I thought I would share with you some recipes I used to make afternoon tea recently. My menu was made up of roasted red pepper shots, feta and ricotta pastry swirls, sandwiches, scones, lemon cupcakes and balsamic berry chocolate mousse. I was in a bit of a panic the night before, wondering if I would be able to make everything on time but it actually worked out ok. I made the red pepper shots and chocolate mousse the night before but managed the rest in about 3 hours the next day, with some help on the sandwiches.
Roasted red pepper shot – This recipe came from the BBC Good Food website. You basically just add all of the ingredients to one pot and then blend it once cooked. Nice and easy and you can keep it in the fridge overnight or even freeze it if you want to be extra prepared.
Feta and ricotta pastry swirls - These were a last minute addition to the menu. I mixed some leftover feta, ricotta, spinach and spring onions in a bowl and then spread it over some ready made puff pastry. Then I rolled it up and cut it into slices about 2cm thick. These went into the oven for about half hour and were served warm.
Sandwiches – These were pretty simple. We did some cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches and some turkey salad and cranberry sandwiches. I had a bread maker for my birthday a few months back so used that to make some fresh bread.
Scones – I used a Delia recipe for these. This was actually the first time I had made scones and was happy to find that they are pretty easy to make. We served them warm from the oven with clotted cream and raspberry jam. I will definitely be making these again!
Lemon cupcakes – This isn’t the exact recipe I used (mine came from a book I have) but it is almost exactly the same. The only difference is that I grated some lemon zest into the icing and also the juice of about half a lemon.
Balsamic berry chocolate mousse – This recipe came from a book I was given for my birthday a few years ago. Chococo is the perfect recipe book for chocolate lovers and, as well as this delicious mousse recipe, it also contains some amazing cakes and biscuit recipes and teaches you how to make chocolate truffles.
My attempt at banoffee cupcakes didn’t go exactly to plan and I ended up with banana and fudge cupcakes instead. They still tasted pretty good so here is the recipe if you want to have a go. They do take longer to make than average cupcake recipes due to making the toffee (or fudge) from scratch so aren’t the ones to make when you’re short on time!
250 g unsalted butter
250 g caster sugar
1 ripe banana, mashed
250 g self-raising flour
250g unsalted butter
550g icing sugar
9 tsp caramel, plus some extra for decoration
300 g caster sugar
80 ml water
350 ml double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and put your cases in the tin. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes or 12 muffin sized cakes.
2. To make the cakes, beat the butter for a minute or so and then beat in the sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually.
3. Stir in the mashed banana.
4. Gently fold in the flour.
5. Separate into the cake cases and put in the oven for around 20 minutes.
6. To make the caramel, heat all the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and stir until it thickens. This is where I went wrong. I left the pan without stirring it which meant that the caramel over-thickened and turned out more like fudge once it had cooled.
7. To make the icing, beat the butter until it is creamy and then gradually beat in the icing sugar. I like to use an electric whisk as it makes the icing really fluffy! Lastly add the caramel. Even if your caramel ends up thick and crumbly like mine, you can still mix it into the icing and it will taste just as good! Add a tiny bit of milk if your icing needs thinning for piping, or just swirl the icing onto the cakes using a knife.
8. Decorate with the leftover caramel / fudge.
A few weeks ago I made a batch of cardamom, lime and pistachio cupcakes. I used this recipe and they were really delicious and quite unique! The only change I made was to make lime buttercream for the topping which I did by mixing 250g of icing sugar into 75g unsalted butter and then grating in the zest of 1 lime. What do you think?
1. Pula Colosseum.
2. View from a little hilltop village.
3. Cute street.
5. Amazing clear sea!
8. Had a go at axe throwing…
9. Spent the weekend at Edinburgh Fringe.
10, 11 & 12. Out for a countryside walk.
1. My sister has lovely hair
2. Bought myself a cute cactus.
3. Belated Easter cupcakes.
4, 5, & 6. Day trip to London.
7. Yummy macaroons!
8. Picnic in sunny Aberdeen.
9. Lunch time gingerbread man.
1. Flowers for Mother’s Day.
2. Snowy day!
3 & 9. Experimenting with my nails.
4.Chocolate orange cupcakes.
5 & 6. Trip to London (we saw Wicked – it was amazing!)
7. Egg painting for Easter!
8. Best Easter egg ever?
These mocha cupcakes worked out so much better than the batch of Chocolate & Mint cupcakes I made a few weeks back! I used a cake recipe from my Great British Bake Off book and then experimented with the icing. The coffee flavour is very subtle so next time I make these I will probably add a bit more coffee.
175g butter or marg
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175g self raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
50g dark chocolate, grated
190g icing sugar
60g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of water
A few tablespoons of milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and put your cases in the tin.
2. Beat the butter for a minute or so and then beat in the sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs gradually.
3. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder and then the grated chcocolate.
4. Separate into the cake cases and put in the oven for around 20 minutes.
5. To make the icing, beat the butter until it is creamy and then gradually beat in the icing sugar, cocoa powder and coffee. I always use an electric whisk as it makes the icing really fluffy! Add tablespoons of milk until the icing is the right consistency for piping, or just swirl the icing onto the cakes using a knife.