Tuesday, August 30, 2011

British Flapjacks


It's back to school time and do I have the perfect afternoon treat for you...
 British Flapjacks.

Flapjacks in the U.K. are not at all like American flapjacks (pancakes).  British Flapjacks are sweet oat bars that remind me of thick granola bars. 

I had my first British Flapjack in Stow-on-The-Wold at a cute British bakery
in the Cotswolds over 10 years ago.  The first time my husband and I had them we said to each other "these must be the original granola bar!"

I've been collecting Flapjack recipes ever since. 

The Ingredients

Most Flapjack recipes call for just a few basic ingredients:
Oats, Demerara sugar, Golden Syrup and butter.

Golden Syrup is the key ingredient for authentic British Flapjacks.  Not all Americans are familiar with it.  I don't recommend making British Flapjacks unless you have Golden Syrup.  Lyle's Golden Syrup is a brand that is fairly easy to find in America.  I purchased mine at Cost Plus World Market

 Let's Make Some Flapjacks:

Flapjacks are simple to make.

Butter, sugar and golden syrup are heated up over medium heat on the stove top. 

Next the oats and spice mixture are added.  Mix well making sure all the oats are coated. 

The oat mixture is pressed into a well greased 8" x 8" pan
and baked for 15 to 20 minutes.

The Flapjacks are cooled for about 5 minutes and then cut into bar shapes while still in the pan. 

Let them completely cool in the pan before removing them. 

Enjoy with a cup of Yorkshire Tea or PG Tips! 

Truly Great Flapjacks!

My latest batch of Flapjacks is from a recipe in the new
Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine and it's a keeper!

I also found a similar recipe online at Bon Appetit for British Flapjacks

Next on my list though is to try Sophie Dahl's Golden Flapjacks recipe from
her UK show The Delicious Miss Dahl.  

Sohpie adds coconut, dried mango and dried cherries to her Flapjack version.  

Sounds divine!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Union Jack pottery.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yorkshire Tea Loaf

Tea & Cake

One of my favorite things about travelling to Great Britain
is learning about tea and tea time traditions. 

While travelling in England this year, I enjoyed a tea break
or afternoon tea nearly everyday. 

I came home with wonderful
tea time ideas along with a few souvenirs.

 Cold Tea Loaf

Besides carrying home an Emma Bridgewater Tea Pot,
I also carried home...
a Cold Yorkshire Tea Loaf!

I purchased my tea loaf at The Yorkshire Pantry in York, England.

York is famous for Bettys Tea Room (yes, I had afternoon tea there)  and Yorkshire Tea, so I wanted to buy a packaged Yorkshire Tea Tea Loaf to bring home.  It was out of stock, so the clerk recommended another Yorkshire Tea Loaf  handmade by The Harrogate Cake Co. instead.  (Mums the word...they told me it was even a better tea loaf!)

I hand carried my Yorkshire tea loaf further on our journey to Scotland,
Paris and then home to the States.  It made it home beautifully...
and all in one piece!

All Gone!

I now know what a real Yorkshire Cold Tea Loaf tastes like and
 can't wait to make them at home. 

And if you're an American and wondering about the name, Cold Tea Loaf...
it's called that because the fruits (currants, sultanas and mixed peel) are steeped overnight in strong Yorkshire Tea to plump up.  You then bake it the next day.

So now I'm on a search for an authentic Yorkshire Tea Loaf recipe. 

I recently found a British recipe in Good Food magazine by Mary Berry for a Family Fruit Teabread.  She soaks her fruit over night in Earl Grey tea.  I am going to try her recipe using Yorkshire Tea instead.  I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Yorkshire Tea

P.S. Yes, Yorkshire Tea tastes better in Yorkshire!

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Union Jack Tea Pot, mug and Black Toast Crumbs plate.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Laduree New York!

Laduree Rue Royal Paris

Ooh, la, la!
Pop open the French bubbly...

it's finally official:

Laduree New York's Grand Opening is next Friday
August 26th at 1:00 PM. 

Wish I could be there!

Laduree New York

864 Madison Avenue
New York, New York  10021

Monday to Friday 9:00AM to 6:00PM
Saturday 9:30AM to 6:00PM
Sunday Closed

Bienvenue Laduree to the Etats-Unis!

Let me know if you get to Laduree New York before I do! 

(Laduree New York Sketch from the Laduree Web Site)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jamie's Tea

 So Refreshing!

There's nothing like an iced tea on a hot summer afternoon!

Today I brewed up a pot of Mango and Passion Fruit Tea by Jamie Oliver's company Jme

Jamie's tea caught my attention awhile back at my local Williams Sonoma store.  While out shopping yesterday I noticed it was on sale from $29.99 to only $7.99 so naturally I couldn't pass it up!  Since my tea cupboard is quite well stocked these days, I decided to try his Mango and Passion Fruit Tea because I thought it would be wonderful iced.  I was right.

Here are a few of my tips for making iced tea:

Steeping the tea

Always use premium loose teas for making iced teas.  I use one teaspoon of tea for every cup.

To avoid a mess,  use a large tea filter and keep it securely closed with a teeli click.   Steep for the proper brewing time of the tea your using.

Today, Jamie's tea steeped to a beautiful pink color in 4 minutes time.

 Icing the tea

Quite often iced tea becomes cloudy after you make it. 

The best way to avoid cloudy tea, is after the tea has steeped, immediately put ice cubes in it.  I find this method works every time. 

The` a la mangue et aux fruits de la passion

Jamie's Mango and Passion Fruit Tea is a melange of premium black tea and dried fruit pieces.  Jamie selected Taiwanese tea specialists Smith & Hsu to blend his teas.  The teas come packaged in sleek modern metal tea caddies which are reusable.  

I enjoyed this tea iced and sweetened with sugar. It is a very light and tropical tasting tea.

They say...
 fruit infusion teas are very beneficial to ones health. 

So drink up!

(In the photos:  French Bee glass, Emma Bridgewater Hearts Sugar Bowl and Liberty of London Poppy fabric.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remembering Julia

Lets Bake

"If you're afraid of butter, use cream."

Julia Child
August 15, 1912 - August 13, 2004

Remembering Julia today. 
I think I'll bake a cake!

(Photo taken at Sur La Table in San Francisco, CA.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Lemon Cloud Cake

Miette is the French word for crumb. 

Miette is also the name of San Francisco's most charming pastry shop! 

I was in "the City" last weekend and had to stop by Miette for a macaron fix!

Sweet Treats

I've adored Miette from the moment I walked up to the macaron counter a few years ago
in San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace

When you visit Miette in the Ferry Building, you'll feel as though you are in a tiny Parisian candy shop.  I love all their sweet treats and their pretty Laduree green interior. 

More Cake Please

Miette has something to satisfy every one's sweet tooth.  Their counter case is filled with cupcakes, tarts, cookies, cakes, macarons, candies and confections.

My standard order are their Parisian macarons. 

I love looking at their beautiful cakes in their online shop.  I've longed to order a Miette cake for my birthday sometime.  Maybe this year I will visit "the City" and pick one up or better yet....
I can make one now! 

The chef/owner of Miette, Meg Ray has just shared her baking secrets in her new book,  Miette.  It's an adorable book, just like her shop!  I adore the unique design of the book with its pretty scalloped pages.

Parisian Macarons

Can't get to Paris...
and need a macaron fix, too? 

Well, you can now make your own Parisian macarons right at home.

All you need are the right tools and Miette's new book.

 In the book there are recipes for eight different flavored macarons.  Merci, Meg!

Miette also offers classes throughout the year, too.  Sign me up!

Lemon Tea Cake

Tea and cake please!

Miette's Lemon Tea Cakes look delicious and perfect for when a friend "pops" over
for a visit at tea time.

Miette's tea cake is a buttery lemon pound cake, topped off with zesty lemony icing. Luckily for us, Meg has included the recipe in the book so we can make it at home.

I can't wait to put the kettle on and serve this cake to a friend with a good "cuppa"!

Walnut Shortbread Cookies

I couldn't help but "spot" these cookies in their adorable packaging. 

These Walnut Shortbread Cookies look perfect for keeping on hand in the biscuit barrel!

Again, luckily for us...
you can find this cookie recipe in the book, too. 

Miette Patisserie

When you visit San Francisco be sure to stop by Miette
 at the Ferry Building Marketplace. 

Just look for the pretty pink sign! 

PS:  You can also pick up baking supplies at Sur La Table in the Marketplace, too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strawberry Tea 2011

 A Strawberry Tea Party!

This summer all over the UK,
 ladies are having fundraising Strawberry Tea Parties

British ladies are baking, canning and knitting all for the wonderful effort to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.  I love this campaign!  How wonderful...
 tea parties with a cause!

 Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes

For more information, have a look the UK's Breast Cancer Care website

I love their Top Tea Party Tips, Recipes and, of course,
The adorable tea cosy is a free pattern, thanks to knitwear designer Libby Tomey who supports this cause.  Knitters knit up Strawberry Tea Cosies and then raffle them off at Strawberry Teas.  I love this idea! 

I found a delicious recipe for Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes in Cupcakes by Janet Smith.  (Yes, it's even a British cook book.) 
So, now I'm ready for a Strawberry Tea Party!

I do hope this idea takes off here in America...
 for one of our Breast Cancer charities

In the meantime,
 it's a nice reminder to make a donation to one's favorite charity.  

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Hearts Tea Cups and Plates and Blue Toast & Marmalade Teapot.)