7 Afternoon Tea Recipes You Must Try

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7 Afternoon Tea Recipes You Must Try

This well-loved ritual isn't just about sipping on your favourite brew. It's an affair in itself - with all the sweet and savoury delicacies that come with it

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Published: Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Apr 2017, 11:17 AM

Victoria sponge
Makes: A 20cm cake
The classic, and perhaps the Queen of English cakes. The key is light sponge, and lashing of the best jam you can find.
225 gm plain flour
15 gm baking powder
240 gm softened unsalted butter
240 gm caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature lightly beaten
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the filling:
150 gm strawberry jam
250 ml double cream
250 gm strawberries, hulled
and sliced
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture threatens to separate. Sift in the flour in three separate additions, folding it in with a large metal spoon.
Divide the mixture between two greased and base lined 20cm sandwich tins. Place in an oven heated to 180°C and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread the strawberry jam over one cake and place on a plate. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and pipe or spread it over the jam. Cover with the sliced strawberries, place the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar.

Ginger biscuits
Makes: About 35
These babies have bite. Far more than your favourite shop-bought ginger nut. You really taste the fiery soul of this punchy root. Both candied and ground gingers are used, and demerara sugar adds its rich, redolent charms. The size may be small, but the flavour is immense.
135 gm unsalted butter
135 gm golden syrup
300 gm plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp ground ginger
105 gm demerara sugar
2-3 nuggets candied sugar
Put the butter and golden syrup into a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a bowl. Stir in the demerara sugar, then make a well in the centre and grate in one of the pieces of candied ginger - either finely or coarsely, as you prefer. Add the melted butter and syrup to the well and stir to bring everything together into a dough.
Break off pieces of the dough, approximately the size of a candied ginger nugget and roll each one into a ball. Place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, spacing them about 6 cm apart. Press each ball of dough to flatten it slightly.
Cut the remaining candied ginger into small dice and place a piece in the centre of each biscuit. Transfer to an oven heated to 160°C and bake for about 8 minutes, until golden. Leave to firm up on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Tip: Once made, the cookie dough can be wrapped and kept frozen. Defrost and bake as required.

Stilton & blueberry scones
Makes: 10
The blueberry jam is quite subtle with this one and simply adds a slight sweetness.
360 gm '00' flour
20 gm baking powder
½ tsp salt
105 gm unsalted butter, diced
85 gm Stilton, crumbled
20 gm Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
25 gm blueberry jam
120 ml whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Stir in 50 gm of the Stilton, plus the grated Parmesan and the blueberry jam.
Add the milk and mix until everything comes together into a soft dough; do not over-mix or the scones will be heavy. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 1.5cm thick. Cut out rounds with a 5.5cm cutter, re-rolling the trimmings where necessary.
Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush with beaten egg, scatter over the rest of the stilton and leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
Place in an oven heated to 180°C and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool. Serve.

Cucumber with mint cream cheese
Makes: 16 finger sandwiches
A taste of summer all year round, with a gentle sigh of mint and subtle, citric tang. The salting removes excess water and stops the sandwiches from going soggy. Once made, press lightly with a plate before cutting into fingers.
1 cucumber
200 gm cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped mint
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemons
8 large slices of white bread
Butter, for spreading
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Peel the cucumber and trim it so it is the same length as the slices of bread. Slice the cucumber very thinly lengthwise, put the slices on a board and sprinkle lightly with salt. Leave for 20 minutes, and then pat dry.
Put the cream cheese into a bowl and beat in the mint, lemon juice and zest and some salt and pepper.
Lightly butter the bread and spread it with the cream cheese mixture. Neatly arrange the cucumber on half the slices of bread, then sandwich together with the remainder. Cut the crusts off and cut each sandwich into four fingers.
Coronation chicken
Makes: 16 finger sandwiches
Created by Rosemary Hume (of Constance Spry Fame) in 1953, for Coronation buffets everywhere, this curried chicken concoction had its roots in a similarly high-born creation, Jubilee Chicken, prepared for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935. This version omits the original nuts, uses fresh coriander, plus plump raisins, mango chutney and a little spice to keep all that naughty sweetness in check.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
3 cooked chicken breast,
skinned, finely diced
8-9 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
3 tbsp mango chutney
1 tbsp chopped golden raisins
2 tbsp chopped coriander, salt and freshly ground pepper butter for spreading
8 large slices of white bread
Gently heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add the curry powder and turmeric and cook over a very low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Put the diced chicken into a bowl, add the spice mixture and rub it into the chicken. Add the mayonnaise, mango chutney and raisins and mix well. Fold in the chopped coriander and season to taste.
Lightly butter the bread and spread the Coronation chicken mixture over half the slices. Sandwich together with the remaining bread, cut the crusts off, then cut each sandwich into four fingers.
Smoked salmon with tartare dressing
Makes: 16 finger sandwiches
The classic smoked salmon sandwich, with extra tartare punch. Don't be mean with the salmon, as it's the star of the show. The Fortnum's house cure is a light smoke, and made from Var salmon, one of the finest and most sustainably farmed salmons you can find. Add a dribble of lemon to the tartare mix if you want a little added bite. Make extra tartare and serve with fish fingers or fish and chips.
100 gm good quality mayonnaise
15 gm capers, finely chopped
15 gm baby gherkins, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp chopped chives
Butter for spreading
8 large slices of granary bread
160 gm smoked salmon
Mix together the mayonnaise, carpers, gherkins, dill and chives.
Lightly butter the bread and spread half the slices with the tartare dressing. Top with the smoked salmon and sandwich together with the remaining bread. Cut the crusts off, then cut each sandwich into four fingers.
Egg and mustard cress
Makes: 8 finger sandwiches
You'll love the peppery punch of this one, which is mixed in with the rich mayonnaise. For those with a taste for the piquant, you could add a little Gentleman's Relish to the mix. Or, alternatively, a dash or two of Tabasco. And if poppy seed bread proves difficult to find, then brown or white will do just fine.
3 large eggs
75 gm good-quality mayonnaise
A punnet of mustard and cress (or
salad cress)
Butter for spreading
8 slices of poppy seed bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, so the yolks are completely hard. Drain, and then cool under cold running water. Peel them and grate on the coarser side of a grater (as you would for cheese). Mix the grated egg with the mayonnaise and cress and season to taste.
Lightly butter the bread and spread the egg mayonnaise over half the slices.
Sandwich together with the remaining bread, cut the crusts off, then cut each sandwich into two fingers.
(Courtesy: Fortnum and Mason)

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