Do you know what I found out today? One hundred and sixty five million cups of tea are consumed in Britain every day!!! And, I had five of those myself. 🙂
This morning I had my tea in one of my sweet little bird mugs hand painted by the artists at Aston Pottery.
And this afternoon I made myself a cup of Earl Grey in the second of my very old Victorian tea cups.
(the first one is here)
I love these old cups. I love the wonkiness of the saucer, and the pits and imperfections of the crockery and painted design. This is also one of the “drink it from the saucer cups.” I suppose these cups were every day, made for the plebs. They are some sort of crockery but not porcelain and were probably used a whole lot because it was every Englishman’s patriotic duty to drink tea rather than alcohol or coffee because tea supported British trade, the colonial plantations and the Empire. Amazing that they are not chipped or cracked. Obviously they were well loved.
The best treatie to have with Earl Grey tea while doing my patriotic duty are Jaffa cakes. Do you know Jaffa cakes? Almost 100 yrs in production, they are the loveliest blend of cake, marmalade and chocolate. Oh, I have a funny story to tell you. When Chloe was about 9 yr old, she decided she didn’t like the taste of marmalade and ate the biscuit and chocolate part all the way around the marmalade centre and then, somehow, it became de rigueur to stick the left-over marmalade circle on your forehead and look very pathetic ever since. 😀 I know! No idea what that’s all about.
For the cakes
• 2 free-range eggs
• 50g/2oz caster sugar
• 50g/2oz plain flour, sieved
For the filling
• 1 x 135g/4¾oz packet orange jelly, chopped
• 1 tbsp orange marmalade
• 125ml/4½fl oz boiling water
• 200g/7oz good quality dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the cakes, bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and beat continuously for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is pale, fluffy and well combined.
3. Add the flour, beating continuously, until a thick, smooth batter forms.
4. Half-fill each well in a 12-hole muffin tin with the cake batter. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake the cakes for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and cooked through (the cakes are cooked through when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.) Remove from the oven and set the cakes aside, still in their tray, until cool.
5. Meanwhile, for the filling, in a bowl, mix together the jelly, marmalade and boiling water until the jelly has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling mixture into a shallow-sided baking tray or large dish to form a 1cm/½in layer of jelly. Set aside until completely cooled, then chill in the fridge until set.
6. When the jelly has set and the cakes have cooled, cut small discs from the layer of jelly, equal in diameter to the cakes. Sit one jelly disc on top of each cake.
7. Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate and stir until melted, smooth and glossy, then pour over the cakes. Set aside until the melted chocolate has cooled and set.