Afternoon Tea for…30!

Yesterday was a big day for me…my first ever afternoon tea catering job! I definitely don’t do things by halves…it was for a whopping 30 people and even though it involved an awful lot of baking and more pats of butter than I’ve ever seen in my life…I was completely in my element and loved every minute! 

In November last year I catered for my friend’s parents Ruby Wedding celebration and I can’t have done too bad a job because they asked me back to make afternoon tea to celebrate a double birthday, my good friend Han’s ‘30th’ and her gorgeous Granny Madge’s 90th…I felt ever so privileged!

I formulated a menu using a selection of my favourite recipes that I’ve tested since starting this blog. After a day and a half of baking, icing, crust removing, buttering, slicing and primping this was the final spread… 

Almond biscotti recipe here with the addition of a few added dried cranberries.

Sticky lime and coconut drizzle loaf recipe here.

Blueberry and soured cream cake recipe here.

Sticky toffee cupcake recipe here.

Chocolate brownie recipe here.

Devonshire scone recipe courtesy of my Mum below.

I took this job very seriously and even researched cucumber sandwiches on t’internet. I discovered that there are many ways to make them but the way I chose was to peel and slice the cucumber then soak it in a mixture of 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar and 1/2 cup of water for about 30 minutes. Before making the sandwiches I drained them well and patted them dry with some kitchen roll. I buttered the bread generously with salted butter, not only because it tastes better but because it acts as a barrier to stop the bread going soggy. And there you have them, and I quote…’The best cucumber sandwich ever’.

Sausage roll recipe here.

I’d been asked to make a veggie alternative to sausage rolls and after trawling the internet I came up with these amazing spinach and sundried tomato puff pastry pinwheels. I found the recipe on a blog site called Recipe Girl here. They were perfect for this event as I was able to make the filling the day before… 

Spread an even layer of it onto a couple of sheets of puff pastry…

roll it up…

wrap it in clingfilm and pop them into the freezer. So all I needed to do on the day was cut them into half inch slices, lay them on a baking tray and bake them at 200 degrees for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. They were so popular and were demolished in a matter of minutes!

One of the last things I baked were the Devonshire scones. I’d been reliably informed by my Mum that they’d be so much better if they were freshly baked on the day! So 7am Saturday morning, saw me making 40 of these beauts… 

I was amazed at how easy they were. To make about 10 small scones you need…

225g self raising flour

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

150ml milk

1 1/2 level tbsp caster sugar

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.

You simply rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt. Then with a knife (it might sound weird but go with it, it works!) mix in the milk, a bit at a time until it forms a dough. If it seems a bit sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour and if it seems a bit dry add a splash more milk. When you’re happy with the consistency, get in there with your hands and without overworking it bring it together into a ball.

Roll it out to about 2cm thick and using a small circular pastry cutter press down firmly to cut out your scones. Even though it’s very tempting to twist it…try not to otherwise you’ll be left with very lopsided scones! Mine did have a bit of a slope to them but I like to think that it gave them character! 🙂 

Finally dust the tops with some more sifted flour…

 and pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown…

Then the only thing you need to worry about is whether you’re going to go ‘Cornwall’ (jam first then clotted cream on top) or ‘Devon’ (clotted cream first then jam on top)…this managed to spark a great debate amongst the afternoon tea guests along with whether they were ‘scones’ (rhymes with gone) or ‘scones’ (rhymes with own) 🙂 I personally enjoy my ‘scon’ the Cornwall way every time…how about you?

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