Chocolate Cake, anyone?

Need we ask!


Tea & Sympathy’s Queen’s Jubilee Menu

It is finally upon us! This weekend is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: a celebration of Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne that will go down in British history. We’ve put together a recommended menu to help you commemorate the event in truly regal style.

Feel free to give us a call (212-989-9735) if you’re planning a party and are looking for supplies – we have everything you need for an authentic British knees-up!

Coronation Chicken Finger Sandwiches

The perfect savory to serve at your party. Easy to make, easy to eat, and invented for the Queen’s coronation. A lightly spiced creamy chicken, coronation chicken hints at the Raj while finger sandwiches evoke a dainty English civility. Most importantly, these little morsels are utterly delicious.

Makes about 10 sandwiches

Good quality, thinly sliced bread of your preference
Coronation chicken
Very thinly sliced peeled cucumber, tomato or lettuce (optional)
Salt and Pepper

  • Choose a selection of good-quality, thinly sliced white, wholewheat and seven-grain breads.
  • Peel the dark green skin from the outside of the cucumber with a vegetable peeler if using.
  • Spread a good amount of coronation chicken on to the bread, and add cucumber, lettuce or tomato if using. Season to taste
  • Top with a plain slice.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the crusts off of the bread and discard. Cut the sandwich diagonally into triangles or finger shapes.
  • Serve garnished with a sprig of fresh watercress.

Victoria Sponge

Named after the last monarch to spend 60 years on the throne. Queen Victoria favored a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea, and this is an especially decadent version: two layers filled with cream and jam and topped with confectioners’ sugar.

Serves 8-10
Preparation Time: 35-40 minutes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
A few drops of pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

  • Preheat  the oven to 350F
  • With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time , along with the vanilla.
  • With a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth.
  • Divide the batter between 2 buttered and floured 8-inch cake tins and smooth the surface by tapping gently on the side of the tins.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • As with all cakes, the best way to make sure the cake is done is by inserting a thin knife or skewer into the center of the cake: if it comes out clean, then the cake is done. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

Royal Chocolate Biscuit Cake

We originally featured this cake during last year’s Royal wedding. William selected this childhood favorite as his groom’s cake. According to royal chef Darren McGrady, it is also one of the Queen’s top picks. Daily Candy stopped by to film Nicky preparing the cake. As you can see, it’s extremely simple and my-oh-my is it yummy!

There are more recipe ideas here. Please send us pictures if you do have a party – and we hope you have a fantastic Jubilee weekend!

Chocolate Cake Breakfast Could Help You Lose Weight!

Good Morning New York, and what a fantastic morning it is. Snow may be threatening, you may not have bagged that front row NYFW seat you were after, and the world of coffee may have just taken a turn for the worst (yet another reason to drink tea), but we awake to news of, quite possibly, the most significant scientific breakthrough of our lifetimes.

Brew-me-o & Perculate... Leo launches a coffee brand?! Apologies for the pun, it's still early...

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have found that a slice of chocolate cake may be the perfect way to start the day for those wanting to lose weight. After a 32-week study on 193 people, it was found that those eating a balanced 600-calorie breakfast, including the gateux, lost more weight than those who took a 300 calorie, low-carb diet.

Eat me... and lose weight?!

The brainbox in charge concluded that, “the participants in the low-carbohydrate diet group had less satisfaction and felt that they were not full.” Read the rest of the article here. Then, get out of your pyjamas and get down to Greenwich Avenue; we’re serving our famous chocolate cake from 9.30am!

Nigella Lawson makes Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Nigella Lawson’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake gave us the inspiration for our own sticky, sweet, cocoa-rich version. Follow either recipe for a great holiday treat. Nigella’s also a great food hero of ours, so we are doubly happy to share this with you:

Check out our Youtube channel for more great clips from our favorite chefs, vintage TV adverts, and some great profiles on NYC’s number one Brit-stop teashop (that’s us!).

Chocolate Cake: Something for the (Thanksgiving) weekend

With only one week to go until Thanksgiving, we thought it right to give you an extra special ‘Something for the Weekend’. This will knock the socks off your friends and family, and is really pretty easy to put together – perfect for this hectic time of year. So without any further ado, here is our recipe for Tea & Sympathy Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Cake

“Chocolate cake is a very passionate thing. Several times over the years, we decided to change the recipe and still people came in and asked for previous versions. However, we think this is the best we have ever done.  It was inspired by one of Nigella Lawson’s cakes, but we do it a little differently and add the most delicious icing.”
– From ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of an English Tea Shop in New York’.

Serves 8-10
Prep: 1 hr 15 mins

For the cake:
1 cup bittersweet plain dark chocolate
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup hot water

For the icing:
4 tablespoons milk
¼ cup (1/2 stick butter)
½ cup bittersweet dark chocolate, grated
1 ¾ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Shaved chocolate optional

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Grease an 8-inch cake tin.
  • Melt the chocolate in a basin over a pan of hot water; leave to one side.
  • Sift the flour and backing soda into a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, and then the vanilla.
  • With a spatula, fold the melted chocolate into the butter/sugar mixture, then add the flour and baking soda little by little, and then the hot water.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • To prepare the icing: Heat the milk, butter and chocolate gently in a saucepan until melted.
  • In a medium bowl, pour the chocolate mixture onto the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Pour on top of the cake and spread evenly with a spatula, covering the cake completely.
  • Decorate the iced cake with a little shaved chocolate.
This, along with all our recipes, is available in our lovely shiny cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of an English Tea Shop in New York’. We have a few copies left in store, which would make excellent Christmas presents. We can ship, so get in touch if you’d like one, either by phone: 212-989-9735, or email:
And here’s hoping one and all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!