp milk.

 

Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Set rack in top third of the oven.
In a food processor pulse first ten ingredients until well blended. Add butter and pulse until mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Make a well in the center.

In a bowl whisk together next five ingredients. Pour into well in flour/butter mixture. Using a wooden
spoon, stir well, then kneed approximately ten times on a floured work surface to bring the mixture
together. Invert dough onto surface. Pat and shape into an even round – must be a minimum of one
inch thick. Using a 2-1/2 inch floured cutter, cut out 12 rounds.

Transfer scones to a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and then bake in the preheated
oven for 15-18 minutes – until tops are golden brown and toothpick stuck into center of a scone comes
out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool ten minutes (no longer) before spreading with glaze.

Glaze:
In a small mixing bowl combine confectioner’s sugar and milk, adding only enough milk to make a thick
(not runny) consistency. Spread glaze over tops of scones to evenly coat. (Use all of it.) Let glaze set at
room temperature.

Pumpkin Icing:
In a small bowl, mix together confectioner’s sugar and other ingredients. Transfer mixture to a small
Ziploc bag, seal and then cut a small tip from corner and drizzle over the tops of the scones. Allow
Icing to set before serving.