A tea partyfit for a queen

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 June, 2012, 12:00am
 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign in Britain. Celebrations will be held between June 2 and 5, with at least 10,000 street parties and thousands of afternoon teas taking place throughout the country. Even though we're no longer a British colony, the Jubilee is a great excuse to throw a tea party.

Victoria SandwichIf you only make one cake, pick this one, for a quintessential English afternoon tea.

Ingredients

225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g self-raising flour

4 medium eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

Filling

250g strawberry jam

250g double cream, whipped

Icing sugar to decorate

Method

1 Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/ 180C/ 160C fan.

2 Line the bottom of two 20cm round tins with greaseproof paper. Grease the bottom and sides of the tin with a little vegetable oil.

3 Beat all the cake ingredients together in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and lump-free.

4 Divide the batter evenly between the tins, smoothing the tops with a spatula.

5 Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of cakes comes out clean.

6 Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire tray.

7 Cool completely before sandwiching the cakes with a layer of strawberry jam, topped with whipped cream.

8 Sift some icing sugar over the top of the cake before serving.

Finger sandwiches

Afternoon tea just isn't right without an assortment of crustless finger sandwiches for your guests. Try these three traditional fillings.

Cucumber sandwiches

(Fills 8 sandwiches)

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

50g butter, softened

16 slices brown bread, crusts removed

Method

1 Place the cucumber slices in a single layer on kitchen paper to dry.

2 Spread the butter thinly on each slice of bread.

3 Divide the cucumber slices evenly among eight slices of bread. Place the remaining eight slices of bread on top. Cut sandwiches into squares.

Coronation chicken sandwiches (Fills 8 small sub rolls)

Chicken filling

2 chicken breasts, cooked, diced

2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 1/2 tbsp Greek natural yoghurt

2 tsp mild curry powder

2 tbsp mango chutney

2 tsp lime juice

handful coriander leaves

salt and pepper to taste

8 small sub rolls

Method

1 Mix all the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavours meld.

2 Cut a slit in the top of each of the sub rolls. Spoon a couple of heaped teaspoons of filling into each roll.

Cheese and pickle sandwiches

This filling is based on the traditional 'Ploughman's lunch' - bread, pickled onions, an apple and a big hunk of Cheddar cheese.

(Fills 8 sandwiches)100g mature cheddar cheese in slices or grated

16 teaspoons 'ploughman's' sweet and spicy pickle

16 slices of wholemeal bread

Method

1 Spread the pickle over eight slices of bread.

2 Top with the cheese, then place the remaining slices of bread on top.

3 Cut into triangles.

Wynnie Chan is a British-trained nutritionist. If you've got a question for her or would like to be featured in this column, e-mail nutrition@scmp.com

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