Two posts in one day! Look Out!

We all know how much I love to bake, and so far this year I haven’t made too many, especially the creative shaped cakes. So when it came up to my birthday I decided to make my cake, this year’s theme was Tea! Now I don’t know if I need to remind you how obsessed I am with tea at the moment.  A teapot cake is very me and I wanted a bit of a challenge! So I started out with 2 plain vanilla butter cakes, dyed pink and a little extra vanilla added, for the filling and crumb coating I used a vanilla and frangelico butter cream and then for the final layer I used a strawberry frosting. I baked it in the same tin I used to make a boob cake for my partner last year to get it rounded. Once baked I tried both cakes to have the thickest part flat to I could stick them together, as well as one cake was cut down to be a bit shorter to allow to for curved teapot shape with a flat bottom rather than a ball.

teapotserve

I rolled out my fondant and cut a few pieces off to make the handle and the spout. Once I shaped the spout (which was pretty difficult) and the handle I placed them into the freezer to harden. Lifting the fondant carefully, I then covered my cake and smoothed it out as best as I could and cut off the excess. Using toothpicks I attached the handle and the spout and piped on the decorative finishes. I did attempt to make a tea pot lid but it looked awful so I ate it. Instead I piped a circle of strawberry frosting and flooded the circle with some white royal icing and added a blue ball of fondant.

teapotbetter

By this stage I had so much cake left over and heaps of fondant, I decided to try my hand at make a cup and saucer. All I had left of the cake were off cuts, I crumbed the mixture and added a fair amount of frosting and mixed them together, this made a sort of cake-like goo. Using a teacup I moulded the cake-goo to the cup and placed it in the freezer. I took the matching saucer and pressed some fondant around it to get the general shape and placed it in the freezer to harden.

teapot1

One they had hardened, I popped the cake out of the cup and it has set into a really moist looking cake and held it’s shape. That was then covered with fondant leave the top open to pipe in some frosting on top. The saucer didn’t come out the best but it did the job!

teapoteaten

I have never attempted a teapot cake before this by far is my favourite one that I’ve made!

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You can drink that now?

I’ve been completely fascinated recently on finding out the effect that different types of tea have on our body. For a while I only ever had standard tea like English breakfast and I’ve always enjoyed it and still do, I especially love it when I’m sick and it’s only then that I ever add sugar to tea. So where am I going with this, well I’ve moved on to bigger better tea with more variety and flavours. Most of us know by now that drinking chamomile tea has a calming and relaxing effect on us, we know that peppermint tea helps to ease stomach problems, lemon and ginger for a sore throat, but there are so many others out there that are beneficial for the body as well.

While having a chat to my mother about my latest favourite tea (sounds thrilling doesn’t it?) She mentioned she had tried rose tea, I was like “What? You can drink roses now?” My first thought was how is that even remotely beneficial for your body, I don’t know if anyone else feels the same but I honestly thought roses in food were like some sort of decoration, serving no nutritional benefits at all. I was curious though as to what it does, as well as, what it would taste like. I’ve had trouble finding food grade roses to make my own and I wouldn’t use roses from the florist because those will be covered in pesticides, so I tried the next best thing I could find. I purchased a packet of Madame Flavour’s ‘White with Rose’ tea and I’m in love! As I’m typing this I am sipping away on some. I can taste the rose, not as strong as the tea flavour, but it is there and it smells divine. The tea is made up of Pai Mu Tan which is a white tea from China, rose flavouring and rose petals.  There isn’t as many rose petals as I thought that would be in there, maybe one or two petals per bag. Needless to say I still love it and it’s still bursting with nutritional goodness.

I can see it ticking over in your head “What’s so great about it, hurry up and get to the point”. Well here it goes, white tea is said to contain up to 30% more polyphenols than green tea or black tea.  Polyphenols are antioxidants and there are over 4000 different types of them.  Most of the stronger ones are anti-inflammatory and help to neutralise free radicals in the body.  White tea is also known to restore fluid balance in the body, accelerate the metabolism as well as having antibacterial properties. Woo hoo for White Tea!

Rose tea also has wonderful benefits on the body, as well as being anti-inflammatory, it aids in sinus relief, fights against infection as well as relieves bloating, diarrhoea, gastro, depression, insomnia and fatigue. After all that it also aids in pain relief from menstrual cramps! Turns out there is a legitimate reason women like and more importantly need flowers! There are also quite a few scientific studies showing positive results on the body from drinking rose tea. The only warning I have to give is if you drink too much rose tea it will have a laxative effect on the body…. Don’t ask me how I know this……

If you by chance have some food grade rose petals hanging around here’s how you can make your own:

2 cups of fresh fragrant rose petals
3 cups of water
Honey to taste

Clip and discard white bases from the rose petals, rinse thoroughly and dry.
Simmer in water for 5 minutes or until the petals have darkened
Remove from heat and strain into tea cups, add honey to taste.

Let me know if you have tried to make your own rose tea or have a better recipe than mine, I’d love to know!