Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Importance of Tea

The importance of taking time for tea in our fast-paced society today may seem trivial, but is all the more necessary--just that time to breathe and appreciate life for a moment. It can be so hard to make space in our busy lives, but when we do it's well worth it! This teatime can be a moment to read a good book, knit a few rows, sit outside and enjoy the flowers, appreciate some of our favorite art, or listen to inspiring music.  We can share this time with a friend or enjoy a bit of solitude.  Whatever we choose, this time feeds our soul.

Teatime has been a part of life for many years.  What better example of these peaceful moments than a few pieces from my favorite artists.  

Mary Cassatt

Pierre Auguste Renoir 

John Everett Millais

This week I had the pleasure of sharing my teatime with some close friends.  For some unfathomable reason, many of my two- legged friends do not share my enthusiasm for dog biscuits (unbelievable right?), so I made a cake which was much more to their liking.

This favorite recipe was clipped from a magazine a while back (sadly I don't remember what magazine).  I thought you might enjoy it.

Flour-less Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cup pecans- 1 cup fine ground, 3/4 cup coarse chopped 
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) + 3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
8 eggs, separated 
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
fresh raspberries

                                    oven 350F, 9" springform pan           
                                    greased and papered  

* melt 8 oz. chocolate with 1/2 cup butter
* beat yolks and sugar in large bowl 
* stir in fine ground pecans and melted chocolate
* in second bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks
* stir 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture
* gently fold rest of whites into chocolate mixture until there
  are no white streaks
* spread evenly into pan

bake 30-35 minutes until cake is set and slightly puffed
let cool completely, then invert onto plate

* melt 6 oz. chocolate with 3 Tablespoons butter
* stir in vanilla
* spread evenly over top and side of cake
* press coarse pecans onto side and refrigerate uncovered until
  glaze is set
* decorate with fresh raspberries

"A person should hear a little music, read a little poetry and see a fine picture every day in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  1. That cake looks delicious - wish I was there having a piece with you right now. We have a little four-legged friend next door who enjoys dog biscuits a little too much. Instead of sitting with us & having her belly rubbed, she hangs out in the kitchen staring at the biscuit box. We don't know what to do with her. Any advice??

    1. Personally, I would attempt engaging her in intelligent conversation on a topic to her liking, and if that doesn't work be the ALFA!

    2. Dear me, I believe I spelled that wrong! What I meant was ALPHA, which is also the first letter of the Greek ALPHAbet.

  2. You are indeed a domestic goddess Miss K-D! But perhaps you might advise how you keep your figure so trim. If I were to eat such a delicious cake, my tummy would expand far too rapidly!

    1. My motto is everything in moderation and vigorous daily walking.

  3. And I would like to know Miss K-D's hair stylist! She is always so chic-looking!

    1. Thank you I'm glad you think so! My hair stylist is an avant garde artist who gives haircuts on the side to individuals favoring a unique look. It's a lengthy creative process often involving pinking shears or kitchen scissors.

  4. Dear Katherine Delores,
    Today was tea-and-brunch-with-friends Sunday! A social event that I always look forward to. Initially I was at a loss as to what to bring to the brunch. Then, luckily I remembered your flour-less chocolate cake recipe. It came out perfectly- I even added a few extra berries. My friends ate nearly the entire cake! KD, it was so dog-gone good! I was pleased that there was a sliver left to go with my evening tea. Mmmm! I wonder what kind of tea you find goes best with the cake. And I'm also wondering if you made that delightful navy blue apron that you're wearing in the photo.

  5. I'm delighted to hear that the cake worked so well! Often one would pair a black tea with chocolate, but personally I prefer a lighter tea maybe green especially with the raspberries; so, it's all personal taste (literally). The apron was a gift from a friend and is a Swedish-inspired design.

  6. Oh, Ms. K.D., I am gluten intolerant and could not enjoy your dog biscuits anyway. However, your cake is perfect for me and I will definitely give it a try!