A birthday treat

Celebrating a birthday in lockdown can be difficult. Here is a guide to creating an afternoon tea at home. Recipes included.

For my Mum’s birthday this year I had planned to take my mum for Afternoon Tea to celebrate. However, due to the current lockdown in the UK no cafes or restaurants have been open so I decided to bring the Afternoon Tea to her by creating it from scratch at home.

I decided to make all my Mum’s favourite foods for her Afternoon Tea. I decided to make Cheese & Onion sandwiches, Ham sandwiches, Cheese & Onion Quiche, Sausage Rolls, Lemon Sponge and the classic scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam.

I set the table with Napkins, Balloons and all her birthday presents along with the Afternoon Tea.

Below are the recipes for baked elements of the Afternoon Tea.

Mini Cumberland Sausage Rolls.

  • 375g Pre-made Puff Pastry Sheet
  • 400g pack of sausages. (The higher the meat content the better!)
  • Handful of parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • a half teaspoon of oregano & basil
  • 30ml of cold water.
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 1 beaten egg- to glaze
  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5/ 375 degrees F.
  • Crush 1 garlic clove in a bowl with salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar. (If you don’t have one you can crush them with a rolling pin in a food bag)
  • Add some finely chopped parsley, oregano, basil and 30ml water.
  • Remove the sausage meat from the skins and add to a large bowl and mix with a fork or a food processor until well mixed.
  • Divide your sausage mixture into two parts. Cut your rolled pastry into two large slices- lengthways.
  • Add your sausage mixture to the pastry sheet in the middle and leave a 2cm edge.
  • Roll the pastry tightly around the sausage mixture and brush fold with beaten egg.
  • You can cut the sausage rolls now into 3cm slices. (Optional- they can be cut after baking.)
  • Brush the leftover egg wash over the sausage rolls to glaze.
  • Finally, bake until golden brown and crisp. With the meat being fully cooked through.
  • Eat hot or cold.
  • Voila!

Cheese and Onion Quiche

  • 500g pre made shortcrust pastry block
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 and 1/2 large onion- sliced thinly
  • 250g grated mature cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • Butter for frying
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5/375 degrees F.
  • Line the circular baking tin with the shortcrust pastry.
  • Line the pastry tin with baking paper and baking beans. (I used pearl barley as I didn’t have baking beans).
  • Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes. Then remove the beans and paper and cook again for a further 8minutes. (You want the texture to be fairly hard- nobody likes a soggy bottom!)
  • Heat a nob of butter in a frying pan and add the onions and cook for 8-9 minutes until soft.
  • Beat together the eggs and the milk in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and add one teaspoon of oregano.
  • Add the 250g grated mature cheddar and the softened onions to the egg mixture.
  • Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on top. (check base is cooked through- no soggy bottom!)
  • Sprinkle oregano for an added touch.
  • Voila!

Classic Scones with Clotted Cream & Strawberry Conserve.

  • 230g self raising flour
  • 60g butter (unsalted)
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 155ml milk
  • 1 egg- to glaze
  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6/ 400 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Rub in the butter.
  • Mix in the sugar and milk until the mixture turns into a soft dough.
  • Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface.
  • Shape into large circles. ( You can use a glass to shape into perfect circles.)
  • Brush circular scones with the beaten egg to glaze.
  • Bake for 15minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely before adding toppings.
  • Add as much clotted cream and strawberry compote as you desire!
  • Voila!

Lemon Sponge Slices.

  • Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mixture
  • 75ml Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 120ml Water
  • 30ml milk- I add milk as it makes a fluffier cake
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Frosting: Betty Crocker Zesty Lemon Frosting
  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4
  • Mix the eggs, water, milk and the dry cake mixture in either a food processor or by hand until fluffy.
  • I used a rectangular cake tin as I wanted to be able to cut the cake into many slices.
  • After pouring the cake mixture into the cake tin I drizzled over some Lemon Zest.
  • Bake for 25minutes- use a skewer to check if the cake is cooked! (it should be clear when the skewer is out.)
  • Cut the rectangular cake in half through the middle when it has cooled. Add the buttercream in between each layer.
  • Cut into triangular slices.
  • Voila!

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