Tea, Cake And Company
Tea with desserts
Tea, as a beverage that combines boiled water and leaves, has a history and culture surrounding it that spans centuries and continents. One of the most well-known tea-related customs however, is the English afternoon tea. Most of us might have a vague idea of what a proper afternoon tea resembles from what we can glean from British period dramas, so today we’d like to discuss a few of the components and customs associated with this mid-afternoon meal, and how we could incorporate parts of it into our modern lives.
The concept of afternoon tea has its origins in Victorian England. Like most of us might do today, people would have light meals after lunch to tide them over till dinner. Such practices were more common among the upper and middle classes, it was not long till this series of snacks became an established tradition. A few dishes are mainstays of afternoon tea and they comprise several savoury and sweet foods. Among savoury foods are white bread sandwiches with the crusts sliced off, typically filled with cucumber or egg.
The types of cakes most commonly served were Victoria sponges and Battenberg cakes. Other sweet treats included scones served with clotted cream and jam.
Afternoon teas eventually became daily rituals among family and friends. While the Victorian afternoon tea paints a picture of decorum and luxury that can be overwhelming for our modern sensibilities (especially if experienced daily!) – there are aspects of this ritual that can be adapted into our everyday lives.
As a daily occurrence, afternoon teas presented an opportunity for gathering and enjoying the company of loved ones. Apart from its practical functions, they served a social function as well. We might be able to take from this the potential joy that can be derived from carving out time in our days to check in on family and friends, perhaps over a slice of cake and tea.
Tea in Desserts
Since the inception of the tea party, desserts have changed along with tastes, preferences and have adapted the inclusion of new baking ingredients. Since they make a good pair in afternoon tea, why not combine their flavours for a superb dessert? Here are four home bakers selling desserts flavoured with a variety of teas, from fragrant Earl Grey to toasted hojicha
For those of us who aren’t able to expend the effort needed for a full tea spread, fret not for this cake will serve you an afternoon tea experience in a bite. Its fluffy light texture and flavour profile combines two aspects of the teas and cakes traditionally served. As would be expected, this dessert pairs well with a variety of warm drinks like coffee and tea.
If you’re a fan of floral teas and flavours, notsosweetbakes is currently selling Rose Tea Chiffon Cakes. Aromatic and uplifting, this cake is infused with freshly brewed rose tea, creating a unique and caffeine free tea-flavoured cake option.
Tea flavoured cakes
If you’re looking for a tea flavoured cake to share, The Whiskers is currently selling customisable cakes suitable for any occasion. Apart from a range of sizes and customisable designs, these cakes come in a variety of flavours as well, including Uji Matcha tea and even Earl Grey flavoured cream cheese! These artisanal cakes are sure to impress at an event and a perfect way to make an occasion all the more memorable.
Tea flavoured cookies
Alternatively, if you’d like a bite-sized, easy to eat sweet tea-flavoured snack to share with guests (or munch on throughout the day!) why not try tea flavoured cookies? notsosweetbakes is currently selling Matcha callebaut chocolate flavoured cookies. One cookie will have you reaching for more with a flavour combination of bitter-sweet matcha and fine Belgian callebaut chocolate.
For a different take on tea-flavoured cookies – or should we say, biscuit – thecranegrain is currently selling Hojicha flavoured shortbread. The biscuit is buttery and crumbly soft and the addition of Hojicha leaves adds a complex toasted flavour that’s hard to come by.
Enjoying life is everyone’s cup of tea
Whichever your choice of tea-flavoured bakes is, you can carve a moment out of an afternoon to simply enjoy these finer tastes in life, and of course, not forgetting to enjoy these bakes with the people around you! We hope you enjoy your little tea party!
At homebakers.sg, we reveal some of our favourite home bakes with tea infused flavours. Do support our home bakers by purchasing their bakes for your tea party next time! It will be worth all the tea in China especially for these aspiring bakers.