The table is set...(before the tea things we added)
This is a long post, with two recipes. I suggest making some tea to have while reading it!
Last week, Dave and I arranged for friends of ours(one of whom is also his colleague) to come over for lunch today. Untzizu is Spanish, and her husband GP is Indian, and when we went over to their's for tea, they cooked us an Indian feast, so I wanted to do something traditional for them. On enquiring, I found out that neither of them has had afternoon tea (or even a wee cream tea), though Untzizu has lived here for 4 years! Afternoon tea is a cream tea - tea bread, scones, cakes, tea, with the addition of some savoury items to make it more like a meal. It involves tea, cakes and sandwiches, which I am all about, and it called for the use of my lovely cake stand and my tea things, which filled me with glee!
A cream tea requires cream, butter and jam...
Slightly stupidly, I decided just to do all the baking myself, and in one morning. On a Saturday. It was a(very warm) marathon, but I managed to make this in 4 hours...
Slice'n'bake biscuits, scones, date and walnut loaf, chocolate truffle
cake,cheese and chutney sandwiches, tuna and cucumber
sandwiches,cream cheese and smoked salmon oatcakes
...even though this is my workspace
Tiny space = the need for extreme organisation
Some of the items are things I've made before - chocolate truffle cake, vanilla biscuits (though they went cookie shaped this time, and scones. According to my nana, there has to be some sort of tea bread for an afternoon tea, and having looked through my cookery books, I decided to make date and honey loaf - which is actually really easy to do- even if you are a 'can't bake bread' type person like me!
Date and Honey Loaf
(adapted from Love Food's 'Home Baking Cookbook')
butter for greasing
320g strong white bread flour(plus extra for dusting)
sachet quick action yeast(dried)
200ml tepid water
3tbsp sunflower oil
4tbsp blossom honey
10g dates, stoned and chopped
- sift flour and salt into large bowl
- add yeast and stir well
- make a well in the middle
- stir to combine, then work with hands to form dough
- kneed for 5mins, till smooth and elastic
- place in oiled bowl, covered with clean tea towel, and leave for one hour(till doubled in size)
- after 1 hour, knock dough back and in three lots, fold in the dates
- put in a greased 2lb loaf tin
- bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 for 30 mins, till risen, browned and sounds hollow when tapped
It seems to me that at all the teas I've been to, their are fairycakes. I knew from sending a cake with Dave to work that Untzizu likes lemon cake, so I made lemon fairy cakes with lemony cream cheese icing
Lemon Fairy Cakes
115g soft margerine
100g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
3 medium eggs
3tbsp lemon juice
75g cream cheese
300g icing sugar
4tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp lemon curd
- put all of cake ingredients in bowl
- beat with electric whisk till smooth
- line a fairycake tray with cases(note than mine are red with polkadots
- fill each case till 3/4 full
- bake at 180c for 15 mins, till golden and springy to touch
- put all icing ingredients in bowl (notice that I don't do anything seperately if i don't absolutely have to)
- beat with whisk till combined
- put in fridge for an our to thicken
- should coat bake of spoon
- when cakes have cooled, top each one with a desert spoonful, and leave to set
Untzizu and GP are brilliant guests - they had some of everything, they have good chat, they like tea as much as I do (and they brought a really nice bottle of Rioja - always good!) GP said that he 'could see why Dave is so happy' which made me laugh, and very much enjoyed the food because apparently in India they sweeten food alot.
Tea! - we had Earl Grey and Spiced Imperial
They hadn't had clotted cream before, so I'm happy to have introduced that, and GP said that he could just eat it out of the pot with a spoon, which made me laugh as I had that very conversation with Ali via Twitter this morning!
After the event - quite alot eaten I'd say!
I have eaten too much and am full to the brim with cake, but I have to say, I really like being a host, and it made me happy to be able to say I'd made everything!