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Emma x

Author: Emma Hawkins

Scones

Scones

The next layer in out afternoon tea extravaganza is the classic scone! However you pronounce it, or whichever order you put the cream and jam on, these are to afternoon tea what meat is to chilli con carne. We have these all the time at home on lazy afternoons and as they are so easy and simple to put together they can be made at a moments notice. Scones are so versatile, and whilst these ones are very simple and plain you can customise them so much. I’ve written a few alternations you can try out at the bottom of the post if you want to jazz your afternoon tea up a bit more.

Recipe

Makes 14 Scones

Time: 20 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 465g Self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 tbsp Caster sugar, plus extra for the topping
  • A pinch of salt
  • 220ml Milk
  • 1 Egg for glazing

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter and flour into a bowl and use a round-bladed knife to chop the butter into small chunks. When you can’t cut the butter up any more go in with your fingers and rub the butter into the flour to get a mixture with the texture of breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and salt to the mixture and stir it in with a round-bladed knife.
  4. Now slowly add the milk in a steady stream, mixing continuously with a round-bladed knife until the mixture comes together into a dough.
  5. Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto it. Roll the dough out to about 3cm in thickness. Then take a round pastry cutter and stamp out as many scones as you can, placing them onto the lined baking trays as you do. For the best results push the cutter straight down into the dough, don’t twist as this will make the scones rise unevenly. Knead together any leftover dough and repeat.
  6. Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk it up with a fork. Then brush the egg onto the top of the scones to glaze.
  7. Bake the scones in the oven for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden brown. Then transfer them to wire racks to cool and then serve with jam and clotted cream!

Why not try…

  • Sprinkling a little caster sugar onto the top of the scones before baking them – this will give them a delicious crunchy sugar topping!
  • Adding 40g of raisins to the mix to get fruity scones.
  • Add the zest of 1 lemon to the mixture when you add the milk to get citrus scones. Then serve them with lemon curd and clotted cream.
  • Mixing 50g of grated cheddar cheese into the flour, before adding the milk, to get cheesy scones.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Every afternoon tea starts with a delicious selection of finger sandwiches. For this spread I went for cheese and ham on brown bread and then cucumber and smoked salmon on white bread. These are personal faves  of mine, but feel free to get experimental! So yes I am going to write a recipe for sandwiches, here we go…

Recipe

Makes 6 of each type of sandwich

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 tsp Unsalted butter
  • 6 slices Brown bread
  • 6 slices White bread
  • 2 tsp cream cheese
  • A few pieces of Smoked salmon
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 3 Slices of Honey smoked ham
  • 3 Slices of Cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Begin by buttering (the proper technical term) the brown bread slices and half the white bread. Then spread the cream cheese over the remaining White bread slices.
  2. To make the smoked salmon sandwiches lay the smoked salmon in  a layer over half the cream cheese covered bread. Then sandwich these sandwich halves with the rest of the cream cheese covered slices.
  3. Now make the cucumber sandwiches. Thinly slice the cucumber and then lay the slices over 1/2 of the white bread slices.  You might need to cut some of the cucumber discs in half so all the bread is covered. Top with the other slices of white bread and leave to one side.
  4. To make the remaining sandwiches lay the ham over 3 buttered brown bread slices and the cheese slices over the another. Then top with the remaining slices of brown bread, butter side down.
  5. Take a sharp knife and cut the crusts off all the sandwiches (keep these in an air tight box as they make great snacks!) and then cut each sandwich in half vertically to make two finger sandwiches. (Depending on the size of bread you’re using you might need to cut the sandwiches into three or something, but just use your judgement). Serve!

Thanks for reading! Next afternoon tea recipe coming out tomorrow!

Emma x

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland.

We’re at the end of book themed month (where did that go?!) and so I’ve decided to end like we started and do a week of recipes themed around one book – this time that good old favourite Alice in Wonderland! I’m from Oxford and there’s loads of Lewis Carrol references around the city that I’ve been trotted around since I was very young, so I’ve always had a fondness for this crazy story. Although it’s technically a children’s book I think the actual themes and plot are pretty incomprehensible and I remember being really confused with it as a kid, but re-reading the book now in my early adult years I’m finding it much more insightful and interesting.

So, back to why we’re here, the food! When doing an Alice in Wonderland themed week on a food blog it’s kinda compulsory to do a Mad Hatter’s tea party so that’s what we have. This is an all bells and whistles afternoon tea, but you could scale it back if you don’t want to spend two days baking. If you really don’t want to bake that much you could just take inspiration from what I’ve put together and buy the elements from a shop. I have to admit to being sooo tempted to just buy a bakewell tart on my way out of the shop when I was buying the ingredients for this! In my opinion a ‘complete’ afternoon tea needs…

• Finger sandwiches

• Scones

• Some kind of cake

• Some kind of biscuit

• Something made out of choux pastry (e.g a profiterole)

• Something made out of Shortcrust pastry (e.g a tart)

• And of course lots of tea!

I’ll be posting a recipe a day which you’ll be able to find on the main page of my blog, or on this post where I’ll be collating all the links…

First up is the base of all afternoon teas – finger sandwiches!

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Scones

Banana, Cinnamon and Rum Friands

Bakewell Tartlets

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Red Dragon: Thai Red Chicken Curry with Crispy Chicken Skin

Red Dragon: Thai Red Chicken Curry with Crispy Chicken Skin

 A while ago my friend Macks recommended I read Red Dragon, the first book in the Hannibal Lecter series, for my book-themed month and so this fiery curry is an attempt at translating that book into a dish.  Now, I’m not a fan of thrillers or horror novels, so I confess I went back to my English student days and worked from the sparknotes summary of the book instead. Due to the action in the novel I wanted to make something with a good kick of heat and spice in it, and a Thai red curry is a fab spicy dish to work with. Ideally this would be a dragon curry, but as dragons don’t seem to exist I had to go another way – but lets be honest, if dragons did exist they’d probably taste like chicken anyway!

This Thai red curry is served with crispy dragon/chicken skins (which are way easier to make than I would have thought!) and lime leaf rice. I’ve cooked rice in other recipes like this and I always find it makes it a bit more exciting. You  basically add a couple of fresh lime leaves to the water when cooking the rice and then grate a little lime zest over the rice when it’s plated and it makes the rice super fragrant and a perfect pairing for a warm curry like this.

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Root ginger, grated
  • 2 Garlic gloves, crushed
  • 1 Red chilli
  • 5-6 tbsp Red curry paste
  • 800ml Coconut milk
  • 8 Chicken thighs
  • 1 stick of Lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Brown sugar
  • A handful of Thai basil, plus some extra to serve

To serve

  • Jasmine rice
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • 2 Fresh kaffir lime leaves

Method

  1. Begin by heating the oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes and then add the curry paste and fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and then leave until oil rises to the surface.
  2. Take the skin off the chicken thighs with a sharp knife, keeping it for later, and then chop the meat into chunks. Then take the lemongrass and bash the end with the flat of a knife to squash it. Add the chicken meat and lemongrass to the curry and leave to simmer for 12 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile put on a pan of water for the rice. Once boiling add the rice and the lime leaves, stir once to break up the grains and then leave to simmer until cooked through.
  4. Now make the crispy chicken skins. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Take the skins which you took off the thighs and spread them out flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle them with a little sea salt and then sandwich the skins with another sheet of baking paper and a baking tray.
  5. Cook the skins in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden. Leave in the oven with the oven turned off until needed.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked add the fish sauce and sugar to the curry and then bring to the boil again. Then take the curry off the heat and add the Thai basil.
  7. Spoon the soup into serving bowls and top with a little more basil and the chicken skins. Drain the rice and then grate a little of the lime zest into the mixture and serve with the curry!

Note: If you have some leftover roast chicken it works really well in this!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Turkish Delight

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Turkish Delight

When I was younger one of my favourite book series was The Chronicles of Narnia, and my favourite of those was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (or LW+W as I’ll refer to it from now on – great book but hella long title!) As you may have noted by all the other books that have inspired me this month, anything based in a fantasy world or with mystical imagery will tick my box, and so the idea of a land cursed with eternal winter appealed to me from a young age.  Those of you who’ve read LW+W will know the reason why I chose Turkish Delight as my inspired creation for this week (and those of you who haven’t should read the book!) and although I wouldn’t say it’s worth-betraying-my-family-to-the-white-queen good, it’s still pretty tasty!

Turkish delight is one of those things that is really easy to make… if you know how to make it. Those of you following my Instagram may have seen my first attempt at this which ended up as a burnt, black sludge that was binned pretty quickly. After a few recipe tweaks though I’ve ended up with this which I think is pretty successful and pretty easy to get right.  I’ve used a 20cm square tin here to set the sweets in which has made them a little flatter than you’d normally find Turkish delight – but hey, as long as they taste good right? If you prefer yours as proper cubes though just use a smaller tin.

Recipe

Makes 24 squares

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 9 Gelatine leaves
  • 450g Granulated sugar
  • Few drops of rosewater
  • Few drops of Pink food colouring

Method

  1. Lightly oil a 20cm square tin. Then line the tin with cling film. Mix together the cornflour and icing sugar in a bowl and then sift it into the tin. Move the tin around so the sugar mixture dusts the whole inside, then tip the excess out for later and place the tin to one side.
  2. Pour 300ml water into a large pan. Add the gelatine and leave it to soak for about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable.
  3. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir gently until the gelatine dissolves. Then add the sugar and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves (you shouldn’t be able to feel anything gritty on the bottom of the pan).
  4. Bring the mixture up to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and leave the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the rose water and food colouring until the colour is even through the mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and then leave to set overnight.
  7. The next day sift a little of the icing sugar/cornflour mixture from earlier onto a board or plate. Turn the Turkish delight out onto the dusted surface and, using a sharp knife, cut the Turkish delight into strips and then squares about 3x3cm.
  8. Use the rest of the dusting mixture to coat all surfaces of the Turkish delight to stop it from sticking to everything, and then it’s ready to eat! These should be stored in an airtight container, probably between layers of baking paper or cling film to stop the layers from sticking together, for up to a week.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x