Tea Totaling

Tea Time Treat: Chocolate Loaf Cake

About a year ago, I embarked on a project to adapt a beautifully illustrated but dreadfully written cookbook, Maison Kayser’s French Pastry Workshop: a Step-by-Step Guide. You can read my review and those of many other disappointed home cooks, on GoodReads. Basically, the ingredient lists are a joke, containing things like, “1 ½ cups + 1 T. + 2 t. of confectioner’s sugar.”  I did not make that up, it is on page 12. And it is NOT a step-by-step guide to anything, unless tearing one’s hair out in frustration is the goal…

 I have previously posted recipes I have adjusted and rigorously tested, and today, I am finally ready to post Chocolate Loaf Cake.  This one has proved a little tricky, but I think that the following ingredients and instructions will allow the home cook reliable and tasty results.

I have tried this cake with both hazelnut flour/liqueur/nuts and almonds, both work fine. If you don’t have mini-chips, just put regular sized ones in a blender or a food processor and chop them up–the smaller bits won’t sink in the cake. I have found that the cooking time is variable, so I am sorry that is not more precise–you know your oven, hopefully. Warning–this cake is like brownies in that a regular tester won’t work–it will come out with crumbs, and you do have to be careful not to overbake or underbake, both are bummers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do–it is a really good cake, now that the ingredients are in manageable, measurable numbers. If you would like to print as a PDF, here is that option.

Tea Totaling

Why Loose Leaf Tea Matters…

Loose Leaf Tea

If you love tea, you might wonder, what’s the big deal?  Here it is in a nutshell: Loose leaf tea is generally a higher quality–they save the bits and ends to put in bags, so using loose leaf gives you a better flavor.  If you don’t want to use a strainer, try getting a tea pot with a basket or a filter built in.  I found this one at a flea market for $2.00.


Still not sure?  Give it a try, I think you will be able to taste the difference.  The tea I am drinking today is a Coconut Oolong from The Spice and Tea Exchange in San Antonio Texas. I put a slice of lime in just for fun, and it’s delicious!

Tea Totaling

Need a tea time treat? Try this…

Tea Brack made from the recipe at King Arthur Flour, here. The only changes I made to the recipe were to add lemon zest from one lemon and use Jack Daniels Tennessee Apple Whiskey instead of Irish Whiskey. It’s delicious and a wonderful addition to your afternoon tea. The Harney & Sons Paris Tea from World Market is fantastic–slightly floral scented Black Tea. Give both a try with your latest book!

Tea Totaling

Welcome to Readerly!

photography of blue ceramic coffee cup
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. — Henry James

If you enjoy the company of a great book with a cuppa, you have come to the right place.  Having spent some time on a book selection committee, I have learned that life is too short for terrible books!  Toward that end, I will be exploring well-loved classics and new classics here at Readerly.  I will strive to give you recommendations you can count on–as a librarian, I take reader’s advisory seriously.  I have been reviewing books for over twenty years; my areas of interest include Classics, like Jane Austen and our friend Henry James above, Thrillers, Mysteries, Literary Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, History, True Crime, Baking, and more.

On our journey together, there will be tea…I am an unapologetic Anglophile, so tea is important, as well as “tea things.”  As every teatotaler knows, there is a correct way to prepare tea, and we will adhere to that. I do, however, admit to using lemon rather than milk, mostly because I like lemon.

I hope you will join me in forming a book club for tea drinkers.  Pinkies up!