Birthday Afternoon Tea with Green Tea Cake

The afternoon tea party was prepared for a great friend.  Knowing that these are my friends, I felt a bit more free to experiment with a number of new things on the menu.

For scones, in addition to the Lemon Blueberry Scones that I make often, I also made candy ginger scones.  The true ginger lovers were the ones who liked them.

Bacon Cheddar Scone Scone Plate

For the tarts, in addition to the typical Vanilla Pastry Cream Tart topped with fruit, I decided to experiment with Rose Water flavored Pastry Cream.  It turned out fabulous.

Mini Tarts Mini Tarts Detail

The best part about this birthday afternoon tea was the reaction of the birthday girl when she saw the cake.  She was so excited that she was jumping up and down while clapping her hands.  I think we all got a kick out of it.  This cake was highly experimental, using all Asian flavors.  Being a fan of green tea and red bean, I decided to combine the two flavors.  The cake was a green tea sponge cake.  For the filling, I layered green tea pastry cream on top of red bean paste.  For the outside coating, I made a green tea white chocolate ganache.  Then topping the cake with a few pink dogwood flowers along with a bow on the side, the pink and green color combination was just beautiful.

Dogwood Green Tea Cake
Dogwood Green Tea Cake

Dogwood Green Tea Cake Side

Dogwood Green Tea Cake Flower Detail
Dogwood Green Tea Cake Flower Detail

As for the cake, while all liked it, I think I will make some modifications in the future as both the green tea white chocolate ganache and the red bean paste were very sweet.  I look forward to experimenting with this green tea cake again.

Cake Slice

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Magnolia Teapot Cake for Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Teapot Cake

This cake was made for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea party to celebrate Mother’s Day and to remember a very special mother who had gone home to be the Lord two years ago on the date of this year’s Mother’s Day.   Mrs. Mulan L. Z., the second daughter of an older couple, was born around the time of the Sino-Japanese War.  Her father, being without any sons and beyond the age of military service , named her after Mulan Hua, the female Chinese warrior from the Ballad of Mulan* who had taken her father’s place in answering the call to fight for her country.  (Yes, you guessed it right – Mulan Hua is the same Mulan from the Disney cartoon, except that the original story did not have the dragon, nor the gods, nor the story of Mulan rescuing the emperor.)  Although Mrs. Mulan L. Z. was far from being a warrior in the physical sense in her lifetime, she was remembered by her family and friends as a woman who, through the strength God gave her,  overcame many fears in her own life, on the behalf of her family, and encouraged many in her quiet manners.  One of her friends fondly referred to her as “the quiet warrior.”  I am reminded of the Word of God from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”

Magnolia Lillyflora

As a way to remember Mulan, her daughter, Flora, wanted me to make a Mulan, which is actually the name of a flower in Chinese.  While not  certain how the flower really looked like, I did some research and was very surprised to find how  befitting that Mulan, without knowing, had named her two daughters “Lily” and “Flora” – as it turned out, Mulan is a type of Magnolia, namely, Magnolia Lillyflora…  Happy Mother’s Day.

Magnolia Lilliflora with Flower Bud
Rose in Gumpaste

*You may find the original Ballad of Mulan in English at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ballad_of_Mulan.  For Chinese, you may find it at http://home.pacific.net.hk/~shung/favorites/mulan.html.

Red Velvet Cake for Teapot Cake

Bella’s Tea Party Cake

Bella is a vibrant and sweet girl who was about to turn 11-years-old. After looking through my portfolio of cakes, she decided that she wanted an afternoon  tea cake.  Since I wanted to make this cake special for Bella, I incorporated her favorite color – lavender.  In addition, I wanted to make this cake especially cute for this little princess.  Here is the final product.  I hope you like it!  I know Bella did as she saves all the little decorative pieces for her Barbie doll!

The cake is only 6″ in diameter.  All the decorative pieces are hand made.

Bella's Tea Party Cake
Bella’s Tea Party Cake
Bella's Tea Party Cake Top View
Bella’s Tea Party Cake Top View
Teapot with cream and jam bowls, creamer, sugar bowl and sugar tong
Teapot with cream and jam bowls, creamer, sugar bowl and sugar tong
Plate setting with fork, knife, napkin, teacup set with spoon
Plate setting with fork, knife, napkin, teacup set with spoon
Plate detail
Plate detail
Tray with Swiss Roll and Battenburg Cake
Tray with Swiss Roll and Battenburg Cake
Tray with Macaroons
Tray with Macaroons
Mini cake detail
Mini cake detail
Plate with sandwich and pastries
Plate with sandwich and pastries
Table cloth detail with bows
Table cloth detail with bows
Table Spread
Table Spread

Dogwood Cake for a Luncheon

Many flower trees bloom in the spring including dogwood.  These beautiful large and flat flowers, when blooming, look as though they are suspended in the air.

 

According to www.myflowermeanings.com, “the Dogwood flower means endurance, for durability through all seasons.”  This cake was made for a luncheon meeting of a few good friends.  I think the meaning of the flower was the perfect symbol for the friendships that have formed among them.

 

I created a new cake flavor for this Dogwood Cake, a green tea sponge cake with vanilla pastry cream, covered with green tea chocolate ganache.  This is a wonderful cake for green tea lovers.

Back to Africa Cake


Not knowing that, one day, my fate was going to be intimately tied to this land, Africa seemed a place too distant to be reached as a child. Its vast species of animals and the wild beauty of its landscape have fascinated me from an early age. As a trip to this exotic land was a far dream back then, I had to settle on following “Nature”, the TV program, to give wings to my little heart to glide over the open fields and mountainsides of Africa.

Although my dream of going to Africa has not been realized just yet, an opportunity presented itself for me to celebrate the birthday of one of my dearest friend, E, by taking a trip down memory lane Back to Africa with him. E had brought back a beautiful wall ornament from African. This ornament is like a small painting. As I admired this piece of art, E explained that it was made with banana leaves, depicting a scene from an African village in the older days with traditional huts and women beating corns in a bucket. Although these traditional huts rarely exist today, E fondly remembered the times he did spend with his grandmother in huts just like these as a child.

So for E’s birthday cake, I decorated the cake with a scene from a traditional African village on top of a vanilla butter cake with raspberry chocolate ganache.

The huts are sculpted 3-D cakes covered with straws on the roof made with modeling chocolate. The huts have wooden doors and windows made with modeling chocolate.

In front of the huts, two ladies are beating corn with a wooden stick.

Another lady is carrying a water bucket on top of her head as traditional African women do.

A typical African tree stands to the left side of the huts.

Ah, the beauties of Africa!  My heart longs to be Back to Africa to glide over its meadows again, even it is just in a dream.  May this cake give wings to your heart, to take you Back to Africa to relive some of your fondest memories, dearest E.  And Happy Birthday!

If you would like a custom-made cake for a special occasion, please feel free to contact me at tweetealicious@gmail.com.  You may also subscribe to future postings by clicking on the “Sign Me Up!” button to the right at www.tweetealicous.com or find Twee-tea-licious on Facebook and join the network for future postings.

Ringing in the New Year with an Afternoon Tea Cake

For a celebratory party, a client requested an Afternoon Tea Cake to ring in the new year.  He was so in love with the Afternoon Tea Cake that I made couple months ago that he wanted exactly the same cake!  Being that I do not like to “look back”, I made a more elaborate Afternoon Tea Cake to go with this special celebration of 2012.

The entire cake is edible with the exception of the 2 rods in the tea stands.  All the decorative pieces are made with modeling chocolate and sugar paste.

Here is the tea set with some gold lines and rims.

The napkins are made with gold borders for the new year occasion.

A tray full of colorful cookies.

A tray decked with Battenburg Cake and Swiss Roll and all of their details.

A tea stand filled with Red Velvet Cakes, Eclairs, and Cupcakes.

The other tea stand filled with multi color Petit Fours.

Trying to incorporate in the celebration of the new year, four plates are filled with oval cookies that shaped into “2012”.

Dessert plates with goodies from the tea stands and trays.

Last but not least is a three-tier cake topped with a hand-made rose set on a golden platform.

I got a text from the client next morning letting me know that the new Afternoon Tea Cake became the attraction at the party and that the guests did not want to eat the cake but to stare at it!  I was very happy to receive the news.  Happy New Year!

Afternoon Tea Cake

Why not make an Afternoon Tea table spread theme cake for a great afternoon tea with some friends?  That was what came to my mind when a request came for a cake for a small afternoon tea party.  I think if I were a little girl, I would have wanted to keep the miniature table setting for my next tea party play date!

The tea set came with napkins, creamer and a sugar bowl!

The tea stand is almost fully edible with the exception of the rod in the center.  It is loaded with small cakes, scones and eclairs.

The tiny rose on top of the double tier cake was made petal by petal by hand.

As for the cake?  It is a Yellow Cake with Fresh Raspberry Chocolate Ganache.  The tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the chocolate and cake was a wonderful combination which was well received by everyone at the party.

Trivia of the Day – November 9

Where did Black Forest Cake gets it name from?

Fall Swirl Cake
  1. The legend of the Red Riding Hood
  2. The Black Forest of Germany
  3. The dark chocolate color which looks almost black
  4. A specialty liquor used in the cake
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Answer: 4
Kirschwasser which specialty liquor from the Black Forest Mountain region in Germany.  It is a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries and is typically added to the cake.

Trivia of the Day – November 8

Who invented Chocolate Chips?

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
  1. The Mayans
  2. Nestle
  3. Toll House Inn
  4. Ruth Wakefield

 

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Answer: 4
In 1933, Ruth Wakefield who owned Toll House Inn with her husband prepared cookies for her guests.  While using a cut-up Nestle chocolate bar as a substitute for something she did not have, she created the chocolate chip cookie.  Nestle stuck a deal with her later to print her recipe on their Toll House Inn brand chocolate chips in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate.