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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

 

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Buns are so versatile, easy to make and easier still to eat with a nice cup of tea.  You can, of course, make this mixture into a loaf cake if you would rather.  For approximately 30 buns you will need:

  • 8 oz butter (softened)
  • 8 oz Caster sugar
  • 4 medium sized eggs (beaten)
  • 8 oz Self Raising Flour and
  • 2-4 oz dessicated coconut (depending on your own taste)​
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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

This is the usual creaming method so cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour with each egg.  Fold in the flour and coconut using a figure of eight motion.  Put a spoonful of mixture into paper buns cases which are inside a bun tray and bake for 15-20 mins until firm to the touch.

​Cool the buns on a wire rack then when cool make some icing with icing sugar and water and spread on the top of each bun, sprinkle with coconut and leave to set.  Enjoy!​

If you know me, one of my favorite brands of tea to brew is PG Tips. It is usually my go-to tea for whenever I feel like I need a good pick-me-up or something to warm me up in the cold days of winter. It was one of the first British teas I tasted before I really began to dive into British food and culture and I introduced it to my young nephew, keeping the love for PG Tips well into the next generation.

teatpgt1000031917_-00_pg-tips-juicy-raspberry-green-tea-bags-20-count teatpgt1000032454_-00_pg-tips-red-bush-vanilla-herbal_1While plain black tea is what they started with, PG tips recently began to expand their tea line from beyond the standard black tea. While there is loose leaf and decaf, PG Tips has ventured into the world of green, herbal, and fruit teas. Five varieties of green tea have been produced by PG, Pure Green, Juicy Raspberry, Fragrant Jasmine, Vibrant Mandarin Orange, and Zesty Lemon. Each box of green tea has 20 bags and is a fine blend from Indonesia and Kenya. All but the Pure Green are infused with a floral or fruity flavor.

Perhaps you fancy a more lighter taste and less caffeine? That’s where the herbal teas come in. Delicate Camomile, Refreshing Peppermint, Smooth Redbush and Vanilla, and Aromatic Spices and Mint are all here to soothe you. Camomile is infused with delicate flowers, Peppermint is a clean and refreshing minty goodness, Redbush and Vanilla is a mixture of South African Rooibos, vanilla flavor, hibiscus flowers, and cranberry, and finally Spices and Mint is a combination of familiar spices like cinnamon, mint, and a bit of orange.

Still prefer black tea? There are some new varieties that PG tips has in store such as the Strong One and the Fresh One. The Strong One has a bright red color when brewed, a malty aroma, and a bold tea character. This tea is blended from teas grown in Kenya and other African nations. The Fresh One is also red when brewed, and this tea is a Breakfast Blend plus English Breakfast, all blended from tea grown in Kenya.

It is hard to choose from all these varieties! I like to expand my horizons and try new tea but if you’re a tea lover like myself, you might have a large cupboard full of tea! Have you tried any of these flavors? Let us know!

Cheese Pastries

(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

I do not eat onions, they are bad for my digestion, so I like to make pastry squares with cheese in them, but if you like you can make them with cheese and onions.  You can make them large or small, but if you make them small they are very tasty warm from the oven with a nice cup of tea.

You will need:

  • A packet of ready rolled flaky pastry and some nice strong tasting cheddar cheese.
  • Just cut the pastry into squares and fill half of each square with slices of cheese, how mu
    Cheese Pastries 2

    (c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

    ch cheese is personal taste.

  • Brush the pastry edges with water and fold over each pastry square and  crimp the edges with a fork.
  • Brush with egg wash or milk and bake for 15 – 20 minutes in a hot oven, 220 C, gas mark 8, 425 F, cool on a wire rack.

Of course you can make your own pastry and you can also make a cheese and onion thick sauce for the filling, however you make them I am sure you will enjoy them.

IcedTeaDid you know that June is Iced Tea Month in the United States? While millions of people drink it all year long, it is widely celebrated during this early summer month on June 10th. It’s a good time, too, since iced tea is a very popular drink among Americans, especially in the summer months! About 80 to 85 percent of tea that is consumed in the United States is taken iced. While my palate is adapted to the British style of tea, who could blame my fellow Americans for liking iced tea? It’s refreshing, especially since a large amount of the U.S. is overrun by humidity during the summer months. Iced tea is dated all the way back to at least the 19th century, however, it was not made popular until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

The best thing about iced tea is that just about anyone can make it! You can make it to however you fancy. You could take it sweetened or unsweetened, add a bit of lemon, or garnish it with a nice piece of fruit. While iced teas consumed in the U.S. are usually ready to drink, many use teabags to make it themselves. However, another method of iced tea brewing is growing in popularity. The Keurig brewing system is already synonymous with coffeTEATTWN1000028259_-00_Twinings-Pomegranate-and-Raspberry-Iced-Tea-K-Cups-12-counte brewing and many are using it to brew iced coffee.

With more households owning Keurig brewers, many of the owners like tea. So to settle the growing demand, many tea companies began to make k-cup versions of their teas. Twinings has recently made some delicious varieties like:

Prefer a simple black tea? Not to worry! There’s a pure black tea as well!

If you still prefer to make it the old-fashioned way, there’s always the regular Twinings TeabagsShangri La which steeps a total of 12 quarts per packet, or even our English Tea Store brand. I have previously mentioned Lady Londonderry as one of my personal favorites since it tastes tsl5059d_pjg_-00_iced-tea-by-shangri-la-organic-tropic-green-brew-bagslike summer, with notes of strawberry and lemon in there. If caffeine is not your fancy, then the Casablanca is a brilliant tea that goes well iced! A bright red color when brewed, it is not too strongly scented before it is brewed. Once you taste it, it is a light fruit medley. Great for kids, too!

Iced Tea Day is a great day to kick off a summer of iced tea, picnics, and barbecues. Bring family and friends around for a nice cup or pitcher of iced tea and watch some fireworks. Happy summer!

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Are your cakes always sad in the middle? Do you despair of making a good cake that rises? Well fear not, this cake is supposed to be sad in the middle and it never rises  that much either! On the other hand it does taste delicious whether hot or cold!

 

 

 

 

You will need:

Oven 180 C, 350 F or gas mark 4

4 oz butter
3 oz golden or soft brown sugar
2 eggs
5 oz Self Raising Flour
A few drops of Vanilla essence

Approx two or three tablespoons of runny honey.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the vanilla essence and then the eggs and one spoonful of flour with each egg. Fold in the flour and the honey until well mixed and put the mixture into a greased 1lb loaf tin and bake for 35-40 mins until firm. Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy a small piece whilst slightly warm with a cup of strong Ceylon tea to counterbalance the sweet.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Back in the 1970’s when we held dinner parties they all seemed to consist of prawn cocktail for starters and Black Forest Gateau for dessert (At least the main course was usually different!)! I, personally, never liked Black Forest Gateau because I am not keen on sickly chocolate but my daughter, Nicola, loves chocolate. In fact anything sweet and sickly is fine by her, so, this week I made a chocolate cake that resembles a Black Forest Gateau and some chocolate buns. Some of the chocolate cake will be going to the dentist because Nicola has an appointment this week but there should be plenty left for her. But there are a lot of recipes out there for chocolate cakes and this is one I have used for some time now. The main problem with chocolate cake is the dryness so I use golden syrup to counteract that. You will need:

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Oven 180 C, 350 F, Gas Mark 4

An 8″ sandwich tin greased or lined.

6 oz Butter
6 oz Caster Sugar
3 eggs
6 oz Self Raising Flour
2 oz Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
a few drops of Vanilla essence

Cream the butter with the sugar and add the eggs separately with a spoonful of flour, then beat in the golden syrup and Vanilla essence. Fold in the flour and cocoa in a figure of eight motion and pour the mixture into your prepared tin.  Bake for approx 35 mins. Test by pressing your fingers on the top or use a cake tester. Leave in the tin for a few minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

For the fudge icing you will need:

4 oz butter
4 tablespoons of Milk
4 tablespoons soft Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup or black treacle
1 lb Icing Sugar
2 oz Cocoa Powder

You will also need half a jar of black Cherry jam.

This amount will sandwich a cake together and coat the top and sides. Melt the butter, milk, sugar and treacle and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa. Allow to cool slightly.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Slice the cake into two and spread the bottom half with black cherry jam and the top half with the fudge. Sandwich together. Use the rest of the fudge to cover the sides and top of the cake. Decorate the top with whatever you have, I used chocolate chips and small marshmallows. This is good for an afternoon tea.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

If you want to make some buns as well you can use a 6 inch cake tin and a six bun tray or make more mixture, 8 oz of butter etc., instead of 6.

Quick Blurb: Sencha is Japan’s most popular type of tea.

Sencha is traditionally a Japanese green tea that is made from leaves of the Japanese tea bush. In recent years, Sencha teas have been known to be produced in China, South Korea, and other countries. In 1740, a Kyoto tea master named Soen Nagatani developed the method of steam processing green leaf resulting in a superb, fresh flavorful cup.

When Sencha is brewed it has a vibrant yellow color and light aroma. The taste can be described as both bitter and sweet – making this tea a very unique experience.

Health Benefits:

  • Fights against free radicals in the bodyTOLSLL_GRNSJP_-Sencha-Japanese-Green-Tea-loose-leaf-tea
  • Antioxidants can aid in preventing coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • Absorbs extra cholesterol in the body
  • Can control blood sugar levels
  • Beneficial to the immune system
  • Helps aid osteoporosis
  • Burns calories and can help during weight loss
  • Helps retain youthful skin and reduce wrinkles by hydrating
  • Repairs damaged or inflamed skin
  • Natural relief for sore throat or cough
  • Tea extract can be used for aromatherapy

Caffeine Content: LOW

This tea contains natural caffeine found in the L.Camellia Sinensis family. A cup of green tea steeped in boiled water for 5 minutes will contain between 22-29 milligrams of caffeine. An equal sized cup of coffee will contains 80-100 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine quickly becomes soluble in very hot water. If you want to reduce the caffeine level in this tea, briefly rinse the tea leaves in extremely hot water. The caffeine content will reduce 25-50% – this may have a minor effect on the taste of the tea.

Antioxidant Content: 7.5 -9.99% polyphenols by dry weight. The longer you steep your tea the more polyphenols will be extracted. Polyphenol percentages may fluctuate with lot, grade of tea, testing method, temperature of water, and freshness of tea. More antioxidants are extracted from tea the longer it is brewed. The more that the tea is used the greater the antioxidant benefits.

During the month of June, try Sencha Japanese Green Tea at 15% off the original price! It’s available in loose leaf or bags.

Nothing provides more of a unique, delicious taste sensation than Huckleberry Tea. Huckleberries, similar to blueberries, grow wild in the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest. Huckleberries grow on a 16″ shrub and are less than 5mm in diameter and contain 10 large seeds. Huckleberry tea is described as a very deep, fruity flavor that is terrific hot or over ice. We have received suggestions to add a little honey in with your huckleberry tea – which provides a smoother taste and brings out the taste of the berry itself.

The Benefits of Eating Huckleberries

Studies have rated huckleberries as number 1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables. Huckleberries can aid the pancreas in digesting sugars and starches and since the berries are high in iron, they help build blood.

Provide Protection Against:huckleberry-plant

  • High Cholesterol
  • Running Sores
  • Skin Disorders
  • Eczema
  • Heart Disease
  • Muscular Degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Varicose Veins
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Free Radicals
  • Premature Skin Wrinkling
  • Infections

This tea is perfect for someone who has poor digestion and/or issues with sugar and starch absorption. Huckleberries are also used in jams, pies, cobblers, and preserves.

During the month of June try our Huckleberry Tea at 15% Off! Click here.

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

This is a cake you can eat as a pudding hot from the oven with cream or custard or leave it to cool and have a piece with a nice cup of Hawaiian Colada Rooibos tea. You will need for the cake:

Oven 180 C, 350 F or Gas mark 4

4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
4 oz Self Raising flour
2 eggs.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour with each egg to stop the mixture curdling. Fold in the flour. Now for the fruit part.

Four drained pineapple rings (fresh or from a tin will do)
1 oz butter
2 oz demerara sugar
a little honey and some glace cherries, halved.

Melt the butter and stir in the sugar and honey, spread over the base of an eight inch sandwich tin and arrange the pineapple slices and the glace cherries, shiny side down, in the tin carefully. Very carefully spoon the cake mixture on to the top of the pineapple slices and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 mins until golden and firm to the touch. Turn out onto a warm serving dish if using as a pudding or a plate if you want a cake. Whatever you use it for make sure you turn it out carefully and cleanly and your fruit will be on top and your cake will be underneath!

~JB

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(c) Julia Briggs for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

Sometimes one does not want something sweet with a cup of tea but something savoury but the question is what? I came up with a little ‘biscuit’ type thing after seeing a recipe for a cocktail nibble which was not quite what I was looking for. Now I know some of you are very fond of chocolate and all things nice but there may be some people out there who are looking for a nice savoury snack to have with a cuppa so here goes, my tomato and cheese whirls.

Oven 200 C 400 F or gas mark 6

8 oz rough puff pastry
approx 10 cherry tomatoes or 4 thinly sliced bigger tomatoes
approx 4 oz Cheddar cheese sliced.
a beaten egg.

Either make a quantity of rough puff pastry or use some frozen but thawed puff pastry. (We used rough puff pastry for the mince pies if you remember) If you are making your own then sift 8 oz plain flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and add 5 oz butter cut into very small pieces and stir and chop. Mix to a stiff dough with approx 4 fluid oz of very cold water and turn out onto a floured worktop. Roll into a rectangle then fold down the top and fold up the bottom, turn a quarter turn and roll out again. Do this three more times then leave to rest for 15 mins.

Roll out your pastry quite thinly into an oblong about 18 inches by 14 inches. With the short sides to top and bottom,  spread the pastry with softened butter. Put slices of fresh tomatoes or halves of cherry tomatoes on top of the butter, I used ten cherry tomatoes cut in half. Thinly slice some strong Cheddar cheese and lay on top of the tomatoes.  Leave a one inch gap in the middle of your pastry and brush this with beaten egg, then roll down from the top to the gap and up from the bottom to the gap until they almost meet. Wrap in cling film and pop into the freezer for about half an hour. After 30 mins remove from freezer and place the roll onto a floured worktop. Cut through the centre strip to separate and slice the roll into approx half an inch slices and put onto a lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Cook for about 10-15 mins until golden brown. Sprinkle with more grated cheese when they are cooked and leave to cool. They are good served immediately warm from the oven or cold the next day. If you want you can freeze one half and cook it another day.  Depending on the thickness you can make about 20 – 30 whirls with these quantities.

This is a very versatile recipe and you can use lots of different things if you want to; for instance, parsley or other herbs, black pepper or bacon cut into very small pieces. You can also drizzle olive oil on top before baking instead of the beaten egg. It is a good recipe to experiment with!  Enjoy!

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