Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mini Chocolate Raisin Cupcakes

Well now that I have got my kitchen setup in my new house I have been able to get back into doing some baking. I came across this recipe in one of my favourite receipe books "Kitchen" by Women's Weekly, one sunday night while i was searching for something nice to cook my hubby for morning tea's for that week. This is chocolate cake mixture is different to the norm which i think makes it so nice. I love the fact that the raisins are boiled first to puff them up to become nicely plump and juicy first before adding them into the cake batter. The addition of cinnamon (& cloves if you choose to add it) gives it a nice spicy undertone to the cake. The cake normally is cooked in a square cake tin, which i did but i kept some mixture aside to create these mini cupcakes.

Boiled Raisin Chocolate Cake

2 Cups Raisins
2 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Bicarb Soda
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Tsp Ground Clove (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
250g Butter
1 ½ Cups Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1 ½ Cup Plain Flour
1 Cup Self Raising Flour

Chocolate Glaze
200g Dark Chocolate
100g Butter

1.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease square or round cake tin.
2.    Combine raisins and the water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 min. Remove from heat; stir in sifted soda and cocoa and then spices and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature.
3.    Beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between additions; stir in sifted flours and raisin mixture in two batches.
4.    Spread mixture into pan; bake for about 1 hour 10 min. Stand cake for 5 minutes; turn onto wire rack to cool.
5.    Chocolate Glaze: place butter and chocolate in a microwave bowl.  Cook for 30 seconds at a time until mixture is smooth. Pour over cake; stand for 30 min before serving.
 *If you have a slight aversion to raisins/sultana's I would suggest using chocolate chips instead and in step 2 just add 2 cups of boiling water in a bowl with the bicarb and spices and extract. Add choc chips in step 3.

Simply Tea Recommendations:
 The perfect cup of tea to accompany these delicious cupcakes would be something to compliment the spices that have been added into the cake so our Chai : A strong base of India teas, blended with rich warm spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamon and ginger - would be a definate winner. If your not a fan of chai I would probably suggest a nice black tea such as our Prince of Wales: A light tea with a superb flavour and delicate aroma, making this a great blend for afternoon tea. - would also be a great tea to have with these cupcakes. 

There is nothing more perfect on a winter's afternoon to sit down with your feet up with a nice warm comforting cup of tea and one of these cupcakes to savour a few blissful moments of sheer relaxation.

Happy Sipping

 Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Banana Flaxseed Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup

Well I am behind the eight ball this week and am sorely missing my old kitchen, since moving into our new (old) house. My fingers are itching to bake up a storm and life has just has been too mad for me to enter the kitchen! So in lieu of my inability to bake i thought i would show your a blog that inspires me in regards to cooking and blogging!

The blog is called Cheeky Kitchen and the lady who writes it is called Brooke McClay who resides in Colorado Springs. She recently whipped up some gorgeous Banana & Flaxseed Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup. Yummo! What a beautiful idea for late breakfast one winter saturday morning! With the addition of a warm cup of our Cafe Latte tea and a warm sunny spot to tuck into this winter warmer breaky - what more could you ask for on a lazy saturday morning? Hmmm sounds like an inviting idea this saturday...... hmmmm.

 Happy Sipping

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Back....

Well I have just realised it has been some days since i last posted something for you guys! I have been busily renovating and moving into our new house over the past week, which has left me brain dead and exhausted.... BUT the show must go on.

I am currently in the process of organising some material for a talk that I have to do for the Toowoomba Hospice Camellia & Winter Flower Show on the weekend of the 17th - 18th of July. Since the tea plant - "camellia sinesis" is in the family of the flowering camellia that is on show this weekend,  the organiser thought it would be great to have a bit of variety at the show and have someone talk about this plant and about how the production, benefits and types of tea. The organiser approached me while we were at the PCYC markets one weekend interested in getting us to do a talk for the show, and to purchase some tea to use the high at tea they are also having during the weekend. What a great opportunity to tell people about Simply Tea and talk to people about Tea! We will also be having a stand there over the weekend selling our Tea and Tea accessories so if your free that weekend, come on down and say hello and checkout the gorgeous display's of camellia'a, gardening displays, have a bite to eat and a nice cup of tea.... and if your around on sunday @ 2pm come in and listen to what i have to say about all things TEA!

 {Camillia Sinesis (Tea) Plant}
I love to collect teapots and having recently started my collection I am always on the look out for different looking teapots to add to my collection. I found this picture of the world's smallest teapot on the web the other day and i thought it was the cutest thing ever!
{Chinese master potter Wu Ruishen (吴瑞深) has created a mini teapot weighing just 1.4 grams. The ceramic teapot was revealed on Nov 15 and is claimed to be the smallest teapot in the world. The 73-year-old Wu is a renowned pottery artist in China, specializes in creating teapots. His artworks can be found in various museums in China.}

Isn't it adorable? Have to find myself one - i will probably lose it and so much for getting a good cup of tea out of it!

Happy Sipping......

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lemon & Coconut Cupcakes! Just delish!

Hi all hope that you had a wonderful long weekend! I know i did! We went away for the weekend to the sunshine coast - maroochydore and enjoyed some beautiful ocean views from our apartment! The great blogger that i am..... forgot to take any photos! But i have the memories so i guess that is all that matters. I made coconut lemon cupcakes before i left and my husband rated them quite highly. He has a penchant for lemony things especially in cakes. I had some left over lemon butter from my blueberry scones i made earlier so i cut the top out of the cupcakes and dropped in a spoonful of this and then created a "butterfly" cupcake out it. Mind you it was a bit prissy for my husband but it did look good in the photo & that is all that matters! What inspired me to make these cupcakes was our fresh lemons from our lemon tree. The tree is full of fruit at the moment and i picked one up and inhaled the beautiful zesty aroma and knew i had to make something with them... and this is what i came up with!

{Our beautiful lemons}

 Lemon & Coconut Cupcakes


1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Castor Sugar
1 Cup Coconut Milk
11/2 Cups Self Raising Flour
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
Zest of 2 x Lemons

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees
1. Add all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Add wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix together.
3. Grate the zest of two lemons and add to wet ingredients and stir through.
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
5. Place cupcake papers in muffin tins and place spoonfuls of mixture into the papers.
6. Place in oven and cook for 20 min or until golden brown.
7. Cool cupcakes and cut the top off them.
8. Place a spoonful of lemon butter (*recipe on previous postings) on top and 
cut the top of the cupcake in half and place on angels in the butter.
9. Garnish with icing sugar!

Some great tea's from our range  that would compliment this delicious cupcake would be either our gorgeous herbal infusion -
Lemon Tang : "A blend of lemongrass, chamomile, ginger, hibiscus flower, rose petal and rose myrtle"
This tea would compliment the lemon flavours in the cupcake perfectly! 


The delicate flavours of our white tea - 
Silver Needles: "The perfect white tea from Fujian Province, China, made from tender new buds that are covered with silver-white hairs. Picked on only 2 days each year and processed by hand. An extraordinary full-bodied, fresh and sweet taste. A delicate and subtle treat for quiet moments."

This tea would not overpower or clash with the lemon flavours but harmonize with them. 
I hope that you get a chance to try these cupcakes (and even the teas) they are truly refreshing!

Until Next Time

Happy Sipping

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun Friday

Hi all - bet your all counting down the hours until the weekend come! I know i am. I thought i would do a bit of a collage on mugs! I love my mug - especially on a cold, blustery day snuggling under a warm blanket and a GREAT book, nursing a warm cup of tea in my favourite mug! Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!

Happy Sipping!

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Benefits Of Tea........

Its said that tea drinking originated about 3000 years ago when a few leaves accidentally fell into a cup of hot water held by a Chinese emperor. The emperor found the brew tastier than plain water and he subsequently recommended it as a remedy for various ailments. Others claim tea originated in India and became popular with Buddhist monks who helped introduce the calming but refreshing drink throughout Asia. Tea was introduced to Europeans by Turkish traders in the 6th century and it later became an important part of Dutch and British trade.

{ Emperor Shen Nung who discovered tea"

Today, scientists around the world are rigorously investigating the healing properties of tea, with studies suggesting that drinking tea can slow down certain cancers, protect against heart disease, help combat premature ageing and promote good health. It is believed that the antioxidants in tea (polyphenols) scour the human body to locate and neutralise free radicals, which are known to accelerate the ageing process and contribute to serious health problems. Free radicals are unstable cells missing one electron which are thought to have spawned from environmental factors such as pollution, pesticides and smoking. Drinking tea that is abundant in antioxidants may offset free radical formation and improve general health and well being. Green tea generally has less caffeine than black tea, and slightly more antioxidants per cup, making it the preferred tea of many health professionals.

 { No better excuse now than to have a cuppa tea for your health}

The news has recently reported that women who drank four or more cups of tea per day - and that was any type of tea, black, green or herbal - may have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer by 30 per cent. (Read More)
So what better excuse now girls than to get into your fave cup of tea!

So now that you know that benefits of drinking tea.... now it's time to stock up on your favourites. Simply tea is naturally low in caffeine and free of contaminants. We have perfected the art of making exquisite black, green, white and herbal teas that are full of healing properties of antioxidants and a range of health benefits.

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Appendix: Info from: Here ; Here; Here

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun Friday

 Bit more tea inspiration for the week. Thought i would go with a bit of an oriental theme! Hope you like it. I am off to continue renovating our new house that we bought. Lots and lots of work to do. Saw an interesting article on tea this week saying that if you drink at least four cups of tea per day you have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Now all you women that's something worth drinking too! I hope to write a bit more in blogs to come on the great benefits of drinking tea - its not only enjoyable to drink but is GOOD for you as well! Anyway i hope that you all have a great weekend!

Happy Sipping.......

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blueberry Scones With Lemon Butter

I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent my weekend preparing the new house we bought for renovations... you can check the progress out on my personal blog - Diaries of A Whimsical Wife
There is nothing better on a cold & blustery day than to snuggle up with a good book, fluffy socks and a warm cuppa but to make it extra special is the addition of warm scones is a definate winner! My blueberry scones with lemon butter will definitely warm you through to your toes. Fresh from the oven with the softly melting lemon butter.... mmmmmm delicious!

Blueberry Scones

150ml Milk
150ml Cream
1 Egg
3 Cups Self Raising Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch Salt
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
Zest of 1 x Lemon (*optional)
Milk for Glazing


~ Preheat oven to 200 - 220 degrees.
~ In a bowl add milk, cream and egg. Whisk together and set aside.
~ Sift flour and salt together in a separate bowl, add sugar and zest.
~ Make a hole in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients & blueberries working quite quickly use a metal knife to stir the ingredients through.
*Note: the blueberries need to be frozen if they're not they make a fine mess of oozing everywhere!
~ Place dough on a floured surface and carefully roll out to be about 1/2 inch thick. 
~ Using a scone cutter cut out and place on a lined tray.
~ Brush tops of scones with extra milk.
~ Cook for about 15 - 20 Min or until golden brown.
* Instead of Blueberries you can use any other berry you have available or even simply Dates or Sultana's are also delicious!

Meanwhile....... Make the Lemon Butter..... It's SO very easy!


125g Unsalted Butter
1 Egg Yolk
2 Whole Eggs
Finely grated zest of 3 x Lemons
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice mixed with 1/4 cup water
3/4 - 1 Cup Caster Sugar to taste.


~ Place butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH for abour 15-20 seconds until melted.
~ Lightly whisk together remaining ingredients; stir into butter.
~ Cook  on HIGH for 5 Minutes, one minute at a time for the first 3 Minutes, then in 30 seconds bursts, whisking vigorously after each period to help distribute the heat evenly. Lemon butter is cooked when the mixture thickly cots the back of a spoon.
~ Pour mixture into small jars; turn upside down on lid and cool completely. (This will help the lid seal) Refridgerate once cool and sealed.
*The lemon butter thickens when cooled so don't stress if the butter doesn't seem very thick at first!

You can slather it still warm onto your freshly baked scones..... pure heaven!

Don't forget a pot of freshly brewed tea to go with it...

Tea that would compliment these scones would be:

~ Lemon Tang - For those who want to go tangy all the way.
~ Vanilla - Will compliment the blueberries and the zestyness of the lemons.
~ Afternoon Tea - Perfect accompaniment for the pefect scone.

Until Next Time......

Happy Sipping!

~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~


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