Tates Bake Shop

“She doesn’t want to fight. She’d rather write poetry, make brownies, drink herbal tea and watch the clouds roll by. None of the dragons she knows breathes fire, so she doesn’t, either.”
Christina Day

Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for FriendsMilk chocolate brownies! I have never considered baking with milk chocolate, never turned to the Google Gods for milk chocolate recipes. It’s just something that isn’t me. In  my mind, maybe for some silly reason, milk chocolate is sweet & un-chocolaty, and good for young kids alone! A through and through dark chocolate {read bitter dark} person, I often steer clear of  white chocolate as well! Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for Friends Yet, the recipe caught my eye while leafing through Kathleen Kings fresh new baking book ‘Baking for Friends‘ {more about the book on the Chocolate-Pear Tea Cake}. It was reassuring to read I am not alone in my dark chocolate leanings. Kathleen writes, “You can probably tell from my recipes that I’m a dark chocolate fan. I don’t bake with milk chocolate often, but each time I do, I am pleasantly surprised how delicious it is.” Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for FriendsI don’t sport much of a sweet tooth but a little nibble confirmed the chocolaty goodness. The kids loved them … fudgy, chocolaty, moist milk chocolate brownies! Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for Friends, Kathleen KingThe past few days have been T I R I N G ! Playing chauffeur to the kids is tiring. Out at day break day before at some unearthly hour to pick up the daughter who had slept over at a friends’ after a late Enrique concert. Back home, daily chores, drove her to art class, then dropped junior for a Dussehra mela {festive fair}. Out again past 9pm to first pick up junior & his friend, then pick up the daughter, drop friend home … just as well that I enjoy driving! Every days seems the same ….

Coco, the cocker spanielAll this while the hub is in HKG for almost a month so my work seems cut out for me. What keeps me going? Much!! The cocker who flings herself at me every morning like she hasn’t seen me in years, that she melts into submission at meal times, ears ‘clipped‘ back and ready to do anything for food {a home cooked meal!}, that she can chew on a blade of dried lemon grass for hours and enjoy it so much!


… that 3 times this week a butterfly has bounced off the windscreen while I was driving, that the ever charming junior hasn’t got into a spot of trouble at school for one whole week {yes, an achievement}, that the senior teen made stunning lantern invites for the drama fest at school…{began from plain white rolls of paper and made 30 of these; never mind that she spray painted the house in the bargain},

… that butterflies are all over the garden, that my lime tree of many years has finally bloomed a single bud, that the tangerine shrub is laden with fruit, that 3 cherry tomato plants are growing strong, the Thai chili plant is prospering, that I have finally begun walking almost every morning finally thanks to inspiration from friendsFall 2012… that every time I sit down to be with junior teen in front of the telly, he thinks it’s to watch Julie & Julia. Runs it for me for the 100th time, then keeps checking me out to see if I am enjoying it. He’s also trying really HARD to stop biting his nails as I have asked for ‘un-bitten nails‘ as a birthday present next month! Passion fruit… I am touched that a reader of my blog mailed me passion fruit all the way from South India. The rustic appeal and colour made my heart skip a beat! Thank you Twinsey Rachel. I am humbled that you still remembered our conversation of over 2 years ago! Reading snippets from updates on the moving sidebar on facebook I am beginning to count the blessing. Simplify life is the call!

Curry projectIt’s the little things that matter and I’m striving to make each day better!  I am honoured to be part of a curry testing project with Alex from Denmark, and another that is based in the US. Both involve what I love most – food! That the blog is being fed a little more regularly is also a happy feeling!

Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for Friends, Kathleen King I am ever grateful that the good folk at Tate’s Bake Shop considered it worthwhile to mail me a copy of Kathleen Kings new baking book, Baking for Friends, even though I live halfway across the globe! I reviewed it on the Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread, and now it’s time to share some more goodness. Seems to be chocolate all the way, and this time was a surprise – Milk Chocolate Brownies!! Milk Chocolate Brownies, Baking for Friends, Kathleen King

[print_this]Recipe: Milk chocolate brownies {one bowl}

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Summary: You got to believe in the deliciousness of milk chocolate when you nibble these fudgy, chocolaty, moist milk chocolate brownies! Adapted very minimally from Baking for Friends, Kathleen King.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 100g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 250g / 9oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 90g / scant 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 90g / 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 10g / 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 9″ square tin with parchment.
  2. Melt butter gently in a microwave safe bowl {or in a saucepan over low heat}, add the finely chopped chocolate and let it stand for a minute. Stir well, then leave to cool slightly.
  3. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk briskly until mixed well. Add the flour, cocoa and salt  and stir until smooth. Spread evenly into prepared tin.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs. Leave tin on cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Remove gently from pan and cut into 16 squares.


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“The key to successful baking is just to enjoy it. Don’t fuss, don’t stress, and don’t try to make it ‘perfect’.”
Kathleen King

Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread A Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread from Baking for Friends by Kathleen King flooded our home with warmth and happiness yesterday! Kathleen’s baby, Tate’s Bake Shop needs little introduction. Iconic in the US, a must stop over in New York. The shop is called a ‘destination … worth putting miles on the odometer’ by the New York Times, and her books a must have on the kitchen shelf!

The creator and owner of the acclaimed Tate’s Bake Shop has an inspiring story. She began her baking career at eleven, selling her all-natural baked goods off a card table on her family’s farm.  Her award winning cookies are now sold at over 5,000 gourmet retailers throughout the US.

Tate's Bake Shop, Baking with Friends by Kathleen KingI got down to baking the day I received my copy for review! First Milk Chocolate Brownies, then little Chocolate Raspberry Tarts! If the feedback from the teens is anything to go by, the book is a winner!  I connected with Kathleens style of thinking and writing almost instantly. The little snippet before each recipe, the reaction to a test bake, her sons comment on his first bite of the Hurricane Irene Cookies, “Oh, don’t give these to anyone” …  all part of my everyday life as a home baker! Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread It’s a tough {read delicious} cookbook to put down. The very idea of an Apple-Italian Plum Deep Dish Pie had me swooning. Then came  PUMPKIN recipes!!! Sometimes I wish I lived in canned pumpkin country as Kathleen offers a number of winners now that Fall is here. For those who can grab a can, the book is full of delectable options – pumpkin apple cake, pumpkin whoopie pies, two-recipe pumpkin pie, pumpkin mousse pie … and more!

Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread

Yesterday I was bitten by the Bread Baking Day bug, and though I had some itty bitty yeasty ideas, they radically changed. It was time for tea bread from my new fave baking book! {Sorry the post is a day late but I have had a plethora of internet issues with the service provider, Firefox etc. Now experimenting with Google Chrome!}   Baking with fruit from Baking with Friends, PearsThe book has something for everyone. Since I love baking with fruit and since it was Bread Baking Day yesterday, the Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread was my pick! It baked as I furiously punched away at my keyboard, the house filled with the most amazing bakery aromas. Tate’s Bake Shop must feel like home!!

Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread

Did I tell you I did everything from scratch that morning? Made a big batch of butter, then saw the recipe had applesauce listed.  Was tempted to substitute but what the heck!! Had a bowlful ready in a matter of minutes and I think that might be the secret of this moist tea bread! Chocolaty, moist and fruity …. it tasted even better the next day!

Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread

The Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread is part of the Fetish Fridays at Javelin Warrior.

The book has an interesting chapter on “health & lifestyle baked goods” which includes gluten free and vegan recipes. The book is therapeutic because it connects the baker in me to the bake shop, the beginnings of the success story, touches base with reality and makes you believe in the goodness of natural, home baked comfort food. For me, more so after the rather pathetic recent experience of Rose Cafe. I needed some sense of reaffirmation in bakeries and cafes, and this was it! Baking with fruit from Baking with Friends

Baking for Friends is much more than a book of recipes. It’s about the sweetness of connecting with the ones you love. Kathleen welcomes you into her kitchen in the Hamptons, debuting more than 120 delectable, easy-to-bake recipes—from plump scones and muffins to mouthwatering pies and tarts to scrumptious gluten-free treats. Kathleen shares precious time-saving tips, designed to help you breathe easy in the kitchen without sacrificing taste.

Tate's Bake Shop, Baking with Friends by Kathleen King I did a few other bakes which should show up here on PAB soon. The first was a batch of Milk Chocolate Brownies as I was curious to see how they fare since I am a dark chocolate person. I never buy milk chocolate {as a rule} but the hub got me a few bars from HKG and they weighed heavy on my conscience.

Milk Chocolate Brownies Baking with Friends, Kathleen KingKathleen convinced me to try them, and they were winners in my kids eyes. Fudgy, chocolaty and indulgent, well worth the bake. The lad even inquired if I had added melted chocolate on top {which I hadn’t}, and the continued to unwrap the little parcels like a birthday present!Milk Chocolate Brownies Baking with Friends, Kathleen King And then I made these absolutely sinful little Chocolate Raspberry Tartlets. The book has one large chocolate tart in a chocolate pastry base. I used another pastry recipe from the same book and made mini tarts. Absolutely divine!! The recipes also include a buttermilk pastry dough which is used extensively through the book. I’ve bookmarked it to try it next! Chocolate Raspberry Tartlets Baking with Friends, Kathleen King In celebration of the highly anticipated release, Tates has partnered with KitchenAid to sponsor a Baking for Friends Bake-Off on Facebook. Join the Baking for Friends Bake-Off contest on the Tate’s Bake Shop Facebook Page.  Put your own spin on one of Kathleen’s recipes, then supply a photo/recipe for a chance to win $1,000 or a KitchenAid Artisan series stand mixer.

I can also offer readers of Passionate About Baking a  $5 discount on the cookbook from the website. The discount code is BAKEOFF, which entitles you to $5 off a copy of the book .

[print_this]Recipe: Chocolate-Pear Tea Bread


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Summary: Delicate pears, brown sugar and butter come together with dark chocolate chips to make a specially delicious  moist and flavourful quick tea bread. A delightful fall special from ‘Baking with Friends‘ by Kathleen King.Serves 10

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 210g {1 3/4 cup} plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g {1/2 cup} unsalted butter
  • 115g {3/4 cup firmly packed} brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce {recipe follows}
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 400g pears {about 2 cups diced} or 2 large {or 3 small pairs}, chopped
  • 150g {1 cup} dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly butter a (9 X 5 X 3 loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the plain flour, baking powder and salt. Reserve.
  3. With an electric beater, whisk the butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one by one, followed by vanilla  extract and applesauce
  4. On low speed beat in the flour mix.
  5. Fold in the chopped pear and chocolate chips with a spatula, and transfer batter to prepared tin.
  6. Even out the top and bake for about an hour until tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Let it cool in pan for ten minutes. Then gently invert onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper. Gently turn right side up and leave to cool completely before slicing {we couldn’t resist it of course!}

Recipe: Applesauce

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Summary: Basic applesauce recipe. Makes about 1 cup.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 Apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp water {as required}
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice


  1. Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. {I cooked it for 3 minutes in the microwave and then another 2 minutes. Did not add any water}
  2. Mash the mixture using a potato masher or an electric mixer until it is smooth.
  3. You can add a dash of cinnamon if you like. I didn’t


This recipe featured on Huffington PostDark Chocolate Recipes

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