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The perfect tea time treat with a pot of Awakening: Little nutty tea cakes

9 Apr

Tea cakes

In the words of our founder, Kate, ❝bake these little nutty tea cakes off in yorkshire pudding/muffin trays and make a pot of tea for a simple yet perfect afternoon tea treat!❞

Ingredients

Makes one large round cake or lots of little ones

600ml perfectly brewed Lahloo Awakening or Tajiri

400g dried fruits

Zest of 1 large orange

1 large free-range egg

300g caster sugar

385g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

  1. soak the dried fruits and orange zest in the tea and infuse overnight or for at least 6 hours
  2. drain and save the liquid for later
  3. preheat the oven to 180C
  4. whisk egg and add to dried fruit with 2/3 of the caster sugar. Sieve the dry ingredients and add to the fruit, along with the juice of the orange. The mixture should be moist so add some of the reserved tea liquor if necessary.
  5. pour into a greased and lined large round cake tin or 2 muffin trays and bake for 25mins. Cover with foil and bake for a further 45mins. If necessary, bake until your skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool before topping.

Nutty topping

100g candied peel

100g flaked/chopped almonds

50g golden syrup

  1. melt golden syrup and add fruit and candied fruit. Simmer for 5 mins. 
  2. allow to cool and pile sticky mixture on top of cakes
  3. put the kettle on, make a pot of tea and enjoy!

Happiness is Tea and Chocolate

15 Feb

If you’re one of the regular readers of this blog, chances are that you wholeheartedly agree with the title of this post. It’s a universal truth: tea and chocolate can make everything better. The possibilities are endless: tea-infused hot chocolate, tea and chocolate biscuits, tea and a slice or two of chocolate cake, tea and a chocolate brownie, a chocolate pudding, chocolate doughnuts…

If you’re a scientist, a nutritionist or a health food fanatic, a word will spring to mind: flavonoids! Both tea and chocolate contain this antioxidant organic compound, which is actually good for you. But this time we aren’t going to talk about health benefits. We want to let our senses do the talking. This post is intended as a guide to satisfying all your tea and chocolate cravings. So here are our favourite combinations:

For a true chocolate feast… . Amber and chocolate brownies

Squidgy, decadent brownies, with an intense chocolate flavour and crunchy chunks of walnuts or hazelnuts require a sumptuous, full-bodied tea like our Taiwanese Amber oolong, with a light smokiness and hints of chocolate and passionfruit. A combination that will satisfy even the greediest chocaholic.

Lahloo Amber and chocolate brownies

Lahloo Amber and chocolate brownies

For a little treat…  Earl Grey and a chocolate madeleine

A petite chocolate madeleine is lighter, fluffier and smaller than a brownie, but sometimes that’s all you need to get your chocolate fix. The zesty flavour of Earl Grey will complement that of the chocolate as they both play in your mouth. If you take your Earl Grey with milk, try dunking your madeleine and enjoy an afternoon tea reminiscent of Marcel Proust, but still quintessentially English.

For a sophisticated healthy boost… Green Jasmine and single origin dark chocolate

Single origin, bittersweet dark chocolate is probably the most satisfying form of cocoa that exists – the food of the gods. Marvel at the way the divine flavours dance on your tongue when you pair the chocolate with a pot of fresh, crisp Green Jasmine tea. You won’t think of champagne and strawberries in the same way ever again.

Green Jasmine and a few pieces of single origin dark chocolate!

Green Jasmine and a few pieces of single origin dark chocolate!

For a dainty dessert… Rosebud and chocolate mousse

There’s something intriguing in a chocolate mousse. The combination of the light, airy texture and the intense flavour of chocolate is intriguing and provokes avid reactions. A cup of the alluring, pure and delicate Rosebud will enhance this otherwordliness and provide the best romantic dessert we can think of.

Enjoy 20% off our chocolate partner tea heroes throughout February. Visit our online shop >> 

Earl Grey chocolate cake

6 Feb

Our star recipe this month is this satisfying and indulgent Earl Grey chocolate cake, one of the regulars at the Lahloo Pantry counter – it never lasts long, as you can imagine! With a decadent chocolate glaze and fresh raspberries to decorate, this cake screams romance, so it’s perfect for your Valentine!

EarlGreyChocLogoIngredients: 

  • 1 1/3 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Lahloo Earl Grey
  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and stir in 1 tbl sp lemon juice)
  • 115g butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 For the chocolate glaze:  
  • 1/4 cup steeped Lahloo Earl Grey (reserved from the previous)
  • 115g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • raspberries to decorate

EarlGreyChocCake

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ gas mark 4. Spray a circular tray with vegetable cooking spray, rubbing it with a paper towel, then lightly flour it, tipping out any excess.
Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves in a small bowl. Steep, cover for 5 minutes, and strain.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk thoroughly. Add one cup of the steeped tea, reserving the remaining for the glaze. Add the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs.
Using an electric mixer on medium high, beat the mixture for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 2 minutes, until smooth. The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared tray.
Bake for 30-45 minutes. Take out and leave to cool for for 15 minutes, then put the cake onto a cooling rack for a further 10 minutes.
To make the glaze:
In a bain-Marie, heat the chocolate and the butter until just melted. Heat the reserved cup of tea in the microwave for 30 seconds until hot, then stir into the chocolate. The mixture will thicken; stir until smooth and pourable. Spoon the glaze over the cake using the back of the spoon and spread lightly. Decorate with raspberries.
Let to set for an hour, then serve at room temperature. The cake may also be frozen.

Destination happiness

6 Feb

We firmly believe in the curative power of a journey or a mini break. Remember the motto “happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life”? Yes, sounds sensible, but in terms of travelling, we beg to disagree! While the journey itself can be incredibly rewarding, we think that happy destinations definitely exist, and that they bring out the best in us because they make us feel more positive and relaxed. In this list you’ll find some exotic spots, but other places that are closer than you think!

Beach of Tangalla, South Sri Lanka, by Milei.vencel

Beach of Tangalla, South Sri Lanka, by Milei.vencel

1. Sri Lanka. 

Amazing beaches, incredible spices that crown the perfect curry, awesome tea (like our own Smoky!), ancient ruins, welcoming locals… This tropical island in Southern Asia is a place to relax, whether this involves snorkeling, whale-watching or dedicating some time to your own spiritual awakening, as there are many meditation courses in English to discover.

Nerja (Málaga)

Nerja (Málaga)

2. Nerja, Spain.  

The Costa del Sol can be very touristy, but some places are less crammed than others. Nerja is a beautiful, friendly fishing village that makes most of its income from tourism, but still feels peaceful, simple and charming. As well as the best possible climate, with proper summer days even in the winter, you’ll enjoy beautiful views, fresh grilled fish by the turquoise sea and thirteen kilometres of beaches. Don’t miss the astonishing, fairytale-like Nerja Caves.

3. Capri, Italy. 

In Greek mythology, Capri was the island of the sirens. Just a few miles off the bay of Naples,  it’s an excellent base to visit Sorrento, Amalfi, Naples, or, if you love history, the ruins of Pompeii. A great place for hiking, swimming, discovering ruins and grottoes and enjoying some of the local delights, such as juicy tomatoes, peppery rocket and creamy buffalo mozzarella. Very busy in the summer months, this is a sunny spring destination that will make you think of the perennial glamour of classic Hollywood films.

4. Cornwall, England. 

Cornwall’s own micro climate means that spring comes earlier here than elsewhere in the UK. This is the place to enjoy traditional English picnics with ginger beer (á la Famous Five) on remote beaches, hike among the wildflowers with the deep blue sea in the background or spend a day visiting dramatic ruins, then enjoy a local pint and some fresh mussels in the pub.

Old streets in Chania, Crete, by Jose Concalves

5. Crete. 

The biggest of the Greek islands is full of wonders: beautiful coastlines with turquoise sea; awe-inspiring  ancient ruins; charming, friendly tavernas where you can enjoy traditional music and complimentary raki; narrow, flowery streets full of artisan products and local olive oil and, of course, the food. Breakfast by the sea with sesame breadrolls, the best feta cheese you’ll ever try, tomato, olive oil, olive tapenade, decadent Greek yoghurt and sweet, cinnamony kalitsounia.

Seven reasons to start drinking Sobacha

4 Feb
Though Sobacha is very popular in Japan and Southeast Asia, you might not be familiar with this nutty, moreish herbal infusion. If you’re into Japanese food, you probably will have tried the delicious soba noodles (great with vegetables and soy sauce!). Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, a gluten-free whole grain related to rhubarb and with no relation to wheat, and Sobacha is the herbal tea made with roasted buckwheat. But why is it so good for you?
  1. Sobacha helps regulate blood sugar levels, so it’s perfect to make you feel fuller for longer and to banish the four o’clock slump.
  2. The roasted nibs are high in fibre that helps flush away toxines, therefore improving your digestion.
  3. Sobacha contains potassium, which regulates water balance in the body. Drinking it regularly can help alleviate water retemption, an easy way to feel slimmer and healthier.
  4. That feelgood factor! Sobacha is rich in Vitamin B, a natural mood enhancer. Perhaps that’s why it’s so comforting!
  5. Sobacha contains antioxidants to protect your body from the inside and give you a healthy glow.
  6. Zinc in Sobacha promotes a healthy complexion, improves stress levels and supports the immune system, so it’s a great caffeine-free alternative if you’re feeling under the weather.
  7. Sobacha contains copper, which contributes to control cholesterol levels and fights anemia.

The caffeine-free diaries. Week 1: the rise and fall

11 Jan

January is the month of the year in which everybody seems to be detoxing. At Lahloo we wanted a gentle approach, so this month is all about Herbal Therapy, a celebration of our herbal infusions (we’re offering 20% off all tisanes throughout the month!). Like many of you, we’ve turned to fresh fruit, lots of homemade vegetable and lean meat dishes, yoga and a relaxed attitude… and we’ve decided to go caffeine-free for a month!

As you probably would imagine, we’re all used to our morning matcha, a comforting cup of  black or a galvanising green hit to inspire us mid-afternoon. We normally save our herbals for the evening or as a bedtime ritual. But this month we want to give them a central place. Herbs are powerful, and each one has a different effect, so we’ll be exploring and discovering the adequate infusion for each moment. We’ll miss the flavour of our favourite teas, that’s for sure, but we believe we can make it through the month without having any caffeine!

Lahloo Sobacha

A vit B-rich combo: Sobacha and Marmite on toast!

Here’s the account of our first caffeine-free week!

Day 1. Monday. 

Feeling optimistic, maybe even a bit high.  Also getting competitive. At the end of the day, we feel virtuous and proud. But it’s only day 1.

Day 2. Tuesday. 

All feeling a bit sleepy in the morning, but nothing too dramatic. Sobacha (roasted buckwheat tea) going down a storm! Protein, minerals, mood-enhancing vitamin B… so much goodness!  Twitter friends warn us of nasty caffeine withdrawal symptoms. We’re still optimistic, as our usual caffeine intake comes from great quality tea, and we have to take the amino acid theanine (which has a soothing effect) into consideration!

Day 3. Wednesday. 

Midweek, and the afternoon is a critical point. After lunch, Hannah and Maria talk about how nice it’d be to eat a whole Amelia Rope chocolate bar. They both miss too much their usual pot of green tea! Meanwhile, Tidus is on a data entry mission… with no Bristol Brew! Kate: “I miss my morning matcha and my afternoon green tea! Not for the buzz but cos I love the flavour. I haven’t felt any rubbish side-effects or missed the caffeine for energy but have a couple of spots!”.

Day 4. Thursday.

It’s a cold day, so Kate has Sobacha and porridge for breakfast (internal central heating!). Maria and Hannah have a quick meeting in which they don’t drink any green tea, but a pot of soothing Rosebud. It’s a nice change, actually – its aromatherapeutical properties are noticeable, the scent and the flavour are as calming as a few minutes of meditation! Maria admits she’s having Genmaicha withdrawals. Hannah doesn’t know if she can live without Matcha (not even for a month).

Day 5. Friday.

Working from home and typing up the post you’re reading, Maria enjoys some Marmite on toast and a pot of Sobacha for elevenses…But just before she hits the Publish button, Twitter delivers the news…. Major caffeine crisis at the office! 

Crisis

What? Treason!

And a minute later… uh - oh

Who was the first to fall? Will we give up after the first crisis?  Answer next week!

If you’ve gone caffeine-free, leave us a comment telling us about your experience! 

Tea Heroes 2012 – the results!

9 Jan

A few weeks ago we asked you to help us choose the Tea Heroes of 2012! First of all, we want to thank you all for your responses. We’ve already contacted the winner of a Tea Discovery tea taster set, so congratulations! Now it’s time to share the results! Hopefully this will help you discover a new tea -or maybe confirm that you were right about your favourites!

teas

OPULENT BLACK ………………….. Spice Chai (32.4%)

Beating Bristol Brew by just one vote, the invigorating and comforting Spice Chai gets to the top of your trusted black teas!

INTRIGUING OOLONG …………… Orchid (36.1%)

This oolong is so stunning that even thieves love it! Our whole consignment of Orchid was stolen and we’re currently trying to source an alternative! True story. Too much Orchid love.

GALVANISING GREEN …………. Matcha (28.6%)

The mighty Matcha gets your vote, followed closely by Green Jasmine. Once you try Matcha there’s no turning back!

ALLURING WHITE …………….. White Peony (30.6%)

This seemed to be a difficult choice! White Peony, Snow Jewel and White Whisper got nearly the same number of votes.

HERBAL THERAPY…………….. Peppermint (28.6%)

The trusted English favourite beats the exotic Mulberry by just one vote!

 

Do you agree with the results?

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