Monday, June 27, 2011

English Tea Party: Tea Bread

I love the British.  They’re so interesting with their odd names for things.  For instance, this is called tea bread:
Not a very good shot, sorry.

...which more has the consistency of cake.  

Which is not to be confused with teacakes...

...that have the consistency of cookies.  

And cookies, in the UK, are called biscuits.  Whereas biscuits in America look like this:

Which are much more similar to muffins in England...

...which are nothing like our muffins. 

It’s all delightfully confusing.  And that's without bothering to bring up any mix-ups with bacon, chips, or jelly (and don’t worry, we’ll address those things in a couple of weeks). 

Of course, we can’t go getting annoyed at the British for their odd names.  After all, we named our food long after they named theirs.  And for the most part, we renamed stuff just for the sake of being different from the British.  I blame Noah Webster, who wrote the first set of American dictionaries, the most notable one published in 1828, and changed the spelling of a bunch of stuff in order to celebrate American nationalism.  It was a nice enough idea, I suppose, and it is convenient to not have to worry about superfluous U’s in words like “color” or “favorite.”  But it’s good to remember that, while some aspects of British culture seem odd to us, we were the ones who actually changed stuff.

Tangent over.  Back to tea bread.  Julie chose this recipe because it has chocolate in it.  I approved.  It was my second favorite treat we made after the teacakes.  It’s delicious, and super easy.  You should try it, too!

Conversions for weird British recipes (And I feel justified in saying "weird" since they're the ones who switched to metric on us.  We still use the English system!): 225 grams = 8 ounces = 1 cup = 16 tablespoons.  Therefore, 2 tbsp = 1 oz and 3 oz = 6 tbsp, or ¼ cup + 2 tbsp.

Follow the links for caster sugar and self-raising flour if you need substitutes for those ingredients.  For caster sugar, you have to scroll down a bit.

Marbled Chocolate Teabread
Servings: about 10 slices
225 g (8 oz) butter – 2 sticks/1 cup
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
finely grated rind of 1 large orange
15 ml (1 tbsp) orange juice
few drops orange flower water (optional)
75 g (3 oz) plain chocolate
15 ml (1 tbsp) cocoa powder

  1. Grease a 900 ml (2 pint) loaf tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour.
  3. Transfer half of the mixture to another bowl and beat in the orange rind, juice and orange flower water, if using.
  4. Break the chocolate into pieces, put into a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water . Stir until the chocolate melts. (Or heat up for 2o seconds in the microwave, stir, and repeat until chocolate is melted.  Careful not to burn it!)  Stir into the remaining cake mixture with the cocoa powder.
  5. Put alternate spoonfuls of the two mixtures into the prepared tin. Use a knife to swirl through the mixture to make a marbled effect, then level the surface.
  6. Bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, until well risen and firm to the touch. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Serve cut in slices.

Zesting is such a pain.

Aww... I miss Julie.

Mixing chocolate into chocolate portion

Wow, my bangs were outta control.  It looks like I have a small mammal on my forehead!

Yay us!  Adding alternating spoonfuls of each portion.

Look at that beauty!

It’s so easy, and so yummy!  I love that chocolate orange flavor.  If you love that flavor combo, too, try this and let me know what you think!  You'll come to understand why Gwendolen preferred bread over cake, because this stuff is pretty darn yummy!

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