Afternoon tea + win some scones!

>> Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eeek. I feel like I've been on an adrenaline rush since the weekend. I am finally sitting down.

Wobbly leg.

Sugared out.

Only myself to blame - I had scheduled to host an afternoon tea chez moi yesterday (Tue) but since I had only gotten off the plane on Monday, I started to get very worried that night as I only had a very rough idea what I was going to make.

Fortunately, there weren't too many disastrous incidents (although at one stage I had melted chocolate streaking down my top to my pants - which forced me to take a timeout and do the laundry) and I tweaked some recipes (which I had bookmarked to make in the past) as I went along and took 'shortcuts', not as in omitting certain steps but using simpler recipes with ingredients that I have ready in my pantry.

And thank goodness that I didn't have to make my own scones too! Baker's Delight sent me some of their new flavoured scones released recently - which are packed full of real chunks of apple, juicy sultanas and cinnamon!

So, I did manage to pull off a simple afternoon tea. Overall, it didn't take too much time to prepare - I started the preparation the night before in between making dinner and watching the Amazing Race, and I started on the savouries an hour before my guests arrived.


Anyways, here it is:

Almost Last Minute Afternoon Tea Viv's way!

{scones} - Courtesy of Baker's Delight

Scones are an essential part of any afternoon tea - with clotted cream and homemade jam of course :) Love love warm scones so I lightly toasted them in the oven just before serving! Delicious! Scroll to the bottom of the post to see details on how to win a voucher from Baker's Delight!

{something chocolatey} - Rich Chocolate Tart

I'm not sure if chocolate could be absent from any (ladies') afternoon tea.

Why I love this chocolate tart:

one. The filling is rich, bittersweet (70% cacao) and sooo smooth.

two. The base is not buttery and sweet, and this whole wheat olive oil tart shell is seriously the easiest AND healthiest one I've come across (they're from Lisa, who I think is the tart queen).

three. It's a helpful and generous tart - it lent its leftover dough to the base of my quiche! Time saver! 

{something nutty} - Raw Blueberry 'Cheese' Cake

Ok, I don't want to be misleading you, but this is not a real cheesecake. It has none of that cream cheese in it - just loads of raw cashew nut blitzed together with a bit of frozen blueberries for the colour! This is a super simple recipe but the cashews require soaking in water for 3 hours (why? read about it here) which I did before anything else.

Oh, and the base took less than 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish!

{something fruity} - Ispahan Agar Agar

This is a cheats way for me to re-live my Paris days with Pierre Herme's Ispahan macarons that I fell for (I bought them again in Japan but it's just not the same...sigh...memories...).

It has a thin layer of pureed raspberry and thicker layer of lychee agar agar. I was going to use the real deal (blend the lychee fruit with the juice) but hey, time's a-ticking so I only used the juice from the lychee can! Canned lychee and frozen raspberries are my helpful friends here.

{something savoury} - Smoked Salmon Avocado and Green Goddess Tea Sandwich

As much as I adore all things sweet, the savoury tier at any afternoon tea is my favourite.

I decided to do a simple avocado and smoked salmon tea sandwich, as well as the more labour intensive Green Goddess tea sandwich which is filled with loads of yummy herbs! They're adapted from Joy's!

I know,  I should've used white bread but you gotta work with what you've got you know? 

{something eggy} - Mushroom and Pea Quiche

This is the simplest quiche! The tart shell is already pre-made (using the choc tart's dough from above) so I just had to thank my lovely freezer for its green pea contribution and also some mushrooms.

See, just put frozen peas and few slices of mushroom (I didn't have the smaller button mushroom) and pour in the eggy/cheesy mixture and bake away!

{something soupy} - Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Ok, I definitely would've run out of time if I had to make a soup but guess what, I'm smart and I stole somebody else's soup (which I found in the fridge) :) Desperate time calls for desperate measure, right?

{tea} - Assorted

Apparently it is rude to offer tea bags in an afternoon/high tea setting. Maybe a British high tea expert lady would frown at me, but at least I get to bring out my special tea box that I won ages ago!

Growing up I've always been told off for my poor table manners and unlady-like behaviours, so I had to read up on some etiquette for my own benefit:
  • Always pour the tea into the cup before the milk or sugar (and never add lemon slices when there's milk otherwise you'll get a curdled mess!)
  • Gently stir the tea with a spoon - the spoon should not touch the side or the bottom of the cup.
  • Spoon stays on the saucer and not in the cup right?
  • Hmmm and it's not cool to dunk your scones into the tea.
  • Finally, take small sips! :)

What a day!

Great company, delicious treats and warm cuppa tea makes it all worth it at the end. 

I hope you all a wonderful week ahead wherever you are.


Now, for your chance to win 2 of $10 and 1 of $5 vouchers (so 3 winners in total!) to be used in any Baker's Delight store in Australia.

How to enter:

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

The 3 winners will be chosen at random.

This giveaway is only open to Australian residents only. Sorry!

(If you do not have a blogger account, just select 'Name/URL' next to 'Comment as' and remember to leave your e-mail addresss so I can contact you for your mailing address.)

The Baker's Delight giveaway closes on Wednesday 29th June 2011 at 10pm AEST and the winner will be announced on Thursday June 30th 2011.


Links to recipes below:

Note: For each of the recipes, I have scaled the ingredient measurements accordingly (mostly by half)!

Rich Chocolate Tart
Whole wheat olive oil shell recipe from Tart ju jour.
Chocolate filling from Dulce Delight.

Raw Cashew 'Cheese' Cake 
'Cheese' filling from Roost Blog.
Cake Base:
  • Digestive biscuit
  • Butter, melted
I didn't use the almond + date as a base from the recipe -  instead I bashed 50g of digestive biscuits with 20g of melted butter in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Then I push the wet crumbs into the base of a small 15cm round baking pan (using the back of a spoon) and put in the freezer for 5 minutes before I poured the filling inside.

Ispahan Agar Agar
  • Agar agar powder
  • Frozen or fresh raspberry
  • 1 can of lychee
The general rule of thumb for making agar agar is:

..for every 1 cup of liquid, add 1/2 tsp of agar powder. Really. That's all. The rest, taste as you go along.
(note: if the ingredient you're using is more acidic like raspberries you will need to add a little bit more agar powder).

I pureed 3/4 cup of raspberry in a blender and put it through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. 
Then I cooked a small amount of water with agar agar powder, and once it boils I let it cool down slightly before I add in the puree of raspberry. I then transfer this into a square tin to let cool and set.

Meanwhile, add the lychee juice + agar agar powder into a pan and bring to boil. Let it cool slightly before adding to the raspberry layer. Pop a few whole raspberries into the lychee liquid if you like!

Smoked Avocado Tea Sandwich
Recipe from Eating Well.

Green Goddess Tea Sandwich
Recipe from Joy The Baker.

Pea and Mushroom Quiche
Quiche base and filling adapted from Tart ju jour - I used frozen peas and mushroom instead of onions + tomatoes in Lisa's recipe.


SimplyStated June 8, 2011 at 4:19 AM  

Too bad I'm in the States because I would love to win! But anyway, I am thrilled with your tea menu and display! Just beautiful! My husband and I stayed up to watch the Royal Wedding and I made scones, cheddar muffins and finger sandwiches...he loved it! Keeps asking me when our next royal tea is. I will making some of the above selections. Thanks so much!

Anonymous,  June 8, 2011 at 4:27 AM  

I don't know what's better, if the pictures or the food!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart June 8, 2011 at 5:39 AM  

You did an amazing job! Everything looks delicious and special. Gorgeous presentation!!!

OohLookBel June 8, 2011 at 9:43 AM  

How good does that all look? I prefer savoury, so the quiche and sandwiches would do me. And the scones - I love Bakers Delight date scones.

Anonymous,  June 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM  

You can totally bring afternoon tea to my place any time Viv =)

hui yee.

Anonymous,  June 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM  

What an awesome afternoon tea! The lychee raspberry agar sweet looks fab, will be trying that.

Raji June 8, 2011 at 5:34 PM  

Beautiful...I am inviting myself to your next tea party.

Joyti June 8, 2011 at 7:04 PM  

I wish I lived somewhere near you, what a fabulous tea. Everything looks incredible! I love the Isapahan agar agar. And the cauliflower soup. And the quiche and sandwiches. And the chocolate tart. Seriously everything looks delicious.
I can't enter your fabulous giveaway because I don't live in Australia :)

grub June 8, 2011 at 7:38 PM  

ooooh the lighting in your house is so awesome! i wish i had a dining table propped up next to a big window :) kudos for whipping up such a grand high tea! invite me next time ok? hehe

(btw, i'll sit out on the giveaway since i won last time :D)

Food Glorious Food! June 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM  

So refined and delicate afternoon tea... Miss having this with my girlfriends!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) June 9, 2011 at 1:46 AM  

What a gorgeous looking afternoon tea. The ispahan jellies look so light and elegant and I love the cute presentation of the cauliflower soup!

Maris (In Good Taste) June 9, 2011 at 7:38 AM  

I can't be entered because I am in the states but I want to tell you everything looks amazing!

happybakingday June 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM  

mmm i especially like the chocolate tart :) scones would be good too!

Zoe June 9, 2011 at 9:13 AM  

All these seems so well-organised to me. Love the mushroom and pea quiches! They are my favourites savoury. Hope that I can lucky with your giveaway. Have a nice long weekend too...

Lisa June 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM  

oh this looks so very perfect! So elegant and lovely!

Anonymous,  June 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM  

Gorgeous and refined, as always, Viv. So jealous I'm not nearby for your goodies and the scones!

Viv June 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM  

SimplyStated: Thank you for your kind words :) Haha how suitable it is to have royal tea while watching the royal wedding (why didn't i think of that!) Hope you do find time to have more future royal/high teas :)

Yadi: Haha, the food!

LDH: Thanks - looks gorgeous because the sun was shining that day :)

OhhLookBel: Me too, I'm more a savoury person in arvo/high tea settings.

hy: haha, oh next time :P

deb: do try the was my fav.

Raji: Haha, you're welcome to! ;)

Indie.Tea: Haha thanks for your kind comment, I think I might have moved on to a new dress size after consuming all that.

grub: I know! That's my fav place to take photos during the day! :) I hosted it in Syd so if i ever decide to host one in Melb will let u know :P

Food Glorious Food: Yeah, times like these are hard to come by - as in havign high tea with girlfriends.

Helen: Thanks! Ispahan agar was delicious altho nothing compared to ispahan macarons lol.

Maris: Hehe thank you :)

happybakingday: thanks!!

Zoe: Yay, long weekend ahead! Yeah, savouries are my favourites...well its the tier i look forward to the most in afternoon teas.

Lisa: Thanks :)

ricekernel: wish you live closeby so we can share food! haha

Elle at Eat Boutique June 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM  

So cute! Eat Boutique is having a little tea party soon and we will definitely be checking these recipes out.

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef June 10, 2011 at 6:41 AM  

Wow! I want to go have tea at your place. I'm buying my ticket to Australia right now. ;)

Joanne June 10, 2011 at 8:57 PM  

How odd. My brunch invitation seems to have gotten LOST IN THE MAIL.

Really, all of this sounds amazing and it looks like you took no shortcuts at all!

birdie to be June 11, 2011 at 4:03 AM  

Oh my goodness what a day! This looks like an amazing spread! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

Noa June 11, 2011 at 7:09 AM  

"a simple afternoon tea"? This looks amazing. I'm definitely inviting myself to your next tea party... (Unfortunately, I'm not in Australia so it might be a while before I can make it + no scones for me). Thank you for the inspiration!

chopinandmysaucepan June 11, 2011 at 10:28 AM  

Cauliflower soup is one of my fave coz it can be served chilled in summer or warm in winter. Also it looks really rich and decadent but it's actually healthy! :)

Dolly June 11, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

that look lovely..

i really like the presentation.. u did that in a day.. omg i think i would take at least 2 .. kudos!!!!

Aizi June 13, 2011 at 3:41 PM  

ok, either you need to come over here and make this for my friends and me, or i will need to move to Australia... ;-) everything looks absolutely scrumptious. seeing as it s a dreary day outside today, i think i might be making some scones!
thank you so much for posting some wonderful ideas Vivienne!

ameanderingmango June 13, 2011 at 8:34 PM  

What a day! Such wonderful sweet and savoury delights - love the idea of raw cheesecake - will have to try it out sometime. I hope you're recovered!

Jeannie June 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM  

Oh such a lovely looking tea party! You'd made it all sounds so effortless but I am sure it's not! Great photograhpy!

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour June 14, 2011 at 2:34 AM  

Wow - What a fabulous looking tea! You sure put on a nice spread! The whole wheat crust looks like a success. And I thought the chocolate tart looked perfect! I'm amazed by your talent. June 14, 2011 at 8:08 AM  

oh my! these look AWESOME!!! I love the soup in the jar idea. Actually everything is love.

Yi @ Yi Reservation June 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM  

what a wonderful afternoon tea party. i wish i were invited. this reminds me of the tea party in Alice in Wonderland. i love scones and berry tarts. i used to make a bunch of scones for breakfast when i was in college. awww ... it is beautifully done. (i live in Australia too :P)
-- Alice @ Yi Reservation

Karen June 14, 2011 at 5:36 PM  

Viv, your afternoon tea spread looks exquisite! I love the mouthwatering combination of sweet and savory dishes that you offered. Beautiful!

Juliana June 15, 2011 at 5:25 AM  

Vivienne, great afternoon tea...they all look delicious. Love the pictures as well.
Great giveaway. Hope you are having a great week :-)

Two fit and fun gals June 15, 2011 at 4:27 PM  

omg where was my invite???? :P

Viv June 15, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

Yi: Hahah, you had me puzzled for a moment! YOu are kidding right? (just to confirm lol) I thought you live in NYC! :P

Lori June 18, 2011 at 2:42 AM  

Well it looks like a major success to me! What a beautiful display of delicious food. I'm revisiting this post for my next party!

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LimeCake June 18, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

Oh wow! What a lovely tea session! Hint to Vivienne for an invitation!

Rui,  February 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM  

Hi Vivienne!Your afternoon tea looks amazing!!Just curious, where did you get your tea pot warmer from?Have been looking around for something like yours, but they can get really expensive:(

Viv February 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM  

Hi Rui, sorry about the late response, I am currently on holiday. I am not sure where the tea pot warmer is from...we've had it for years. i can check the brand when i go back home and let you know!

Rui,  February 28, 2012 at 7:31 PM  

Hey Vivienne!No worries at all, there is no rush. Hope you're enjoying your holiday!!:)

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