Punting & afternoon tea…the perfect combo…

I’m very excited to share some news about a cakey collaboration I’ve been working on with ’Let’s Go Punting’, a small independent punting company in Cambridge. This summer I’ll be providing birthday cakes for their birthday party tours and ‘Afternoon Tease’ packages for their picnics and hen parties!

In my mind, punting and afternoon tea are the perfect combo, but then again maybe I’m biased 😉 What better way to spend a summer weekend, kicking back and relaxing, whilst being chauffeured in a punt down the river Cam, laughing at the hoards of tourists trying to ‘do it themselves’ and careening into one another…it’s more entertaining than an episode of Britain’s Got Talent I can tell you! 🙂 Anyhow, I digress…you’ll now be able to do all of the above but with the added bonus of enjoying an inimitably English, homemade afternoon tea on the riverside! Take a look at the menu below, which can be booked alongside any of their punting packages…

A selection of delicate finger sandwiches (no crusts of course!)

filled with… 

cucumber & cream cheese

ham & wholegrain mustard

free range egg mayonnaise & cress

or cheese & homemade chutney

Homemade mini scones…

with a choice of either plain scones served with lashings of jam & clotted cream…

or cheese scones served with butter…

A homemade cake…

There’s a choice between either a victoria sponge sandwiched with jam & vanilla buttercream icing…

a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache icing…

or a lemon drizzle cake sandwiched with lemon curd buttercream icing…

and as if that weren’t enough there’ll also be…

Mini homemade brownie squares

and…

Homemade iced tea 

Now, with the British weather being as unpredictable as it is, my afternoon tea’s can be supplied in a lovely reusable picnic bag that can be taken away to a location of choice (preferably somewhere cosy & dry) or if the the sun has got his hat on, can be enjoyed in one of Cambridge’s gorgeous green spaces. You can find everything you’ll ever need to know about booking etc on the ‘Let’s Go Punting’ website…or just give them a bell, they’re a lovely bunch 🙂

All this talk of afternoon tea got me craving scones so, I decided to revisit my good old Be-Ro cheese scone recipe. It’s one that I’ve been using for years and was originally recommended to me by my Mum.

As a slight cheese related aside…whilst wandering the aisles of Asda buying my scone ingredients I stumbled upon a selection of cheeses by none other than Alex James (The previously hot one from Blur). Now please excuse me, if I’m about to sound unbelievably snobby, but I was pretty shocked that not only had Mr James sold out to a major supermarket but also that he’d chosen Asda. Don’t get me wrong, I frequent Asda on a regular basis as a cost effective place to buy the copious amounts of baking goods that I need and even spent a summer (back in the day) as an Asda checkout girl, but…tomato ketchup and salad cream flavoured cheeses Alex! really!? Having done a bit of googling on the subject I found that I’m not the only one who thinks that Mr James may have sold out, Xanthe Clay is pretty vocal about it here along with blogger Fiona Beckett aka The Cheeselover. However, as the saying goes ‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ so I picked up the most innocuous looking variety…’Alex’s Best Ever Cheddar’…

It was actually ok, not amazing, but a good, strong cheddar, which made it suitable for my cheese scone recipe.

To make 8 small cheese scone you need…

175g self-raising flour

freshly ground salt & pepper (the recipe recommends a pinch but you can use your own taste and judgement on this one)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

25g butter

75g cheese, grated

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper and mustard powder together in a bowl.

Rub in the butter until there are no big lumps of it left and the mixture has the texture of breadcrumbs.

Stir in the grated cheese, saving a little for later to sprinkle on top of your scones.

Add most of the beaten egg and milk until you’ve made a soft dough. Add  little at a time until you’re happy with the texture, if it gets too sticky add a sprinkling of flour. There should be just enough of the egg mixture left for glazing your scones just before they go into the oven.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, tip the dough out onto a surface and roll it out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Using a circular pastry cutter, press down firmly to cut out your scones. Try not to twist the cutter as this has a detrimental effect on the way your scones rise…just one firm push is all it should take.

Place each scone on the baking tray, brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese…

then pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they’re golden brown and delicious!…

Serve warm with a generous amount of salted butter…

and a nice cuppa…

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