Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chai Cupcakes & Farewell.....

I am the bearer of sad news today.... It's not totally devastating and it probably won't change your life but I will share it anyway!
After much thought and consideration I have decided to discontinue with writing The Simply Tea Shop Blog.
It was a hard call to make but I felt like it was the right thing to do to make better use of my time.

There is good news in this announcement. You see in the blog world I have two personalities - avid Tea Connoisseur & Baker and DIY Project Guru & Renovator. I write two blogs and each on different subjects but I thought to make better use of my time I would combine the two together!

 So my dear friends and followers all is not lost. I am not going away forever.... Just moving house to the Diaries Of A Whimsical Wife. There will be a permanent feature called Tasty Tuesday which will showcase what I have been doing here - baking some great recipes, taking some photo's and matching it with my Tea.

So this is my last post here today but I would LOVE for you to come and follow me at my blog Diaries Of A Whimsical Wife and continue to hopefully be inspired in your baking, creating and homemaking endeavours. This is not the end, just the beginning of something great!

I thought I would make something special for my last post. If you haven't already guessed what it is (by the post name) and the picture of the spices... It's Mini Chai Cupcakes with Honey Butter cream!

I was inspired from a friend of mine who has gotten into baking recently and she told me about these Chai Cupcakes she made and how good they were.
Now I know Chai Cupcakes have been around for awhile but I have never had the pleasure of baking a batch. 
Until the other day!

The aroma of these little morsels wafting through the house as they cooked  in the oven made my mouth water. It was a heady aroma of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, & cardamon perfectly balanced to create a mouthful of pure pleasure.  I had to be patient though as I had to let them cool down before I could ice them. 
They needed to be dressed completely before I popped one in my mouth!
Mmmm Heaven!

If you averted to the flavour of "Chai", like my dear husband, do not fear these cupcakes are deemed "Chai Hater Safe"! My husband quite liked them, which says something because he is not a Chai man at all.

Chai Cupcakes
With Honey Butter Cream

Makes 12

5 Tbsp Butter
¼ Cup Castor Sugar
¼ Cup Honey
2 Eggs
¾ Cup Milk
1 ½ Tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Cups SR Flour
¼ Tsp Salt

Chai Spice Mix:
1 Tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 Tsp Ginger, ground
¼ Tsp Cloves, ground (*You can add more if you like the flavour of cloves)
1 Tsp Cardamom, ground

Honey Butter Cream:
125g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
250g Icing Sugar
2 Tsp Hot Milk
3 Tbsp Honey



Preheat oven to 180 Degrees. Place cupcake papers in muffin tin and set aside.
Mix spices together in a small bowl and set aside.
In an electric mixer beat together butter, sugar and honey for 5- 10 min until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, vanilla and salt and mix until combined.
Add milk and sifted flour and add alternately into the bowl. Add spice mix and mix slowly until combined and smooth.
Spoon mixture into prepared cupcake papers and bake for 15 -20 min or until golden brown.

Honey Butter Cream:

Beat butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Sift in icing sugar, milk and honey and beat until smooth.
Place in fridge for 15 min to set slightly before piping onto cooled cupcakes.

Sprinkle a little extra spice on top of piped icing and drizzle with a little honey!

Simply Tea Selection

I will make two suggestions of what you can serve with these cupcakes. If your obsessed with all things Chai then I would recommend our Chai Blend to serve with these cupcakes. It is a strong base of Indian teas, blended with rich warm spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamon and ginger. Exactly what is in the cupcakes.

Curently 25 % Off - $8.25/100g Pouch or $2.00 for Sample Bag.
Or if that seems a bit much spices in one day I would recommend our Irish Breakfast. It is a strong, rich flavoured, malty blend with a high percentage of fine leaf tea. This tea will stand up to the punchy spices in the cupcakes without overpowering it.

Currently 25% Off - $6.00/100g Pouch or $2.00 for Sample Bag

So friends... until next time at Tasty Tuesday @ The Diaries Of A Whimsical Wife!
Hope to see you there!

Happy Sipping...............

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Childhood Days - Monte Carlos

I remember when I was younger in primary school, I use to love coming home from school and tucking into a BIG glass of *Milo (more milo than milk) and dunking a biscuit into it.

(*NB International Visitors - Milo is a Chocolate Malt type powder you add to milk *)

We use to get those family packets of "assorted" cream biscuits and generally us kids would fight over who got the good ones... like the kingstons, chocolate cream or monte carlos. We use to twist the two biscuits until they came apart and eat the filling by scraping it off with our teeth... it wasn't a pretty sight.... and proceeded to dunk the biscuit in the milo until it was a sloppy mess and in the gob it went.

Oh those were the day's! Not a care in the world, eat what you wanted (without the worry of weight gain, healthy eating, food allergies, low carbs, high protein blah blah blah) and the prospect of a funfilled afternoon to play outside in the sun.

These monte carlo's brought me back to those days. They are a "home made" version of the monte carlo's that were in those Family Assorted biscuit packs but oh do they ever taste like the real thing...... maybe even a bit better??? The crunchy honey flavoured biscuit, and must have two filling layers of the white icing and jam to complete the package!

So maybe now that I have transported myself back into my childhood days maybe my husband will let me have an afternoon playing imaginary games in the sun? Or he may think I have gone mad.... hmmm to late!

Monte Carlo's

Makes 12


180g Butter

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

1 Cup Plain Flour

1 Cup Self Raising Flour

1 Tbsp Honey


60g Butter. softened

1 Cup Icing Sugar

Little Warm Water

Strawberry Jam/ or Raspberry Jam


Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a cookie tray with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, honey, vanilla and flour.

Mix until combined and a dough forms.

Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten.

Repeat until all dough is used.

Bake in oven for 15 min or until golden brown. Place on cooling rack.

When cold join with icing and jam.


In a small bowl sift icing sugar and add softened butter. Mix together with a little warm water until a stiff icing forms.

Simply Tea Selection
My selection to go with these childhood inducing biscuits would be our Cafe Latte blend.
It is a luscious mixture of milk granules, cocoa bits, chocolate chips and fine coffee bean pieces, all blended with black tea. It is an adult version of a "milo" but still SO very good! The combination of coffee, chocolate and black tea may sound strange BUT oh my it is really delicious - think mocha!

Give our Cafe Latte blend a whirl......

We currently have a winter warmer special of 25% off all our 100g pouches of tea! 

What induces childhood memories for you???

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Winter Warmer Special

Warm up this winter with your favourite tea!

Come in and join us in our annual winter warmer sale. There is a massive 25% off our 100g Pouches of Gourmet Tea and Tea Making Accessories. It is perfect time to stock up with your favourite blends for the cold nights ahead. So come on down and check it out today!

If we sell out.... you MISS OUT!
(* No voucher code required - prices have already been reduced)

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Frangipane Pear & Pecan Trumble....

It's winter here in Australia for all those on the other side of the world enjoying summer time! I am SO jealous.... anyway if it was summer here I wouldn't be able to enjoy desserts like these Frangipane Pear & Pecan Trumble... Phew say that 20 times with your mouthful! Trumble??? You ask.... what the heck is she on?

Well I will let you in on my craziness - this delectable tart combines the best of both dessert worlds - the buttery base of a tart and the crunchy topping of a crumble. The perfect combination on a winter's night served with custard or a drizzle of fresh cream. Ooohhlala! Trumbles are so in... well in my kitchen they are!

With delicious pears being in season right now I could not go pass creating a dessert incorporating this perfect winter fruit! Pecans are a great addition adding a nice crunch and nuttiness. The frangipane filling adds the gooeyness to off set all those crunchy aspects of the crumble and base.

I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon whipping up this Trumble. It was a cold winter's afternoon, windy and frigid outside but I was warm and cosy in my kitchen with our wood fire burning and the oven on and I was up to my elbows in pastry and crumble. No pressing needs, to do list completed, dinner prepared just me and my "Trumble". For me that's my "Me time", sifting, whipping, stirring, baking. The worries of the world left at the door.

Frangipane Pear & Pecan Trumble


90g Butter
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Grated Lemon Rind
1 Egg
1 Cup Plain Flour
2 Tbsp Custard Powder

Frangipane Filling:
40g Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Tbsp Castor Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tsp Plain Flour
½ Cup Almond Meal

2 x Large Pears – peeled, cored and sliced into wedges.

Crumble Topping:
½ Cup Plain Flour
½ Cup Shredded Coconut
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
1 ½ - 2 Tbsp Butter, Softened


1.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2.    Cream butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer. Add rind and egg and beat well until combined.
3.    Stir in flour & custard powder and mix until combined. Press evenly into a lined lamington tin and bake for 10-15 min. Remove and let cool for 10 min.

Frangipane Filling:
1.    Beat butter, extract, sugar and egg yolk in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2.    Stir in flour and almond meal until combined.
3.    Once base has cooled spread the frangipane filling evenly over the base.
4.    Carefully arrange pear wedges in a line across the frangipane filling.

1.    In a small bowl add flour, sugar and butter. Mix the butter in with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2.    Stir in pecans and coconut and spread evenly over the pears.
3.    Place in oven to cook for 25 min or until golden brown.

Serve with warm custard or a drizzle of fresh pouring cream.

You could also make this into a summery dessert by replacing the pears with peaches, nectarines or even cherries and the pecans with macadamia's and serve cold with ice cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt!


What mad creations have you whipped up in your kitchen lately?

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Sneek Peek.....

Mmmmm what could next weeks treat be?? It combines a crumble, pears and pecans into a magnificent dessert! Once all is said and done this is what your plate will look like at the end of it! All gone - cos it's super delicious! 

Until next week......

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Trooper Toffee Nut & Oat Squares.....

Are there days that your feet just drag behind you? You can't get into the groove of the day or your energy levels just aren't going above zero? You've woken up on the wrong side of the bed, gone mad looking for your toothbrush, glasses, pen, car keys and it's been in your hand, or on your head, had a bad hair day and you get a BIG zit on the end of your nose!

Day's when nothing seems to go right.... you have a flat tyre before you walk out the door to begin the day, you follow every slow driver when your running late for work and get EVERY red light. Your normal car park is taken and the nearest one is a block away, and as you run that block frantically to work you realised you forgot to bring your lunch........ This is when your in need of a piece of this Trooper Toffee Nut & Oat Square.

Because your going to be "trooping" through the rest of the day after the morning you've just had. A slice of this will boost your energy, it's low GI, gluten free, will give you a sweet hit without the processed sugar and get you through the day! These squares are chocked full of goodness...

 Lots of nuts, seeds & oats to keep you full and energized for the day! They would make a good pre-workout snack or even a great snack for the kids in the afternoon to keep there little tummy's full until dinner!

 This slice is adapted from Healthy Pursuits recipe which is a bit of a inspirational blog for me at the moment.... you know how it is! You find a good thing , a blog, cookbook etc that inspires you and you have to keep trying, tasting, inventing recipes from that inspiration! So bear with me as I go through this phase! :-)

Trooper Toffee Nut & Oat Squares

*Adapted from Healthy Pursuit Toffee Nut & Seed Squares


1 Cup Butter
¾ Cup Golden Syrup (Or Honey)
¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds
¼ Cup Pepita Seeds
¼ Cup Almonds
¼ Cup Walnuts
¼ Cup Pecans
4 Tbsp Oats
4 Tbsp Raisins or Sultana’s
¼ Cup Shredded Coconut + extra to garnish
*2 Tbsp Protein Powder


1.    Line a slice pan with baking paper with the excess paper on the edges for easy lifting. Set aside.
2.    Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3.    Place golden syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a    simmer. The honey should begin to foam. This is normal. Just don’t stop stirring.
4.    Continue to stir for another 8 minutes. Add butter and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Continue stirring the honey mixture until it begins to thicken, about 2 – 3 minutes.
5.    When it gets hard to stir, add the dry ingredients and mix quickly until combined.
6.    Immediately drop the hot mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a damp spatula.
7.    Sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on the top to garnish
8.    Place in the fridge to cool for at least an hour.
9.    Lift out of the pan with the baking paper and cut into squares.
10.    Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to a month.

Simply Tea Selection

After you've trooped through a bad day another way to relieve the stress and tension of the day is with a good cup of warm tea. That's where Simply Tea can help.... we have an amazing selection of the most wonderful, stress relieving tea's. After a day like the one described above I would most definitely reccomend our Sweet Dreams tea.

It is a delicate infusion of chamomile and spearmint to soothe the nerves, promote relaxation and ease indigestion. Enjoy before retiring.

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