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Makes: 16 Time: 40 minutes
- 450g/1lb self-raising flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 100g/3½oz butter, softened, cut into pieces
- 2 free-range eggs
- A little milk
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Lightly grease two baking trays.
- Put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Crack the eggs into a measuring jug, then add enough milk to make the total liquid 300ml/10fl oz. Stir the egg and milk into the flour – you may not need it all – and mix to a soft, sticky dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly and work in the sultanas, if using. Roll out to a rectangle about 2cm/¾in thick.
- Cut into as many rounds as possible with a fluted 5cm/2in cutter and place them on the prepared baking trays. Brush the tops of the scones with a little extra milk, or any egg and milk left in the jug.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until the scones are well risen and a pale, golden-brown colour. Lift onto a wire rack to cool. Eat as fresh as possible.
- To serve, split the scones and serve with strawberry jam on the plain scones along with a good dollop of clotted cream.
Makes: 3kg Time: 1 Hour
- 1.8kg of small whole strawberries
- Juice from 3 lemons
- 1.84kg of jam sugar
- Knob of butter
- Wash, drain and hull the fruit and put in a large non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon juice and sugar, gently mix. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight. (This helps keep the strawberries whole.)
- Put a saucer in the freezer. Tip the fruit and juice into a preserving pan or a 4.5 litre/8 pint heavybased pan. Heat gently, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil until it has.
- Turn up the heat, then boil hard for exactly 4 minutes (use a timer). Take off the heat to test for setting point. Spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer. After a couple of minutes gently push your finger through the jam and if the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, return to the boil for 2 minutes, then re-test.
- Take off the heat and swirl in the butter. If the scum doesn’t dissolve, skim with a slotted spoon. Cool for 10-15 minutes. (Pot when too hot and all the fruit rises to the top.)
- Stir gently to distribute the fruit, then pour into warm sterilised jars. Put waxed discs on straight away, cover with lids or cellophane circles, then seal, label and wipe the jars. Keeps for 6 months in a cool dry cupboard.
Welsh Tea Cakes
Makes: 6-8 Time: 40 minutes
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour
- 110g/4oz salted butter, diced
- 85g/3oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- A handful of sultanas
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- Milk, if needed
- Extra butter, for greasing
- Sift the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter.
- Rub with your fingertips, or pulse in a food processor, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar, sultanas and beaten egg and mix well to form a ball of dough, using a splash of milk if needed.
- Roll the dough out on a floured board to a thickness of about 5mm/½in.
- Cut into rounds with a 7.5–10cm/3-4in plain cutter.
- Rub a bakestone or heavy iron griddle with butter, wipe away the excess and place on the hob until it is heated through.
- Cook the Welsh cakes a few at a time for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown.
- Remove from the griddle and dust with caster sugar while still warm.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: 26 Time: 30 minutes
- 225g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 275g of plain flour
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 75g of white or milk chocolate chips
- Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
- Cream the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or in a food mixer until it is soft.
- Add the sugar and keep beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and add the optional ingredients, if you’re using them. Bring the mixture together with your hands in a figure-of-eight motion until it forms a dough. You can freeze the dough at this point.
- Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them slightly apart from each other on a baking sheet (you don’t need to butter or line it).
- Flatten the balls a little with the palm of your hand and bake them in the oven for around 10-12 mins until they are golden brown and slightly firm on top.
- Leave the cookies on a cooling rack for around 15 mins before serving.
Makes: 30 Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
For the buns:
- 150ml milk
- 100g butter
- 200g plain flour, sieved
- 4 large eggs, beaten
For the filling:
- 200ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 200ml double cream
- 500g of icing sugar or melted chocolate
- To make the buns, heat the milk, butter and 150ml water very gently in a medium-sized saucepan until all the butter has melted. Get the flour and some salt ready, then increase the heat and bring the liquid to the boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove from the heat and beat in the flour and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon. Keep beating until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan. Cool for 5 mins.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, to a smooth, shiny dough. Spoon into a piping bag with a 1.5-2cm plain nozzle and set aside until ready to bake.
- To make the filling, bring the milk just to the boil in a saucepan with the vanilla paste or split pod. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flours in a mixing bowl. Pour on the hot milk while continuously whisking the egg mixture. Discard the pod (if using) and return the mix to a wiped-out saucepan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, until the mix is thicker than a custard – it will get lumpy, but just carry on stirring and beat out the lumps. Transfer to another mixing bowl and lay cling film directly on the surface. Leave to cool, then chill.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment. Pipe on 8-10cm long lengths of the dough, about 2cm wide – leaving space to expand between each one. Put in the oven for 5 mins, then reduce heat to 200C/200C fan/gas 6 and bake for 10 mins more until golden, puffed and crisp. Using a skewer, poke 3 small holes along the base of each bun. Put back on the baking sheets, base up, and return to the oven for a further 8-10 mins until slightly crisper. Cool. Can be frozen for up to a month, or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days – just crisp up in a hot oven again when ready to fill.
- Add the cream to the thick custard filling and beat with an electric whisk until it holds its own shape again. Put into a piping bag with a tiny nozzle, then pipe some filling into the bottom of the buns using the skewer holes you made before it squirts back out, that bit is probably full.
- Then prepare your icing by mixing the icing sugar with water or melting the chocolate to drizzle on top, place them in the fridge.
Cherry Bakewell Tarts
Makes: 12 Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
- 2 x 230g of all butter shortcrust pastry
For the frangipane:
- 120g of butter, softened
- 120g of caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of plain flour
- 110g ground almonds
- 90g cherry jam
For the icing:
- 200g icing sugar
- 12 glace cherries
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Lightly butter a 12 hole muffin tin. Unroll the sheet of pastry and use a 10cm circular pastry cutter to cut 12 circles out of the pastry sheet. Press the cut circles into the holes of the tin, making sure they come right up and slightly over the top – pushing out any creases.
- Chill the pastry in the fridge for 20mins. Scrunch up 10cm x 10cm squares of baking paper and then un-scrunch and use to line each of the pastry tarts, then fill with baking beans, rice or dried pulses.
- Bake for 10 mins, then remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 mins longer, until golden brown. Set aside to cool a little.
- Make the filling by beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then whisk in the egg, followed by the flour (the flour will prevent the mixture from splitting). Fold in the ground almonds. Spoon a level tsp of cherry jam into each of the pastry shells, followed by a tablespoon of the frangipane mixture.
- Bake for 20 mins, until the frangipane is golden and springy. Set aside to cool completely. Neaten the edges of the pastry with a small knife or scissors if you like.
- Mix the icing sugar with 2 tbsp water. Spread the icing over each of the tarts, top each with a glacé cherry, leave to set for 20 mins, then serve with tea.
Lemon & Lavender French Fancies
Makes: 16 Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 175g of butter
- 250g of caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 100g of full-fat natural yoghurt
- 275g of plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
For the butter icing:
- 1 tsp of dried lavender
- 100g of butter
- 100g of icing sugar
- Zest 1 lemon
For the fondant icing:
- 8 tbsp of apricot jam
- 1kg pack of fondant icing sugar
- Food colouring (optional)
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Tip into your cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 45-50 mins until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Grind the lavender to a powder using a pestle and mortar. To make the butter icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls, add the lemon zest to one batch and the lavender to the other, then mix each to combine. Transfer the icings to 2 piping bags.
- When the sponge has completely cooled, use a large serrated knife to remove the top and give you a flat surface. Flip the cake over so the flattest side becomes the top. Carefully trim off the edges, then cut the sponge into 16 squares. Use a ruler if you want them to be the same size. Brush the top and sides of each sponge square with a little jam. Pipe a small dome of butter icing onto each sponge, 8 with lavender icing and 8 with lemon. Chill the cakes for at least 1 hr.
- Sieve the fondant icing sugar into a large bowl, and add enough water to make a thick but pourable icing. Spoon a little white icing into a sandwich bag or piping bag to use later. Divide the remaining icing into 2 bowls, dye one batch lemon yellow and the other pale lilac.
- Remove the sponges from the fridge and transfer to a wire rack, sitting the rack on a tray to catch any drips. Spoon a little icing over each sponge, lilac for the lavender-flavoured fancies and yellow for the lemon. Use a small palette knife to spread the icing down the sides of the sponge to completely cover each one. Leave to set for 30 mins, then cover the cakes with a second layer of icing to give a smooth surface. Drizzle the white icing over the cakes and decorate with a little lemon zest and lavender buds. Leave to set for 1 hr at room temperature before serving. Will last 2-3 days in a tin.
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
They are a classic choice and often what comes to mind when thinking about delicate finger sandwiches fit for an afternoon tea.
- White or brown bread
- Salt and pepper
- Simply slice some bread into small rectangles or triangles.
- Then butter the bread and slice up some cucumber and place it within the sandwiches.
- Add in some salt and pepper and enjoy!
Egg Salad Sandwiches
This sandwich is similar to a type of egg salad sandwich served at the famous London department store Harrods!
- Egg salad
- White or Brown bread
- First of all slice up pieces of white or brown bread into rectangles or triangles.
- Then spread mayonaise onto the bread.
- After that put on some egg salad and sprinkle with watercress.
Smoked Salmon Finger Sandwich
The classic smoked salmon tea sandwich is made with dill and horseradish added to the smoked salmon.
- Smoked salmon
- White or brown bread
- Cream cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon Juice
- Spread all the slices of bread evenly with cream cheese.
- Then on one side of the bread, cover it with the smoked salmon.
- Then season with lemon juice and salt and pepper and enjoy!