What Goes Well With Tea?

Have you ever thought of that? What goes well with tea?

I started to think about that after my husband introduced me to one of the best British delicacy called Rich Tea biscuit. I mean, the name says it all, doesn’t it? Rich Tea… the biscuit that makes tea drinking experience even richer? Am I pushing it?

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The traditional Cream Tea — Tea, scone, cream and jam

Then of course, along came Cream Tea. Scone is probably one of the best thing that can happen to tea. Those are new to me, because in Indonesia, and in my Chinese culture, tea is not enjoyed the way people do here in the UK. Completely different.

For example, in Indonesia we don’t need to drink tea from a cup. We enjoy it hot or cold, with or without sugar. But never… with milk or any whitener. Or lemon, as lemon is not widely accessible in Indonesia — expensive because it is an imported fruit.

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Chinese Tea in a Bakutteh Restaurant in Malaysia. Definitely a must try… 

While my mum is a coffee drinker, my dad is a tea drinker. He enjoys a good tea, and only drink it black. I think I learn it from him. The difference is, while I am not too fussy with my tea, my father could be a mini pain in the neck when he started making comments about what tea should be. Come to think of it.. almost all his siblings are pretty fussy about tea.

Whenever I come back from Indonesia, I always bring some boxes of tea for me and my sister in law. Indonesian tea (especially the jasmine tea version) is generally more fragrant than tea in the UK, which was imported from India. I am not saying they’re better, but I am used to tea from the other part of the world, and processed differently too. I mean, there are hundreds or thousands of tea variety in the world, in the end it is all about your preference, isn’t it?

Right… while in that part of Asia we enjoy tea with almost everything — including savoury food, here we have a special kind of tea drinking experience called Afternoon Tea, or High Tea.

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High Tea or Afternoon Tea… Three Tiered Yums

I was finally able to convince my DH to go with me to enjoy an Afternoon Tea in the city. He is a coffee drinker, so he swapped his tea with coffee — don’t mind the heathen. He thought Afternoon Tea is an overpriced cake eating experience. I beg to differ…

I believe that afternoon tea is not just about eating cake and sandwich while drinking tea. For me it is a way for us to allocate a time for just us, enjoying the finer things in life without distraction from computer games, or mobile phone apps, or tv show. It is a great way to go on a date as a couple.

Seriously.

And you know what? When we finished the afternoon tea (we were allowed to bring the leftover home, so… bonus), he admitted that he quite enjoyed the whole experience. See?

Anyway… what else goes well with tea? You guessed it…

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Knitting.

x ❤ x

 

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Bake Off is On (Again)

Despite feeling utterly devastated last year, knowing that The Great British Bake Off is no longer broadcasted on BBC, I can’t help feeling excited to know that it is back on telly last night. Of course it is not the same without Queen Mary (Berry), but hey… change could be good. It did not work with Top Gear, but QI is doing okay without Mr. Fry.

The adverts, though… We could all do without them. But being a positive me, I think adverts time is the best time to count stitches.

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Anyway… I warned my husband that with Bake Off on telly, it means there would be a massive amount of baked goods coming out of the kitchen. When I heard him grumping, I told him that if he did not like what I bake, he could always share with the colleagues. Apparently he was grumping because he knew he had to share with the colleagues.

He really is extra-possessive to his cakes.

So, I did some midnight baking. Not necessarily because of Bake Off, but because I couldn’t sleep. Last night was BAKING hot — heh heh… sorry, can’t help myself, and it was too uncomfortable to go to bed, or knitting — gasp.

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This week signature dishes is fruity cake. Or cake with fruit. Uhm… not really understand the challenge yet, so I made my upside down apple caramel spiced cake. I mean… it’s cake with fruit, isn’t it?

x ❤ x

P.S. In the morning, only half of it is left in the kitchen.

I Am Officially An Auntie :D

Well… I was an auntie before this, because my DH has a nephew, but you know what I mean…

My sister just gave birth to a beautiful little daughter — the first in my family. Both the mother and the baby are healthy, and in an excellent condition. My parents are over the moon for their first grandchild.

I am so overjoyed, but at the same time feel a bit sad that I am not the only one who are not there with my sister to give support. Seems like I am the only one missing the celebration in Indonesia 😦 Not happy about it 😦

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Anyway…

So, I decided to just celebrate it myself here with my husband, by baking a cake 🙂 Obviously we don’t need any reason to bake a cake, but it feels slightly more special when you attach story behind a bake…

And here you go…

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Whoopsie… Forgot to take photo before sliced it :p

 

Cocopandan Cake with Gula Melaka topping.

Yes it sounds foreign, I know. But I feel like I want to make this one because it reminds me so much of home. Cocopandan is basically coconut and pandan (fragrant leaves, very popular in Indonesian desserts and beverages), and gula melaka or gula merah is how we call palm sugar in that part of the world.

It tastes wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day 🙂

Summer Intermezzo

It is still summer, but I think the heatwave is almost gone. The weather is getting milder, and the temperature dropped a little. It is getting more and more comfortable to work outside in the garden, and have a little walkabout in the city. So, my sister in law (my husband’s sister) asked me if I wanted to go to Wroxham to have a walk.

I went to Wroxham before with my husband, and it was actually a nice place to spend a day — especially during summertime. So, I agreed and she picked me up. Our plan was: we’re going to go to have a cuppa and have a nice natter.

We did pick a little cafe there, I don’t need to tell you the name of the cafe because I didn’t have a nice service there. I ordered a cake — it said vanilla cake with white chocolate something. I misread it and told the lady on the till that I want the white chocolate cake.

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After I paid, the lady on the till asked the other girl to get me the “white chocolate cake” while laughing. The other girl on the counter asked, “what white chocolate cake?” and laughed with the lady on the till.

I mean.. come on. There’s only one cake with white chocolate in there. Okay, I misread, but they didn’t have to act like that in front of a paying customer. And by the way, the cake didn’t taste that nice. It was too sweet for me and I didn’t even finish it.

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Anyway, the walk near the river was much much better. It was a beautiful place and I wouldn’t let the stupid cake and shopkeepers ruin my day.

x ❤ x

I Don’t Like Food Colouring But…

Maybe I have to start learning how to use it.

Growing up in Indonesia I have been taught that not all food colouring is safe. Especially where I came from, the trading standard and the food safety regulation is not as strict as it is in the UK or other developed country. Indonesia was quite third world when I grew up, you see?

Maybe I have to unlearn that knowledge because in the UK food colouring is safe. And it might make my cupcake looks nicer.

Like these ones, for example.

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I didn’t realise that blueberry’s natural colour in a cake doesn’t look appetising at all. Instead of looking purplish blue, it looks quite greyish — especially when the top gets slightly brown. Even my husband couldn’t help himself feeling the urge to laugh when I showed him how creepy looking it is. He mentioned “mold” but I decided I didn’t hear it at all.

And, one other thing… Maybe it is the way it reacts to different ingredients, but it didn’t turn either blue or grey when it is used in the butter cream. It was bright purple, almost pink even. Somehow it was pink-er than strawberry! Maybe someone could help me in this? This is pretty confusing.

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It looks nice with rose pipe thingy, but I thought it was going to be blue. I guess I was wrong.

So yeah. If… If I had used food colouring, the cupcakes might have turned up with a better solid colour. The more blueberry-ey colour maybe. Anyway… what’s the colour of blueberry anyway?

x ❤ x

Meanwhile in The Kitchen…

One of the things that keep me away from boredom stress is learning a new thing everyday. It is important for me to keep my brain working — being inquisitive, being adventurous. Or else, life is just… flat. And I don’t want it.

Not going to moan about how hard it is to get a job now. And not going to preach the importance of being positive either. I’d rather show you what I have been trying to do in the kitchen.

Two colours piping.

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bit stingy with the buttercream there…

Youtube is a great place to learn. It is full of people who are not only willing to teach and share their expertise, they are also willing to teach you for free. So, I’ve been wasting spending some time there and take notes and…

Voila.

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Since I don’t use food colouring, so the colour here is basically plain buttercream, and another one with chocolate or matcha  — for the green one above. Not too bad isn’t it — for a beginner?

x ❤ x

Summer… Is It Here Yet?

Lots and lots and lots of strawberries out there. While I love having them for breakfast with my yoghurt and honey (or having it in the Eton Mess), sometimes I couldn’t just finish it on time. So… I decided to make it as… cupcakes.

It surprises me that there are not that many strawberry cupcakes out there. I saw a lot of strawberry shortcake, or tart, but not cake.

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It was a bit disappointing really when I saw the cake came out the oven not looking either red nor pink — because the cake batter was slightly pink, I expected something with brighter colour. Maybe next time I could use a drop of food colouring… I don’t know. Anyway… it looks brown. Just like the usual cake.

Fortunately, the buttercream icing doesn’t need colouring to make it a beautiful pale pink. It just look pretty with the flower-ish piping. Maybe next time I would add more icing sugar to make it a bit firmer too… *take notes*

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And it tastes nice too… It didn’t last the weekend, if you ask me — as hubby ate them two at one sitting. Ah.. no wonder dieting in this household doesn’t work…

x<3 x