Monday, March 26, 2012

Chamomile Tea Cake with Honey Icing + Joy the Baker Cookbook Giveaway

If you don't already read Joy's blog, Joy the Baker, well, you should. Her blog is one part confessional, one part food blog, and a whole heaping measure of girly fun. (Sorry for the terrible ratio pun- I couldn't help myself. Somehow I think Joy would approve. She seems a little nerdy that way, too.)

Joy recently released the Joy the Baker Cookbook that includes 100 recipes with accompanying photos that she shot herself. She calls the book a "celebration of butter and sugar." That's a woman after my own heart. Hyperion, the publisher, was kind enough to send me a review copy of the book and a copy to give away. If you'd like to win the book, be sure to leave a comment below. I'll pick a winner via random drawing on Sunday, April 1st.


The recipes Joy chose for the book are sure to please- not too difficult and most can be whipped up quickly. There's a great selection to choose from, including a full chapter on breakfast with myriad pan cake recipes to a chapter on party desserts that travel well. I've marked a couple of ice cream recipes that I can't wait to dig in to. She does include a recipe or two that calls for whole wheat flour but largely, this is a book for those of us with a sweet tooth who don't mind indulging once in a while. (Or maybe more often- if so, check out the chapter on chocolate for dinner.)

I don't know how you could read Joy's book and blog and not come away liking her. She writes like your best girlfriend would write to you- Renee and I are convinced that if she just met us, she'd like us too and we'd all be fast friends. I suspect most of Joy's readers feel that way. While it's a fun read, you can tell she put a lot of heart and hard work into this book.  I hope she makes it to Austin on the book tour so I can give her a big hug and let her know she did good. Just like I would for a girlfriend...


You can find the recipe for this tea cake on Joy's site- she posted about it on the date her book was published.

I actually adapted her marshmallow recipe for my first attempt at baking from the book. The marshmallows were scrumptious on their own but I made them for the express purpose of using them to top the s'mores brownies recipe that caught my eye. In the brownie recipe, Joy calls for using store bought marshmallows- direction, in hindsight, that I should have heeded. My homemade marshmallows melted into pools of stickiness that prevented the brownie batter from baking properly. I'm guessing the preservatives (or some such) in commercially made marshmallows allow them to hold up better when baked in the brownies. My attempt was a total flop and were I Joy, I'm sure I could spin it into a hilarious story. But I'm not and I don't want to misrepresent her book by posting about a flop that was due to my not following directions.

This tea cake looked tasty so I decided to give it a whirl. I made a loaf cake instead of individual mini cakes by doubling the cake ingredient quantities. I used a loose leaf grade chamomile tea instead of a finely ground, bagged tea. I liked the contrast the texture added to the cake but you could easily use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to grind up loose tea if you prefer a finer texture. Or you could buy bagged tea and snip open the bags to free up the amount of tea called for. Also, while I didn't double all of the icing ingredient quantities, to thin it out a bit to better coat the cake, I did double the amount of cream and honey called for in the recipe.

18 comments:

  1. Sounds fabulous and looks beautiful! This definitely inspires me to want to bake:)

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  2. Love joy and would love to win this cookbook :)

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  3. Shelly that cake is gorgeous! I love that you used the less fine tea. You are correct it gives a beautiful texture to the finished look. This book sounds like a Joy to read (pun intended) Hope all is well over in your kitchen (another pun I better quit)

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  4. WHO EATS ALL YOUR GOODIES???


    I just added Joy the Baker in my reader this week. She was being linked left and right elsewhere in my reader.

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  5. Such a gorgeous cake! I bet you'd give even Joy a run for her money.

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  6. What an unusual recipe, sounds very nice. I have never seen a cake using chamomile.

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  7. Funny, I just made her chocolate bundt cake on the weekend - super delicious, too. I've never baked with tea, but this loaf leaves me inclined to do so. Joy's the best :)

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  8. I have been reading her blog for a bit now. I love the recipes and her style of postings.

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  9. This is such a pretty tea cake! The tea leaves on top of the frosting look great. And, chocolate for dinner? I need to know more about this.

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  10. Wow, Shelley, what a beautiful cake, so elegant with the icing and how you decorated. Would love to have a slice of this cake with a cup of tea :)
    Hope you are having a fabulous week and great giveaway book!

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  11. What a great giveaway! Your tea cake is just beautiful. I have been reading Joy the Baker for a long time and am thrilled that she has a cookbook out. Thank you for sharing your marshmallow story because it is something many of us might have tried to do. It makes perfect sense to me to want to use homemade marshmallows instead of store bought in the s'mores brownies.

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  12. I love cakes of all sorts but this one looks so pretty. A celebration of butter and sugar - even the words make me smile - sounds like my sort of celebration!

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  13. Congrats to Cat for winning the giveaway! I've sent an email to the address on your blogger account to request your mailing address so I can send the book. Thanks to all for stopping by!

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  14. Yum. How utterly delicious! I'm sad I missed the giveaway, but that's life, I suppose. I might have to buy this one :) How are you feeling, mama? xo

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  15. I am so sorry to have missed this giveaway. Seems like a book I should own! I love the chamomile effect on the cake. Hmm.. on the other hand, my birthday is coming up and I might be eligible for one copy :)

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  16. @redmenace Doing pretty good. Just getting bigger by the day- but I guess that's by design :-)

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  17. Hi Shelley!! I just moved to Austin a few weeks ago & am so thrilled to be following so many other Austin food bloggers now! When I lived in Wichita, KS, I only knew of 2 other bloggers so this is a great change! So looking forward to following you!!

    I love Joy the Baker too!! I wish she's come to Austin for her book signing!!

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  18. Shelley, oh my gosh I miss you and your blog! First of all, love love this recipe. What a killer combo. But second, where did you go?? I'm back and now you are gone haha. But am I hearing a little rumor about a bun in the oven or did I read that wrong??? :)
    xoxo Leti

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