National Tea Day on 21st April is celebrated with many but especially with the National Tea Day organizers.
They hold events all over the Country to enjoy this event including a National Tea Day Festival which takes place at Kensington Roof Gardens in West London where guests can enjoy the feeling of an afternoon garden party in the heart of the Capital.
Some featured Afternoon Tea Day events were held at Hoar Cross Hall, Derbyshire. The Midland Hotel, Manchester, brewbabu in Peterborough, The Chase Hotel, Coventry and many more exciting places. After looking through the National Tea Day list of locations I am sure you will find many you have never tried before.
They even have a number of charities which benefit from National Tea Day. They believe that tea is all about bringing people together, whether it be families, friends or communities. National Tea Day is working with charitable organisation’s in order to raise awareness of good causes.
For the flakiest upper pie crust, brush the top lightly with cold water before baking.
To avoid your pie crust from becoming too soggy, sprinkle it with equal parts of sugar and flour before adding filling.
If you haven’t got a pastry cutter for your pies then improvise with an aerosol lid instead.
To stop pastry sticking to your rolling pin, put the pin in the freezer or fridge so that it’s cold before you use it.
Buy a Silicon Pastry Brush – non stick and heat resistant to 315C so you can baste with hot oils.
A common mistake when rolling out pastry is to change the direction of the pin rather than the pastry which then encourages the pastry to stick. To prevent this, give the pastry a quarter turn every few seconds while rolling with the pin in the same position and lightly dust the surface frequently with flour.
A back pain baking tip – to avoid hurting your back, don’t turn your body at an angle when rolling pastry. Turn the pastry around instead.
Always let pie pastry dry throughout before adding filling as it will prevent it from seeping while cooking.
As I am sure you know by now that I have a love of loaf cakes. I find them a perfect size for just the two of us and most like the recipe below from Woman & Home and easy to bake. We had this at the weekend and it was delicious.
APPLE AND CLOTTED CREAM LOAF CAKE…
5 small bramley apples (peeled and cored) 1 tsp lemon juice 300g plain flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 200g softened unsalted butter or margarine 175g caster sugar 3 large eggs ( lightly beaten) 1 tsp vanilla extract 150g clotted cream 3 tbsp apricot jam
Line or grease a 2lb loaf tin Preheat oven to 170C/Gas 3
Thinly slice enough apple to cover the top of the cake Pop in the lemon juice
Chop remaining apples and heat in a heavy based saucepan with 1 tbsp water for 5 mins until soft.
Leave to cool. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until all combined.
Fold in the sifted flour mixture and when almost combined add the cooked apple and clotted cream and mix well.
Pour into the tin and level Arrange the other apple slices evenly on top of the cake Bake for 1 hour 10 mins or until cooked through.
After cake has cooled, heat jam in a small saucepan and brush over the top.
When imbibing, ensure you indulge in ‘A Proper Tea’ described by AA Milne as, ‘Much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards’…
When baking cookies if you run out of sheets to put them on then just turn a baking tray upside down and drop the cookies on that.
Store cookies in an air tight tin with a slice of bread as the moisture from the bread will keep your cookies soft and fresh.
50 g Plain Chocolate (grated)
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
85 g Ground Almonds
140 g Self Raising Flour (sieved)
3 Large Eggs (beaten)
175 g Castor Sugar
175 g Softened Butter or Margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven 160C 140C Fan Gas Mark 3
Grease or line a 2lb loaf tin ( or use loaf liners)
Put all the above ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for no more than 2 mins.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 – 50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
Leave to rest for 5 mins before taking out of loaf tin and placing on a wire rack.
This loaf can be coated with sieved icing sugar when cold or you could melt some chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cake.
I received another batch of Tea Tourist Teas to review and also gave some to my daughter to try as she loves loose tea and has become quite a tea addict but loves trying new flavours.
Cherry Sencha Green Tea by Cheshire Tea was one my daughter tried and she gave a rate of 4 out of 5. This fragrant green tea helps you to relax and unwind and the juices of cherries give it a subtle sweet edge so a lovely tea to drink with afternoon tea or a pudding.
Brockley Breakfast Tea above is made by the Good & Proper Tea Company and is great as a breakfast tea with a traditional base of Assan, Kenya and Ceylon tea which is complimented by aromatic notes of Darjeeling.
A perfect tea to start your day which can be topped with a dash of tea. I prefer it with a dash of tea and would definitely give it a 5 rating.
This Black & Dandelion Tea is made by O’Teas from in Hertfordshire and the Isle of Man. This popular black tea combined with the nourishing roots of dandelion flowers makes it burst with health benefits.
They say that the root of this yellow flower is thought to be great for digestion and weight loss. It is a perfect detox tea for everyday use and can be served with a touch of milk and honey if required.
I’ve just starting drink this twice a day and enjoy it with just a bit of honey and will let you know if the weight drops off. I would give the flavour of this black tea a 4 out of 5 rating.
The Gunpowder Tea above is from a tea company called The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company based in London.
This is what they call a punchy, full flavoured, tightly rolled green tea, and an all day classic with a rich roasted flavour and best served without milk and sweetened with honey if required.
Blend No 45 is made by Edgecumbes Tea Blenders from Arundel and is a full bodied aromatic blend of orthodox leaf black tea which is designed as a tea to drink at any time especially with breakfast or afternoon tea. I would definitely give this a 5 out of 5 rating.
The Ben Shan Oolong is by Tea in the City who are based in London. This tea is a lightly roasted Oolong from China’s Fujian Province. It comes completely unflavoured and is a great tea to have with your puddings or fruit. Another four our of 5 from me for this tea.