Anyone for tea…cake?

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! It’s the peak of the week – thank goodness – and we’ve got a few recipes to tempt you with, to get you thinking about the weekend and what you’re going to bake.

So a few weeks ago we started a bit of a mini series of traditional treats to enjoy with tea. We started close to home, with a few yummy creations from the British Isles. Today we’re going to hop across the Atlantic Ocean and see what our neighbours in the Southern states of America might snaffle with a good cuppa. Tea Cakes.

Southern Tea Cakes are believed to be a basic version of British tea cakes (the flat bun-like kind that are best toasted and thickly buttered) that were further simplified by the poorer classes to include fewer ingredients and better suit their resources. It’s this unfussy adaptation that has survived the test of time.

Southern tea cakes

This first recipe is as authentic as they get. Taken from an old family favourite, with only minor adjustments, this is the closest you’ll come to the real deal. It sounds to me like a kind of very thin shortbread and a rather tasty accompaniment to your afternoon brew.

lemon tea cake

If you fancy something zingier, how about a lemon version? Adding lemon zest and juice to the mixture, and topping with lemon icing puts a fresh twist on the original. We think these would be the perfect partner to our Lemon Green tea.

Gooey tea cakes

Feeling like something cakier? This alternative is more dense and  chewy for more of a cookie feel. Another iced version, this recipe feels quite pudding-y and we think it would make a lovely finish to a meal with friends, served with a refreshing pot of Earl Grey.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced and my mouth is watering! Will you be whipping up a batch of Southern Tea Cakes this weekend? Show us some snaps and let us know how they turn out.

Totally radical, dude!

Good morning loyal readers! I hope the weather has been kinder to you than it has here in the West Country – one minute it’s scorching hot and the next it’s chucking it down. We don’t know whether to be snuggling up with a hot cup of English Breakfast or opting for a refreshing Jasmine Green!

It’s time for another free knitting pattern round these parts and we think you’ll love this wacky number. These bright colours and the almost gravity-defying shape are the perfect dose of fun for summer.

Rad Ripple 1

(Photo courtesy of Jenny Stacey)
 
Radical Ripple, by Jenny Stacey is a crochet creation, using simple ripple stitch which is then flipped on its side. The tea cosy is made of two pieces, seamed at the end and is designed to fit a two-cup pot, though there are also instructions for adjusting the size. If you are relatively new to crochet, this would be a great project to get the hang of dc stitches and have a go at some simple decreases as well.

Rad Ripple 2

(Photo courtesy of Jenny Stacey)

What colour combination you go for is up to you, but we think this could be the perfect stash-busting project – even the tiniest oddments could make a stripe here and there. A large statement button finishes off the cosy to fix the strap around the handle, so it’s time to raid Granny’s tin! Just imagine how great it would look with a real vintage find.

If you like this design, don’t miss Jenny’s Daylily tea cosy, another crochet beauty, this time in the form of an open-mouthed flower. Stunning!

Until next time tea fans!

Let them eat cake!

Happy Friday tea fans! And isn’t it a glorious day?

WP_20140613_002

(That’s the view from my living room window, isn’t Bath beautiful?)

To get you in the mood for the weekend, let’s talk about baking, shall we? There are worse things in life to talk about, after all, and what better on a Sunday afternoon that whipping up something delicious and homemade?

Everyone has their favourite treat to partner a good cuppa. For some it’s a sturdy biscuit ready to dunk. For others it’s a generous slice of moist cake. How about a chic little cupcake? Or even a chocolate confection, dipped at one end, with the tea sucked through the middle. (Have I lost you? That’s how the Aussies eat Tim Tams, something like a British Penguin and it’s well worth a try. It’s messy and you need to wait until your tea has cooled a little bit, but it’s scrummy.)

But what about the humble tea cake?

Tea cakes are different all around the world, and in this mini-series we’re going to introduce you to a few of our favourites that we can’t wait to try! Let’s start with the quintessentially British, Tea Loaf.

tea loaf 2

(Photo from The Daisy Cake Company)

Tea Loaves are one of those comforting things that make you feel better no matter what. I like to imagine grandmothers making them as they potter about the house and small children creating an enormous mess as they have a go. The tea element comes into this recipe in the preparation stages: the fruit is soaked in cool tea to make every last currant plumpcious and lovely. I may have made up the word plumpcious, you are welcome, World. Of course, you could also soak them in brandy or rum, but that would make for a less family-friendly cake!

tea loaf 3

(Photo from The Daisy Cake Company)

We found this lovely, easy-to-follow recipe at The Daisy Cake Diet that we think you will love. Use our Breakfast tea to soak your dried fruit. If you are watching your caffeine intake or want to make this cake for those sensitive to it, opt for our Decaf tea instead.

Have you got any baking planned for this weekend? Show us some snaps!

Tea basket

It’s time for another free knitting pattern – huzzah!

Please forgive the absence of patterns recently, tea-related business has taken over somewhat of late. But now we are back on track and we’ve got some lovely things up our sleeves.

As we trundle along into summer, our thoughts have turned to lazy weekend breakfasts al fresco. We’re dreaming of dusting off the patio furniture and cracking out the melamine plates. And we think this design would be the perfect addition to your breakfast table.

Tea bag basket 1

This sweet little basket, designed by Knitvana, is ideal for carrying a selection of teas to your outdoor dining area, with a touch of cutesy style. It will be particularly handy when you’ve got guests to stay or friends over for brunch.

Tea bag basket 2

It’s so wee, that this little knit will be quick to finish and you could even use up some of the odds and ends in your stash. Who doesn’t love a good bit of stash busting?

Tea bag basket 3

The construction is really simple. It’s made of just two strips, sewn together at angles to create a base and a handle, so even if you are a novice knitter, you can definitely whip up one of these. You could even give it as a gift, with a selection of your favourite teas, for a fellow tea fiend.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get knitting! We’d love to see some snaps of your finished baskets.

Ice, ice baby

Howdy Tea lovers!

 

Here at Cosy Tea we thought it was about time for some tea-spiration. Yup, we’re so excited about it we’ve made up a brand new word for it! We know how to rock and roll.

 

The weather here in the UK has been uncharacteristically gorgeous lately (well, some of the time), and while a hot cup of tea is refreshing whatever the weather, we’ve had an insatiable craving for iced tea. Sweet and cold with that beautiful aftertaste of fresh and comforting tea – what more could we ask for?

 

So we’ve been hunting high and low on the internet for some really cracking recipes and here are some of our faves.

 

Country Living

 

The good people at Country Living have gathered together 6 stonking options that we just can’t wait to guzzle. From the more traditional Sun Tea to the downright devilish Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus, there’s a great range of flavours here. Use our Breakfast tea bags to whip up these concoctions.

 

Mock-jito

 

For a caffeine-free option, and a great alternative to a favourite cocktail, this mock-jito (more new words!) looks fantastic. It’s a great option if you are pregnant or happen to be the designated driver. We think this would be ultra tasty with our Jasmine Green tea.

 

Chamomile iced tea

 

For a soothing drink to get you all blissed out, we love the idea of this Chamomile and Honey iced tea. Anything that’s presented in a mason jar with a stripy straw is ok by us! Try this with our Chamomile tea bags as a summer alternative to warm milk when you can’t sleep or to help you feel zen and find your chi for a good yoga work out.

 

Have you got any favourite iced tea recipes? We’d love to hear them!

 

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine.

 

Chéchia

This weeks free tea cosy pattern was written by Isabelle Dutailly and was inspired by a vintage 1930’s hat pattern called a Chéchia, which is a kind of Fez, originally worn for religious purposes.

The pattern is knitted in two parts for the front and back.  The main body is worked in 2×2 rib and the top part in stocking stitch.   The pattern also includes a schematic to ensure your tea cosy will fit properly, and is also available in French and Spanish for European readers.  You can download all versions here.

Isabelle‘s photograph displays a nice idea some knitters may not have thought of – using a tea pot as a yarn bowl! This works really well as the ball just rolls around inside the pot, rather than all over the floor (which is also handy for those with pesky kittens!)

Our favourite tea this week is Cosy Organic Green Tea with Lemon.  Light and refreshing and amazing with a slice of lemon drizzle cake – go on you know you want to!

Lionheart Tea Cup Cosy

We’ve got a quick little crochet project for you this week, this cute lion cup cosy free from Sarah Mancini from Little P and Company.

This is a fab little cosy to make to practice your crochet skills, as it uses a few of the basic techniques to create the main body, ears and mane.  The cup cosy is crocheted in the round from bottom to top, using a 5mm hook and DK yarn.  You can download the pattern for free here – non Ravelry members will need to create an account first.

If you are less inclined to crochet and still want this cup cosy, then it is available to purchase (with other designs) on Sarah’s Etsy shop.  You can read Sarah’s blog here.