“Let Them Eat Cake”: A Bastille Day Recipe

This week’s recipe is for Marie Antoinette. What with it being Bastille Day tomorrow, we thought we’d honor the woman who famously declared “let them eat cake” when told the peasants couldn’t afford bread and winded up losing her head a few years later. Vive la revolution!

As with many of our recipes, this is taken from our cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of An English Teashop in New York’, which is available in-store and to ship. If you’re interested in a copy, send us an email at info@teaandsympathynewyork.com or give us a call on 212-989-9735.

Sugar-Glazed Lemon Cake

This cake has a delicious tangy, sweet, slightly crunchy topping and is a firm favorite of all the staff here. The whole thing often gets eaten long before it makes it to the customer, sorry!

This photo is taken from the fabulous Milk & Mode blog, the lovely people behind which made our cake and said some very nice things about us: http://www.milkandmode.com/2011/01/sugar-glazed-lemon-cake.html/.

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 35-50 minutes

For the cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup whole milk

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 4 lemons

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • To prepare the cake: Grease and flour an 8 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch loaf tin.
  • In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • With a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest and the milk a little at a time.
  • Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for about 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, until soft and spongy to the touch.
  • To prepare the glaze: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil for about 15 seconds.
  • Pour the syrup over the cake while it is warm and let cool.
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Will & Kate’s Wedding Cake Recipe

It’s wedding week, and time for our Thursday recipe. Any guesses what we might be sharing with you today? While the best man’s speech, the throwing of the bouquet and the inebriated uncle are all great, there’s one tradition that trumps the lot for us… the cake! And we feel we’ve outdone ourselves somewhat this week, by digging out THE recipe for Will & Kate’s wedding cake last year. It’s from the fantastic Phatfoodie blog, which is well worth a peruse, especially if hungry!

Will & Kate’s Royal Wedding Cake Recipe

Vintage Glamour Wedding Cake

served at Prince William’s and Princess Catherine’s Royal Wedding Reception, April 29, 2011

A Note From Pastry Chef Fiona Cairns:

A beautiful three-tiered timeless classic, this could take center stage at any wedding feast. It can be baked and decorated at least a month in advance and there are no colors to mix as the entire scheme is in ivory fondant with highlights of gold (you could also make this cake in white and gold.) If you break down each stage, giving yourself plenty of time, you may find it easier than you think.

Serves about 120-150 people

Ingredients for the Cake: One 6-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan

One 8-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan

One 10-inch square (3-inch deep) square cake pan

Double the recipe for Rich Tamarind Fruit Cake batter (recipe below)

6 tablespoons brandy, plus more to feed the cake

1 cup apricot jam, gently warmed and pushed through a sieve

6 3/4 pounds marzipan

confectioners’ sugar, for rolling

Sizes for Cake Boards and Drums:

One 8-inch square thin board

One 10-inch square thin board

One 12-inch square thin board

One 6-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum

One 8-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum

One 10-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum

Preparing the Rich Tamarind Fruit Cake:

Single cake makes 25-30 slices

A Note from Fiona Cairns About the Recipe:

I started my business using this particularly moist, dark recipe as a Christmas cake, producing hundreds of miniatures cooked in baked bean cans from my kitchen table. It has been tweaked by adding tamarind — my husband’s bright idea. Make it up to three months in advance, or at least a week before you want it, to let it mature and absorb the brandy.

Ingredients for the Fruit Cake:

1 1/2 cups candied cherries

2 cups golden raisins

2 cups dark raisins, preferably Thompson

1 1/4 cups mixed candied citrus peel

2/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 cup dried currants

3 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade

1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate

finely grated zest of 1 organic orange

finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon

1 heaped tablespoon apple pie spice

6 tablespoons brandy, plus 3 tablespoons to feed the cake

1 cup walnuts

1/3 cup blanched almonds

1 1/4 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups almond flour

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparing the Fruit Cake Batter:

The day before, rinse the cherries, then dry them well with paper towels and cut each in half. Place the golden and dark raisins, mixed peel, ginger, currants, cherries, molasses, marmalade, tamarind paste, zests and spice into a large bowl. Pour in 6 tablespoons of brandy, stir well, cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with brown paper and tie with string, to protect the cake from scorching in the oven.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven, shaking once. Cool slightly, chop coarsely and set aside.

Combining the Fruit Cake Ingredients

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. In an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes until it turns pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, then very gradually the eggs, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon and then the soaked fruits (and any liquid) and nuts.

Spread the batter into the pan. Bake on an oven rack in the lower third of the oven for about 2 1/2-3 hours. If a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it is ready. If it browns too much before it is fully cooked, make a circle of foil a bit larger than the cake, pierce a hole in the center and open it up, then place it over the pan.

Let cool in the pan. Pierce all over with a wooden toothpick and evenly sprinkle over the remaining 3 tablespoons brandy. Remove from the pan and discard the paper. Wrap in fresh parchment paper, then aluminum foil, and let stand for a week or up to three months. Unwrap and sprinkle with with 1 tablespoon more brandy every other week, if you like, for extra succulence and booziness!

Preparing the Wedding Cake Boards and Pans:

Thin cake boards are used only while you are assembling the cakes, and really serve to save your work surfaces. You can use any board you have, even plywood. Thick cake drums are used to support each tier of the finished cake, so must be bought for this purpose.

Prepare the cake pans and batter (see above). Divide the batter between the pans, filling each to the same depth. The smallest cake will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes, the medium 2 1/2-3 hours and the largest about 3 hours: if a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, it is ready. Let cool in the pans. When cooled, pierce all over with a fine wooden skewer and sprinkle with the brandy. Wrap in fresh parchment paper, then aluminum foil, until ready to use. You can continue to feed the cakes with 1-2 tablespoons brandy every other week, for a month or two.

Using Marzipan for the Cakes:

Take the 8-inch thin board and place the 6-inch drum on it. Brush 1 tablespoon apricot jam into the center, then place the 6-inch cake on top, upside down so the flat bottom forms the surface. If it is slightly smaller than the drum, make a strip of marzipan as wide as the side of the cake and the same circumference, and stick it to the edge. Similarly, all cakes should be the same height. If not, apply an extra-thin marzipan layer to the top of the shallow cake (use the pan as a guide). Repeat for the other cakes, placing the 8-inch cake on the same-size drum and 10-inch board, and the 10-inch cake on the same-size drum and 12-inch board.

Brush the 6-inch cake with jam. Knead 1 3/4 pounds of marzipan until pliable. Sprinkle a work surface and rolling pin with confectioners’ sugar, and roll out into a rough square slightly larger than the top and sides of the cake and drum and about 1/4-inch thick. Lift on to the cake and drum, smooth all over and cut away any excess. Cover the other two cakes, using 2 1/4 pounds marzipan each. Leave overnight to firm up.

Assembling the Wedding Cake:

Items Needed for Cake Construction:

12-inch square (1/2-inch thick) cake drum and eight wooden dowels

Ingredients for Covering the Cake:

Confectioners sugar, for rolling

9 pounds ivory fondant

2 tablespoons brandy or boiled water

2/3 cup royal icing in a parchment paper cone

Preparing the Base Drum:

Dust the 12-inch drum with confectioners sugar and sprinkle with a small amount of water. Knead 2 1/4 pounds of the fondant until pliable, then sprinkle a work surface and rolling pin with confectioners sugar and roll it into a rough square slightly larger than the top of the drum and about 1/8-inch thick. Wrap it loosely around the rolling pin and lift on to the drum. Smooth with your hands and trim away any excess. Replace the excess in a plastic bag and seal. Let dry overnight.

Preparing the Icing Cover for the Cake:

The 6-inch cake will need about 1 3/4 pounds of fondant, and the two larger cakes about 2 1/4 pounds each. Work on just one cake at a time.

For each cake, brush brandy all over the marzipan. This helps the fondant to stick and is an antiseptic. Lightly dust a clean surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the fondant into a rough square about 1/4-inch thick and slightly larger than the diameter of the cakes, their sides, and the drums.

Lift the fondant with your hands, place it over the cake and gently smooth, covering the cake and drum. Do not stretch, and work as quickly as you can, before it dries. Cut away any excess, provided it is still clean, and seal in a plastic bag. Let the three cakes stand overnight.

Building the Cake:

Spread 1-2 tablespoons royal icing into the center of the base drum. Gently ease away the largest cake and drum from its board using an icing spatula and place it exactly in the middle of the base drum.

Now insert four dowels into the large cake, spacing them to form the corners of a square just within where the 8-inch cake will sit. Push down each stick until it hits the drum, and mark with a pen about 1/8-inch above the surface. Remove each stick, score with a knife at the mark, snap (or saw) and discard the excess. Replace each in its hole.

Spread a spoonful of royal icing into the center of the largest cake, remove the 8-inch cake and drum from its thin board and center on top of the larger cake, resting the drum on the hidden dowels. Repeat the dowel placing process with this middle tier to add the top cake, again using a spoonful of royal icing to keep it steady.

Preparing the Decorations for the Cake

Ingredients for the Adornments:

Confectioners sugar, for rolling

Set of 3 blossom plunger cutters (1/4-inch, 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch)

1 1/4-inch butterfly cutter

2 tablespoons royal icing in a parchment paper cone

100 small gold dragees in 2 sizes (optional); I used 50 medium and 50 small gold dragees

1 small paint brush

1 large egg white, lightly beaten (or 2 teaspoons dried egg white mixed with water until frothy)

Edible gold glitter

Two small artificial ivory or white doves (or other birds)

For the Top Tier: 2 feet long, 1 1/2-inch wide vintage gold ribbon

For the Middle Tier: Cream organza about 1 yard long, 1 1/2-inch wide and gold ribbon 6 1/4 feet long and 1/4-inch wide.

For the Bottom Tier: Gold bejewelled ribbon about 4 feet long and 2 1/2-inch wide.

For the Base Drum: One roll double-sided sticky tape and ivory ribbon about 4 1/2 feet long, 1/2-inch wide.

Instructions for Making Butterflies and Blossoms:

You will need about 12-15 butterflies and about 100 blossoms in three sizes (I made 25 tiny 1/4-inch blossoms, 25 medium 1/2-inch blossoms and 50 large 5/8-inch blossoms).

The decorations are applied randomly, so this is just a guide. Knead some of the fondant left over from covering the cakes and drums until pliable, and roll out thinly (no more than 1/8-inch thick) on a board sprinkled with a little confectioners’ sugar. Stamp out the blossoms and butterflies and allow to dry for a few hours, preferably overnight. I lay them out as I make them in boxes interleaved with parchment paper. Prop up the butterflies’ wings between two sticks (you could use spare dowels), so the wings will dry as if in flight.

If you like, pipe the centers of the blossoms with a tiny dot of royal icing and then press on a gold dragee. If you prefer, just pipe a dot for the centers. Once the butterflies are dry, paint the edges of the wings with egg white and dip into the glitter.

To finish the cake, apply the ribbons by sticking them at the back of each cake using a little royal icing. On the middle tier, overlay the wide organza ribbon with two bands of narrow gold ribbon. Wrap the base drum with the double-sided sticky tape, then stick on its ribbon.

Casual, informal designs do have one huge advantage: any blemishes or marks in the icing can be covered by a decoration! Randomly apply the butterflies and little blossoms all over the three-tiered cake, sticking on with the royal icing. As a final touch, place the two doves in the center of the top tier.

 

Sweet Pastry

It is very important when making pastry that before rolling it out you chill it for at least half an hour – an hour or two is even better. When you roll it, try to handle it as little as possible.

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

  • Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • In another bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the egg mixture; stir with a knife until you have a stiff dough.
  • Roll the pastry into a ball and wrap in cling wrap; refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before using.
  • Take the pastry out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before you use it, so that it doesn’t crumble when you roll it.

Bakewell Tart

We’ve been truly blown away by the response to our St. George’s Day competition over on facebook. To celebrate England’s patron saint, we asked you to post your best vacation pictures from dear old Blighty and, from Lands End to John o’Groats, they’ve really captured the varied beauty of the place. With this in mind, this weekend’s recipe is a gem from one of England’s hidden corner. Along with Cornish pasties and Lancashire hotpot, this is provincial English cooking at its best.

Bakewell tart

This tart is thought to have originated at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The legend goes that an inexperienced cook accidentally omitted the flour in an almond sponge. It should be served at room temperature and does not need any sauce or  custard.

Serves 10-12
Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

1/2lb Sweet pastry
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon flour
A few drops of almond extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
About 2 tablespoons water
Glacé cherries (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Place a baking tray large enough to hold a 9-inch pie dish in the oven.
  • Line the pie dish with the sweet pastry and spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the pastry.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. Add the eggs a little at a time, then add the almond extract. Fold in the flour and ground almonds and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry and bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is just set and browned.
  • Place the tart on the baking sheet while it is cooking.
  • When the tart is cool, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the water, pour over the top of the cake, and let set. Garnish with glacé cherries, if you like.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the competition tomorrow morning, so you still have time to enter. Check out our Pinterest account to see all the pictures in one place and remember, all our recipes are available in our cookbook. You can order a copy via email (info@teaandsympathynewyork.com), or by phone (212-989-9735).

Paul’s Hot Cross Bun Poem

After last week’s post on hot cross buns, we got into some good-natured rivalry over on facebook about how best to rhapsodize these delicious little morsels. When we challenged our good friend Paul Cosier to match our description (“Put the kettle on, whack one in the toaster and you have yourself a plateful of springtime bliss!”), we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. After reading the poem that Paul came back with, I think you’ll more than agree: we’ve been well and truly beat!!

Eaten by all not just one
Baked by Nicky Perry
Omitting blueberry
The world-famous T&S scone

Greenwich-Mean-Time, Toodle Pips
Calories add to the hips
Can I believe my eyes?
A filling for pies
This one containing just chips!

Chicken, Fish, Vegetable stock
Rolling the dough on a block
Some fishes a school
She’s nobody’s fool
More than one chicken a flock

Punters in droves, far and near
Scones-Cornish and Pasties m’dear
The Staten Isle ferry
Welcomes Nicky Perry
Eurgh! mal-de-mer, no such fear

Please drop by, why? your whistle’s not wet
All welcome, now please place your bet
De-frosted the butter
Table six for the nutter
No credit – no tab – no debt

Nicky’s rule: no cuppa “sans” coaster
Hot cross buns lightly grilled, not a roaster
Forecast warnings of gales
In case all else fails
Her advice: “smack one in the toaster”

This should get your taste buds flowing
Out of breath, puffing and blowing
It’s what we call “it” now
Time for my bow
I’m all of a buzz – somewhat glowing!


Short Crust Pastry

Yield: 1 Pie Crust
Preparation Time: 20 minutes

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup lard or solid shortening
5 1/2 tablespoons iced water
1 teaspoon salt

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Make a well in the center of the mixture and gradually add the water.
  • Mix with a palette knife until you have a firm dough and all the crumbs in the bottom of the bowl have been incorporated. Then roll the pastry into a ball, making sure it all sticks together properly. Handle the pastry as little as possible.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour before using.
  • Take the pastry out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before you roll it, so that it doesn’t crumble.

Tips
When rolling out pastry put plenty of flour on the surface and rolling pin to prevent sticking.
Roll as little as possible; the less you handle the pastry, the better it will be.
When making savoury pies, brush the top with a little beaten egg before baking.
When using sweet pastry, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.

#CupcakeCompetition Shortlist

When we put out the call last week for inspiration in our quest to Anglify one of the finest culinary creations to come from these shores – the cupcake – we were not prepared for the volume and quality of responses we’d get. Thank you very much to all who entered – you’ve made our week, and at points have genuinely blown us away with your Epicurean offerings.

With difficulty, we’ve whittled your suggestions down to a shortlist, complete with witty names. We’re going to put this to our master bakers, and see which they feel are feasible – and perhaps to try a few out.

As you can see, we’ve divided the entries by how they were submitted and given the person’s name or username in italics. Stay tuned, we will be announcing the winner shortly!

Twitter (@TeaAndSympathy)
The DB’
Dandelion & Burdock
rachelnuttall

‘Don’t Trifle with Me’
Trifle – Vanilla sponge with a whole strawberry in the bottom and a custard cream icing.
Nicky_Harvey

‘English Currant-C’
Ribena
Jodis_Goodies


Facebook.com/TeaAndSympathyNYC

‘Anyone for Tennis?’
Champagne & Strawberries
Charlotte Hipkin

Black & Tan’
Dark Chocolate and Guinness
Viki Noe

‘Breakfast At Granny’s’
Toast and marmalade.
Thomas Matthew

Who are you calling Granny?... This is a mighty fine cupcake

 

‘Earl Grey Cuppa Cake’
Earl Grey with Lavender Frosting
Colleen Hill

‘Springtime Daffodil Sponge’
Orange marmalade cupcake with lemon curd filling & clotted cream frosting.
Marci McGuire

‘Dolly Folly’
Dolly Mixture / Liquorice Allsorts
Brigdget Bray 

‘Elderflower in the Afternoon’
Elderflower with clotted cream icing
The Communal Pantry

WordPress
‘The Hot Toddy’
Clove and cinnamon spice cake with a whiskey flavored egg-custard filling and honey-vanilla icing
thehopefulhestia3

‘Emerald Isle’
Baileys Irish Cream Cupcake – with a green fondant shamrock on top.
thingsmybellylikes

Save some for the cupcakes...


Tea & Sympathy Cupcake Competition

Morning all, happy Monday, give us a smile, the weekend’s over but it’s not that bad – especially as we are announcing a brand new create-a-cupcake competition! It’s pretty straightforward – we want you to suggest traditional British flavors for us to turn into bitesized baked yummies. We put our heads together at T&S HQ over the weekend and came up with a few ideas of our own: Guiness, Rhubarb & Custard and Maltesers got us excited, while Shepherd’s Pie and Branston Pickle  got a firm thumbs down…

We need to confirm the prize, but most likely it’ll be a pot of tea and a couple of your little creations at Tea & Sympathy! As well as getting the honor to help name the beauty.

So please let us know by commenting below, or tweeting us @TeaAndSympathy, or on facebook.

Really looking forward to your suggestions!

One day, all this could be yours... Just give it a great British flavor!

Guiness Cake!

We don’t often reblog, but this fantastic recipe is well worth it!!

Decadently Gracie

A current favourite in my house at the moment is the Chocolate Guinness Cake. My girlfriend is completely obsessed with it to the point we are going through one a week! Apparently, it’s just a slightly larger cupcake so it’s completely fine.

The recipe I use is from The Hummingbird Bakery book, Cake Days, a book which has kick started my very naughty baking habit. A copy of this can be found at The Stylist

The cake is quite dense and incredibly moist, its so easy to see why it’s a firm favourite. That and the combination with cream cheese frosting is amazing.

We’re all out of Guinness cake now… Guess I better get to start on the next one 😀

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