Chocolate & Date Tea Bread
There would always be a cake at home, afternoon tea in the Tea Estates are a ritual and those old Cooks in the B'lows were absolutely efficient and well organised. The trolley would be rolled in as soon as it was 5pm ( Garden Time but of course!, which is an hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time, because the Sun rose early in the Eastern part of the country and one made use of the sunlight, common sense).
Starched napkins, Tea pots with tea cozies and a old Bearer, for some reason we never called them butler. The bearer literally ran the house not the Memsahib, although she would like to think she did!
My experience taught me early on, keep the bearer on your side, to make life a breeze and feel that one had a grasp of one's own home.
Cakes were made the traditional way, creaming the butter and sugar and weighing the measurements in ounces! Without a doubt they baked the best damn cakes and the lightest souffles and without any fancy gadgets. Tea loaf was quite popular, these are a cross between a cake and bread. In texture they were more like cake but a little dense and you can always slather on some butter. The Tea loaf has a beatiful skin and a little rustic to look at don't be fooled by their looks they are full of flavour and compliments perfectly with a cup of fresh tea.
I no longer live in the idyllic setting of the Tea Estates but in the bustling city but still indulge in the tradition of having a Cake at home and tea is still an emotion and a ritual.
Sharing below a recipe of a simple yet one of the most delicious and moist Tea Cakes made with dates and almost no sugar and Chocolate. The dates add not just sweetness but also makes the Cake super moist.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback.
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