We are here! Week four of the afternoon tea series. This is where you get to pull all your delicious recipes together to make, along with a few other key elements, a very tasty afternoon tea – just in time for Mother’s Day (phew!)
When I say other ‘key elements’ I am of course talking about sandwiches, clotted cream and tea, as it just wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them.
If you are wishing to make the whole affair extra special, then it is worth taking a little bit of time to think about the setting too.
So let’s start here, table layout. I ironed my best tablecloths so they looked smart and layered one table runner over the top of the other tablecloth.
In case you would like to know – on my table I also placed;
- small plates
- tea cups and saucers
- tea pot
- side knives
- cake forks
- a few teaspoons, some for stirring the tea, and some for spooning out clotted cream and jams
- lovely linen effect napkins from Sainsbury’s (rather than add any more ironing to the pile!)
- milk jug
- small glass with fresh flowers in
- glasses for water or champagne
- 3 cake stands
- sandwich plate
Tip: If you don’t have cake stands, not to worry. I good tip is to use a plate with a sturdy cup or short glass placed underneath to create the stem.
When it comes to the sandwiches, pick your favourite fillings. I opted for egg and mayonnaise, smoked salmon with a squeeze of fresh lemon and cracked black pepper, thinly sliced cucumber and cream cheese with a small scattering of lemon zest and coronation chicken.
I chose a mixture of two breads, one plain white and one granary loaf. I would normally prefer a handmade loaf, but I find the processed bread actually works better and holds together when you cut the sandwiches into fingers. I cut the crusts of each sandwich and then cut them into 3 fingers. Pile them neatly onto a plate and there you have it.
So onto the final bake, fresh scones. They are the perfect afternoon tea treat and whether you put jam on before clotted cream or clotted cream on before jam it doesn’t matter – as long as both are present! The best clotted cream, in my many taste testings, has to be Roddas. It is found in most supermarkets in the U.K but if you are not able to get your hands on any clotted cream, then a loosely whipped double cream would be a good second choice.
200g plain flour
1 bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp cream of tart
60g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven 220ºC and line a baking sheet
- In a large bowl, sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar. Add the butter and rub into the flour until fine breadcrumbs are made.
- Make a well in the centre and add the milk, stir together until just combined.
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead together until a dough is formed. Be careful not to over knead, as the dough may become heavy and not rise up. Roll to 1 inch thickness.
- Using a floured 5cm round cutter, cut out 6 scones.
- Place the scones onto the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, of until they have risen and have golden tops.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.
- Eat on the same day as baked.
To bring everything together, place the scones on one of the cake stands, the friands on a cake stand (previous blog), a jar of blood orange curd (previous blog), the cream puffs on another cake stand (previous blog). Neatly stack up the finger sandwiches on a big plate and brew a pot of tea, and enjoy your afternoon tea together.
I hope you have enjoyed reading / making the recipes as much as I did making / eating them. I would love to see any photos of what you create, tag me on Instagram and Facebook.