In England, the traditional time for tea was four or five o’clock, and no one stayed after seven o’clock. Most tea rooms today serve tea from three to five o’clock. The menu has also changed from tea, bread, butter and cakes to include three particular courses served specifically in this order:
SAVORIES: Tiny sandwiches or appetizers
SCONES: Served with jam and Devonshire or clotted cream
PASTRIES: Cakes, cookies, shortbreads and sweets
All food items should be small, one little bite, more or less.
TEA BREAD SUGGESTIONS:
Bread: white or wheat--thin sliced or sandwich bread - crusts cut off cut in quarters, strips or use a cookie cutter for shaped sandwiches.. Also pinwheel, pumpernickel and date/nut are suggested.
Fruit breads: blueberry, cranberry, banana, crumpets, scones.
Open faced sandwiches if easy to handle.
SANDWICH FILLING SUGGESTIONS:
Cucumber, watercress, radish; egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad; salmon (lox) deviled ham (olives);
asparagus roll-ups, roast beef.
Toppings – any appropriate herb or spice such as tarragon, curry, dill – salt – pepper.
Bases: Chutney, butter, cream cheese, goat cheese or mayonnaise – plain or flavored
Scones served with Devonshire or clotted cream.
Toppings: jams--strawberry, marmalade; lemon curd.
Cakes, cookies, shortbreads or sweets
SWEETS SUGGESTIONS: Cookies, small cakes, meringues, small jelly rolls, small eclairs, petit fours, small squares.
Makes 8 pieces
4 slices soft bread, white or wheat
2 Tbs. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs. butter, softened
1/4 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped coarsely (or mint)
Spread butter on half the slices of bread, and cream cheese on the other half of the bread.
Layer the peeled cucumber slices on the buttered slice, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the cucumber.
Sprinkle the chopped dill or mint on the cucumber slices.
Cover with the bread slices with the cream cheese.
Remove the crust, and cut into quarters.
Open faced Salmon Sandwich
1/2 cup of softened butter or cream cheese
1 Tbs. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp. salt
8 slices pumpernickel or wheat bread
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced thin
4 ounces sliced smoked salmon
Combine the butter or cream cheese, horseradish, chives, dill, and salt and mix well.
Spread each piece of bread with 1 Tbs. of herb mixture.
Then cut off crusts, cut into four squares or use a round cutter.
Top each square/round with a slice of cucumber, top with smoked salmon.
Dress with piece of dill.
Alternative: After spreading herb mixture on bread, top half the slices of bread with salmon and then with sliced cucumber. Put second piece of bread on top. Cut off crusts, cut into four squares, or triangles.
English Style Scones
Makes 9 using a 2-1/2 in cutter.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 13-15 minutes
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cups whole milk
1 large egg
In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar 2 times to combine.
Add the butter and pulse 7-10 times until is completely distributed. (Mixture should have a sandy texture to it. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Save 2 Tbs. for egg wash, and pour the rest into mixing bowl with dry ingredients.
Stir to combine with a spatula until a rough dough forms.
Transfer to lightly floured countertop and knead about 10 times until dough comes together into relatively smooth ball. Don’t knead too much or dough will toughen and not rise as high.
Roll the dough about an inch thick, and use a 2.5 inch cutter to cut about 7 circles. Re-roll scraps and cut out another 2 circles.
Place scones onto a parchment paper or silicone mat baking sheet. Then brush tops with the reserved egg wash.
Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes, until about tripled in height, and golden brown on the tops and bottom.
Note: To make this by hand use a whisk to combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix the butter with a hand mixer or by hand. Dough should be somewhat sticky, add just enough flour to be workable. The more flour you add, the denser the scone.
CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES
Makes a 9 x 13 in pan. (See Notes for variations)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup butter
4 1oz. squares of unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of chocolate chips
In a separate bowl:
1/4 cup of sugar
2 Tbs. butter
2 3 oz. packages of cream cheese softened.
1 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a medium saucepan, melt the cup of butter and 4 square of unsweetened chocolate. Stir in the sugar, flour, eggs, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Cool.
Then fold in chocolate chips and spread 1/2 into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
In a separate bowl, cream 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 Tbs. butter, softened cream cheese, flour and vanilla. Spread filling
Cover with the remaining brownie batter and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Note: You can also use a brownie mix and required ingredients (makes a 9 x 13 pan). Then proceed with step 2. You can cut into regular size portions or cut into bite size portions and put in mini muffin cups. Another variation is to use a mini muffin pan. Layer brownie, cream cheese and cover with more brownie mix. Bake about 15-17 minutes until center comes out clean.
JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Makes 5 dozen
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Jam: raspberry, apricot, strawberry
Prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Add the egg and vanilla, then combine with butter and sugar.
In a small bowl, Mix flour and salt, then add to mixture in large bowl.
Using a small scoop or spoons, shape dough into small balls, and place on cookie sheet.
Using your thumb, make an indentation in each ball.
Fill the indentation with jam.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.
Let cool on wire rack.
VICTORIA SPONGE CAKE
Serves 10 People
Soft, moist fluffy cake that is perfect with cream and jam
1 cup room temperature unsalted butter plus 2 Tbs. more (250 grams)
1 1/4 c. sugar (250 grams)
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour (250 grams)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
fresh fruit to match jam
3/4 cup whipping cream (200 ml)
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Grease and line with parchment paper, 2 9-inch round pans, or 2 8-inch pans. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. One by one add in eggs mixing until fully combined after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.
Sift flour and baking powder in the bowl, Fold in gently; do not over mix to prevent cake being dense and hard.
Divide batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and pulling away from the sides. Leave cakes to cool on a wire rack.
In a bowl, add cream, vanilla extract and 2 Tbs. icing sugar or less if you don’t like sweetness. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Assemble cake by placing one layer upside down on a cake plate. Spread raspberry jam on top. Add whipped cream on top of jam, and spread evenly. Place the other cake layer on top. Add fresh fruit to match the jam if you want, then dust the top with sifted icing sugar.
Note: A buttercream frosting can be used in place of the whipped cream. Or just use the raspberry jam and no whipped cream or frosting. Other jams such as strawberry, apricot or lemon curd would be great too. If you want, add fresh fruit on top to match the jam. Enjoy!