Just our cup of tea
Call your girlfriends and give the boys the day off, it’s time for high tea
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.
80g unsalted butter 3 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tbs caster sugar 1 cup of milk
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.
1 egg white
1⁄4 cup caster sugar Lemon butter or raspberry butter cream icing and icing sugar to serve
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.