Four recipes to have fancy afternoon tea at home — from Battenberg cake to cucumber sandwiches

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AFTERNOON tea is fast becoming an occasion associated with dining out – even more so than heading off for lunch or dinner.

But you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant or hotel for the posh treat, as it is easy to make your own.

 Don't head to a fancy restaurant for your afternoon treat before you try this awesome menu at home first Don’t head to a fancy restaurant for your afternoon treat before you try this awesome menu at home first

Here is the perfect menu to share with some friends. . . and you don’t need to stick to tea, either.

 Pop into Morrisons to get all the ingredients you need for these tasty afternoon tea treats Pop into Morrisons to get all the ingredients you need for these tasty afternoon tea treats

Scones with jam and clotted cream

(Makes 12)

 Scones with jam and clotted cream are a classic and you can also serve with low-fat creme fraiche to cut calories Scones with jam and clotted cream are a classic and you can also serve with low-fat creme fraiche to cut calories

Preparation time: 5 mins.
Cooking time: 10 mins.

YOU NEED:

  • 350g self-raising flour, more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Beaten egg, to glaze
  • 8 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 8 tbsp clotted cream

METHOD: Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/Gas 7. Warm a baking sheet in the oven. Tip flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix.

Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Put the milk into a pan and warm slightly for a few minutes – do not boil. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and set aside.

Make a well in the dry mix, add the liquid and combine it quickly with a knife so you don’t over-handle it or overwork it. Scatter some flour on to the work surface and tip the dough out.

Sift some more flour over the dough and on to your hands, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat until it’s a 4cm deep circle.

Dip a 5cm cutter in flour then plunge it into the dough, and repeat until you have four scones.

Press what is left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.

Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place on the hot baking tray.

Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm, or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with the jam and clotted cream.

TIP: Serve with low-fat creme fraiche instead of the clotted cream to cut down on calories.

Blueberry and lemon cake

(Serves ten)

 A fluffy cake with loads of fruit goodness in it - and here's a tip to get the syrup to soak right through A fluffy cake with loads of fruit goodness in it – and here’s a tip to get the syrup to soak right through

Preparation time: 30 mins.

Cooking time: 1 hour.

YOU NEED:

  • 75g butter, melted
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 120ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 150g fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar

METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160/Gas 4. Grease and flour a 1lb loaf tin. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt then set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and 200g sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the juice of one lemon.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Fold in the lemon zest and blueberries then pour into the prepared loaf tin.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. For the lemon drizzle, combine four tablespoons of sugar with two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Drizzle over the cake while still warm.

TIP: Before pouring over drizzle make holes across top with a skewer to let syrup sink in for a moist cake

Battenberg cake

(Serves 12 – makes two cakes)

 Both types of sponges for the Battenberg cake need the same amount of ingredients - so that will make your life a lot easierAlamy Both types of sponges for the Battenberg cake need the same amount of ingredients – so that will make your life a lot easier

Preparation time: 45 mins.

Cooking time: 30 mins.

YOU NEED:

For the sponges (use these same amounts for both the almond sponge and the pink sponge):

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Plus for the almond sponge:

  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • A few drops of pink food colouring

For the topping:

  • 200g apricot jam
  • 1kg blocks white marzipan
  • Icing sugar for dusting

METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with non-stick baking paper.

For the almond sponge: Mix the ­butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl.

Beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 ­minutes until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer to the tin, spreading to the corners, and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and golden.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the pink sponge: Line the tin as above. Mix all the ingredients together as above, but don’t add the almond extract. Instead mix in a few drops of pink food colouring. Transfer to the tin and bake as before and allow to cool.

For the topping: Heat the jam in a pan until runny, then sieve.

To assemble the cake: Place the cakes on a chopping board and trim the sides of each one to give you a straight edge. Cut each one in half lengthways to give you two pink and two plain rectangular sponges, using a ruler if you want to be really exact.

If the sponges are a little taller than they are wide, trim some sponge from the tops as well – this will ensure you have a perfect square when you come to assemble the cake.

Lightly dust a work surface with a little icing sugar, then roll out a quarter of the marzipan to a rectangle roughly 20cm x 10cm.

Brush the surface of the marzipan with the warm apricot jam, then place one almond sponge and one pink sponge side by side on top, brushing the middle of the cakes with a little jam to stick them together.

Brush the top of the cakes with more jam, then place the remaining sponges on top, with more jam in between, in a chequerboard pattern.

Roll out the remaining marzipan to a rectangle. Brush any remaining jam over the outside of the assembled cake.

Using a rolling pin to help, lift the ­marzipan over the cake. Smooth it over the top and sides, then press gently into the corners so it wraps the cake tightly.

TIP: The Battenberg can keep in an airtight box or well wrapped in clingfilm for up to three days. It can be frozen for up to a month.

Cucumber sandwiches

(Makes four small sandwiches)

 And for those who don't indulge in sweet treats, cucumber sandwiches are always a refreshing optionAlamy And for those who don’t indulge in sweet treats, cucumber sandwiches are always a refreshing option

Preparation time: 5 mins.

YOU NEED:

  • 2 slices of very thinly sliced white or brown bread
  • Soft salted butter
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Salt

METHOD: Rinse the cucumber or if you prefer, peel it. Cut the cucumber into extremely thin slices, ideally using a mandolin or a potato peeler. Lay the cucumber on a plate and sprinkle the vinegar and the salt over the top. Cover with a plate or some cling film.

After half an hour, drain away the excess juices by shaking the slices in a sieve.




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