Just our cup of tea

Call your girl­friends and give the boys the day off, it’s time for high tea

Isis Town and Country - - Life - Sarah Rex

I AB­SO­LUTELY love in­dulging in a high tea.

My favourite was in Sin­ga­pore at The Tif­fin Room, Raf­fles. There were plates of del­i­cate morsels laid out on buf­fet ta­bles and tiered plate stands around the room. They were al­most too pretty to eat.

En­joyed with a pot of your favourite tea, it is an in­dul­gent treat for a Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Send the lads out for a round of golf and in­vite your girl­friends over for an af­ter­noon of deca­dence by host­ing your own high tea.

The top tier of your high tea plate stand is where you will see those lit­tle mouth­fuls of sweet­ness. Think mac­a­roons, pe­tite fours and minia­ture cup­cakes topped with cream cheese ic­ing.

The middle tier is re­served for scones with jam and cream, plus ex­tra straw­ber­ries or blue­ber­ries.

The bot­tom tier is the place for sand­wich fin­gers filled with cu­cum­ber and cream cheese, egg salad or ham and salad. Fresh bread is a must for this.

Scones

Makes 12

In­gre­di­ents

80g un­salted but­ter 3 cups self-rais­ing flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 1 tbs caster sugar 1 cup of milk

Method

Pre­heat your oven to 220C. Grease and flour two bak­ing trays. Sift flour into a medium bowl and add caster sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix through. Rub the but­ter into the flour and sugar mix­ture un­til it re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs. Make a well in the middle of the mix­ture and grad­u­ally add the milk, a lit­tle at a time as you may not use the whole amount. Cut the milk through the but­ter, flour and sugar mix­ture with a flat-bladed knife – do not use a spoon or elec­tric beater. Once of a smooth dough con­sis­tency, turn mix­ture out of bowl on to a lightly floured sur­face. Gen­tly knead the dough un­til it is smooth and mal­leable. Be care­ful not to over­work the dough as this can make your scones hard when cooked. Roll dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to a thick­ness of ap­prox­i­mately 2cm and cut rounds from dough. Put rounds on to the pre­pared trays and brush tops with milk or egg wash. Bake for 10 to 15 min­utes or un­til tops are golden. Serve on middle tier of plate stand with straw­berry jam, cream and fresh straw­ber­ries.

Meringue kisses

Makes 20

In­gre­di­ents

1 egg white

1⁄4 cup caster sugar Lemon but­ter or rasp­berry but­ter cream ic­ing and ic­ing sugar to serve

Method

Pre­heat oven to 150C and line two bak­ing trays with bak­ing pa­per. In a clean dry bowl, beat egg white with an elec­tric mixer on high un­til stiff peaks form. Grad­u­ally add sugar and mix with elec­tric mixer un­til sugar has dis­solved into the egg white. Mix­ture will be ready when it sticks to the bowl. You can test this by hold­ing the bowl up­side down – if it de­fies grav­ity it is ready, if it starts to slide out be­fore you’ve even tipped the bowl up­side down you need to mix it some more. Work­ing quickly, spoon mix­ture into a pip­ing bag and pipe swirls of mix­ture onto pre­pared trays, leav­ing ap­prox­i­mately 2cm be­tween each swirl. Bake for 10 min­utes or un­til meringues are firm. When meringues are cool, sand­wich two to­gether with ei­ther the lemon but­ter or rasp­berry but­ter cream ic­ing. Serve on top tier of plate stand and en­joy your high tea with friends.

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