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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.

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Sweets at tea time are a natural. Scones, cookies, those finger-sized sandwiches, and, of course, cupcakes! The thought stirred my inner tea poet and inspired this ditty:

Click on image to see get the recipe

Click on image to see get the recipe

(Sing to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”)

Oh, I love a cupcake
With icing so sweet.
Without it my tea time
Is just not complete!

I peel back the wrapper
And enjoy the sight
Of that cakey goodness
Before the first bite.

Now comes the decision
To nibble or bite.
I can’t make my mind up
And sit here all night!

The sun is arising
And still here I sit
But cupcake is gone now.
Oh, where did it git?

My hubby is smiling
And looking content
I think I now know where
That cupcake done went.

The lesson is clear here:
You should not delay.
Save not your cupcake to
Eat another day!

Mim Estate Darjeeling

Mim Estate Darjeeling

Now that I have you singing (and in the mood for cupcakes), here are a few teas that will be great to have with your delectable treats:

  • Darjeeling with just about anything sweet and fruity
  • Earl Grey with dark chocolate, caramelly, citrusy, and fruity cupcakes
  • Assam with dark chocolate/mocha, carrot cake style, caramelly, and pecan cupcakes
  • Keemun with vanilla and cheesecaky cupcakes
  • Oolongs with chocolate, nutty, honey-flavored, apricot, black currant, and pecan cupcakes
  • Yunnan with milk chocolaty, mocha-flavored, and fruity cupcakes
  • Dragonwell style green teas with milk chocolate, carrot cake style, cheesecaky, caramelly, apples, black currants, strawberries, and pumpkin cupcakes
  • Ceylon green and black teas go with just about anything except chocolate, apples, apricots, black currants, and mocha flavored cupcakes

This list should get you started. And with a little experimentation, you may find some pairings of your own or that your tastebuds actually like Ceylon green with mocha. No hard and fast rules here when it comes to taste!

Happy exploring, and if you need a cupcake taster, let me know!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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