Austen Tea Party

Has any of you seen the Austen 1995 film Pride and Prejudice? If you have you know that it is five hours long and is a beautiful.  The blue-ray edition has been released, and I must say it is so pretty, but not too over done.  In some scenes, one can see the grainy-ness of “old” filming, but the scenes of the English countryside was amazing! And throughout we commented on their china patterns.  I had not really looked at them closely; thankfully we were able to find the names of the patterns.  Yesterday we watched the whole film in its stunning color while having a very long tea part!  Here is the menu:

Austen Tea Party

Mini Quiches
Chicken salad

Sweet Scones
Cheese Scones
with pumpkin butter, blackberry jam, and butter

Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Royal Regale Wine
Bingley Ltd. Teas


Along with the film, we tasted several teas from Bingley Ltd. teas, the Jane Austen series.  More on the tasting later; for a “taste” though, I would say all the teas are lovely!  As I said before with my other tea tasting, we used the tea bags to brew each new tea.  This is becoming more my favorite thing to do.  During this past month, I have pondered and been asked the question, what is one to do when brewing more than one cup of loose leaf tea?  Leaving the tea leaves in the pot will cause the tea to become bitter.  I read that in the olden days, they would brew the tea, then pour the brewed tea in another teapot over a sieve to catch the leaves.  (That just seems really complicated!)  Another idea is to use an infuser basket.  Some of the tea websites sell teapots with removable infuser baskets in them, and others sell the infuser baskets themselves.  I did buy one at Teavanna; I have used it everyday, and love it.  The only drawback is that it is not that big.  The best idea yet for a large teapot is the teabags.  Amazon sells 100 large tea filter for only eight dollars, brand name Fimun num Tea Filters.  They also sell tea clips that hold the tea bags closed. All the tea websites sell tea filters as well.  Clean up is easier than the infuser, and each filter holds six cups worth of tea.  I highly recommend them.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Courtesy of Tea Time Magazine

1 cup boiling water
1 cup finely chopped dates
1 cup butter, softened and divided
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
1 egg
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
Garnish: whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8 by 8 inch baking dish.  In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the chopped dates; set aside.  In  a large bowl, beat together ½ cup butter and ¼ cup brown sugar for about 4 minutes until pale in color.  Beat in the egg, scrapping down the sides.  Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and ⅛ teaspoon salt.  Mix until well combined.  Add the vanilla and the dates with their water.  Mix throughly.  Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until firm.
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining ½ cup butter over medium heat.  Add ¾ cup brown sugar, cream, and remaining salt.  Cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the pecans.
Using a 2 ¼ inch round cutter, cut 12 rounds of the cake.  On each serving plate, stack two rounds, and top with toffee sauce.  Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.  Serve immediately.  The stacked cake was almost too rich.  For a tea with other sweets, I would only serve 1 rounded cake.
Serves 6-12.

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2 Responses to Austen Tea Party

  1. Pingback: Goin’ to the chapel! | Tea with SB

  2. elaine Atkins says:

    Dad and I just love Sticky pudding! We had it in Manchester, England. I will try it!

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