Tea Experience: Tracycakes Bakery Cafe

Tracycakes Bakery Cafe
Murrayville, Langley, BC
Signature High Tea – $25 each

I recently had the opportunity to have the Signature High Tea at Tracycakes Bakery Cafe, located in Murrayville, Langley. There is also another location of Tracycakes, which is located in Abbotsford, BC. Tracycakes is located in a quaint little building at 5 corners, which is a 5-way intersection with a roundabout in Langley, BC. The intersection is historic, with some of the buildings lovingly kept up for over 130 years.

Inside of Tracycakes, there’s cute table settings on each of the marble topped tables, with chalk artwork throughout. Copies of newsarticles about Tracycakes adorn the walls, with a long, comfy benchseat along one wall. There’s meal options, along with the Signature High Tea, on the menu – and you can also order food to-go. The dishes for our table settings were white and stood out nicely against the white and grey marble table top.

My friend and I both ordered the Signature High Tea, which came with a top of tea for each of us – she had the Cream of Earl Grey while I had the Earl Grey Lavender. Both of which are black teas and quite traditional for afternoon tea. There was also sugar bowls on the table with silver tongs, and a miniature pitcher of milk. The lavender aroma from the Earl Grey Lavender stood out quite nicely.

And then there was the food! There were two tiers -sandwiches and savouries on the bottom with the pastries and sweets on the top.

For the sandwiches, we each received a quarter-sandwich of egg salad, cucumber, tomato & basil, and turkey & cranberry. What I found interesting was that the egg salad had white bread on one side and whole wheat on the other, although it didn’t really affect the taste too much. My favourite of the four sandwich offerings was the tomato and basil because the basil was just so flavourful.

With the savouries was also a savoury palmier, which consisted of basil and cheese. This was really nice, had a nice crisp to it with a nice salty quality to it, thanks to the cheese.

And now… the sweets! Starting with the confectioner sugar dusted scone, the scone was loaded with poppyseed and cranberry. The cranberries themselves were a touch tart, but it balanced well with the sweetness of the confectioners sugar. To pair with the scone, Tracycakes included devonshire cream, raspberry jam, and lemon curd. I opted to pair my scone with devonshire cream and raspberry jam since I decided the lemon curd may be a bit much with the cranberries in the scone.

We each got a brownie square, which I found to be very sweet with the icing on top. For someone who loves sugar, I was just not feeling it that morning. There was also a variety of cupcakes. One of them was vanilla and coconut, while another was vanilla and lavender. My friend had the lavender cupcake but said she couldn’t really taste the lavender. I found the coconut one to be very rich in flavour for both the frosting and the cake itself, it was really tasty and I would go back for a cupcake.

There was a small triangle cookie, which I believe to have been a sugar cookie. Also had icing on top, very sweet – but had a great buttery flavour to it and was flakey, so I definitely enjoyed that cookie and it was one of my favourites of the sweets tier.

Throughout both tiers, we had some fresh fruit (primarily sliced strawberries, with a couple of blueberries), which was nice considering it can be hard to find nice fresh fruit with the current season. I really liked Tracycakes’ creative use of egg cups as containers to hold the lemon curd and one of the cupcakes, it just really added another level of whimsy to it.

Tracycakes wasn’t too busy when my friend and I first arrived, but the cafe was quite bustling with activity by the time we had left – with plenty of reserved signs on tables for people wanting their own high tea on a Wednesday. I really enjoyed the variety in food that was offered with the Signature High Tea, and found that the flavours were overall enjoyable. I really did like my tea selection (Earl Grey Lavender), and found that it worked well with a little bit of sugar and milk – although the lavender flavour and aroma was quite strong without any additives as well. For the price, I definitely think that Tracycakes puts on a good Signature High Tea and would go again. It seemed like quite a child-friendly location – there were a few tables that had babies and young children – so it’s an option for those who maybe don’t want to take their kids to a location with a lot of vintage tea cups everywhere.

How to Make Shaped Sugar Cubes

I have made it no secret that I love afternoon tea. There’s something decadent about having three tiers of petite savories and sweets, freshly made Devonshire cream in little pots just waiting to go onto a warm scone, and those little bowls of sugar cubes. I love popping one into my cup and watching it dissolve before adding a touch of cream to a nice cup of Earl Grey.

The frugal girl in me hates the idea of both buying regular white sugar and sugar cubes when it’s all the same thing (right?), and then there’s the lack of organic cane sugar or golden sugar that comes in cube form – at least at my local grocery stores. Which really begs the question: is there a way to DIY it? You bet there is!

Ingredients:

½ cup white granulated sugar (or the sugar of your choice)
1½ to 2 tsp water
Gel food colouring (optional)

You’ll need a bowl and a spoon for mixing, and some kind of silicone mold. A regular ice cube tray has cavities that are much too large. I’d suggest looking at candy molds if your local kitchen supply or big box arts & crafts store carries them (I’ve also had luck finding cute candy molds in some dollar stores). The number of sugar ‘cubes’ you’ll wind up really depend on the size of your molds.

Directions:

Mix the sugar and water (and food colouring) until it clumps together like wet sand.
Press the sugar into the silicone mold.
Set the mold aside to dry overnight or for a day. If the mold has very deep cavities, it will take longer for each cavity to fully dry.
Once dry, you can push the shaped sugar cubes out of each cavity one by one.

If kept in a dry container, these sugar ‘cubes’ should be essentially shelf stable indefinitely (but you probably won’t keep it around for that long). If you are making them for a tea party and you are planning to travel with them, I would recommend nestling them in a paper towel in a small container so they don’t move around as much (less potential for breakage!).

Feel free to colour these sugar shapes for your events! You can easily customize them to be pink for Valentine’s, red & green for the holidays, orange & black for Halloween, and whatever colour you want for a bestie’s bridal shower. As long as you can find it as a food colouring option, it’s a possibility. Custom shaped sugar cubes can be just really darling and really make an even all that more special. Or you can just make your Saturday afternoon tea all that more special for yourself, because why not?

 

Outdoor Summer Tea Party

If you follow me on Instagram (@onemoresteep), you might have already heard about or seen photos from my outdoor summer tea party last week! If you missed it, or you’re interested in learning more about what went into the tea party, continue reading!

I started planning this back in May when I first stumbled across the teal and pink flamingo paper plates and napkins at a local dollar store – which is really when the whole idea started rolling. I also picked up an extra pitcher (for lemonade), the pink table cloth, and a green serving platter at my local dollar store as well.

There were eight people total (and two dogs!), and it was held at a local park that had covered picnic tables. It was actually a pretty awesome day, weather-wise. There was some overcast in the morning and it led to the entire day being a lot cooler than it had been in previous days.

Everyone got a pineapple or a cactus glass drinking cup at their seat – and this was also something that they got to take home as well. This turned out to be a huge hit. I got both the pineapple glasses and the cactus glasses from Stokes.

Food items that I brought included: ham, cheese & lettuce sandwiches, turkey & cranberry pinwheels (wraps that are sliced), egg salad croissants (inspired by Little White House), cheese rice crackers. Food items that my guests had brought: fruit salad (so many blueberries!), cupcakes, chocolate covered cream puffs (!), and brownies.

Of course, there was tea! I cold-steeped two fruit infusions from DavidsTea – Just Peachy and Strawberry Lemonade. I also made a pitcher of ‘regular’ lemonade using organic lemons and agave syrup.

Each guest was sent home with a little goodie bag consisting of honey sticks (from the Honeybee Centre), strawberry Pocky, guava candy, and little tins of tea (assorted varieties). The goodie bags for the kiddo attendees also included a sheet of tea-themed stickers.

As it was kid-friendly, I kept the food simple and nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, and I think it worked out pretty well. Especially since they weren’t kids I’m often around, I don’t know how adventurous they are with food. That said, the iced tea choices were hit between kids and adults alike, and pretty much all of the food was gone by the end of it so I would call that a success!