Photos and recipes from Saturday’s Strawberry Tea!

So Strawberry Tea came and went. Our informal gathering of gourmet gals and two intrepid (well, hungry) gents spent a blissful few hours last Saturday afternoon taking tea and raising money for Breast Cancer Care. I don’t think I’ve seen such a glut of strawberries, or at least not in my Bloomsbury flat; we were awash with crimson goodness thanks to the ladies bringing an exceptional quantity of ripe strawberries!
We sipped Henrietta Lovell’s delicate Jasmine Silver Tip tea, there was Pimms aplenty and after the strawberry scone, gluten-free cupcake and Jarlsberg & fennel muffin scoffing bonanza some of us were in serious need of a reviving tonic before seeing the brilliant Inception down at the cinema. Thanks to Firefly for rescuing us from an early evening siesta!
Indeed a BIG thank you is owed to the generous donations by:
  • And not forgetting the aforementioned Firefly Tonics
Having a gaggle of lovely ladies round to a sumptuous afternoon tea was great fun and I hope we’ll reprise the event next summer on a slightly larger scale. Further fundraising plans for Breast Cancer Care are afoot with a garden party this August, so feel free to check out Niamh Shields’ blog Eat Like A Girl for more details in the coming weeks.
Featured here are some of the recipes used on Saturday which I hope you’ll be inspired by to host your own Strawberry Tea. Please register with Breast Cancer Care for more information and support in hosting a fundraiser. If tea doesn’t really take your fancy then opt for a garden party as Niamh has, or  perhaps a brunch, picnic in the park, a raffle in the office… the possibilities are endless and hosting a fundraiser needn’t be a chore. Get your friends, family, colleagues to support by helping you prepare for an event, however casual it may be.
Incidentally the really beautiful photos come courtesy of graphic designer Ailbhe of Simply Splendiferous. do have a look at her blog for more gorgeous photography, recipes and inspiration in general. Linda of With Knife and Fork posted some Strawberry Tea pics on her Posterous page and Julia author of soon to be published A Slice Of Cherry Pie (Absolute Press) posted a note on her new blog which you can read here

And without further ado, the Strawberry Tea recipes:
Spelt Scones

These scones are adapted from a recipe developed by the head pastry chef at Brown’s Hotel, needless to say we snaffled the scones with liberal helpings of Rodda’s clotted cream, strawberries and an assortment of sour cherry, blackcurrant and strawberry jams!
Makes 20 small or 10 large scones
  • 500g refined spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2g salt
  • 120g cold butter
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 300ml cold buttermilk

Egg wash:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 15 ml (roughly 1 tbsp) whole milk

Preheat your oven to 220 C and flour a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Grate the cold butter into the flour and using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you have a magimix simply blitz the butter and flour for about 10-15 seconds until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, stir through and then add the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon mix the liquid and dry ingredients together and place this on a lightly floured work surface. Knead with your hands for a minute or two until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Resist the temptation to over-knead or the scones will be tough.

With a rolling pin or just using your hands, roll out the dough until it’s 2.5 cm/ 1 inch thick and using either a small or large floured pastry cutter press each scone out gently. Place the scones on your floured baking sheet and brush twice with your egg wash.

Bake the scones on the upper third shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes if small or 20-25 minutes if large. They should have doubled in size and look golden brown on top.

Jarlsberg & Fennel Muffins (spiked with Marmite)


I first concocted these while doing my Masters in the anthropology of food at SOAS a while back, if you like cheesey baked goodies then you’ll love Jarlsberg & Fennel muffins I promise!


150g wholewheat spelt flour
150g plain spelt flour
100g coarsely grated Jarlsberg
20g marmite
150g whole milk
1 medium egg
40g melted butter
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 190C. Line 6 large muffin cups with baking parchment, or just lightly grease them so the muffins don’t stick (if you want smaller muffins use a 12xcup tray)

Dissolve the marmite with a tablespoon or two of boiling water, and add to the milk. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients, except the cheese. Stir through to evenly distribute the raising agents.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add all the liquid ingredients, stir through a couple of times and then add the cheese. Fold until the mixture looks even and then spoon into the muffin cups.

Bake on the upper-middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes for large muffins and 10-15 minutes for smaller ones.

Fretting about whether i’d have enough food for everyone I doubled this recipe and rather than make a ridiculous number of muffins I baked a small loaf of the remaining mixture. Needless to say this made a great base for grilled cheese the next day. All I did was toast the bread, slathered on some Marmite, lots of Jarlsberg, fennel seeds, mustard powder and cayenne. One for grilled cheeselovers:
Finally there was Nigella’s Chocolate sour cream cake with sour cream icing from her How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I’d heard good things about this *bombshell* of a recipe but frankly was a bit disappointed. The cake didn’t quite pack enough of a punch and was a tad dry. Next time I’ll be sticking to my tried and tested Tropisk Aroma or spiced chocolate cake, a recipe for which you can find here and, for good measure, on Julia’s new blog here!

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5 Responses to Photos and recipes from Saturday’s Strawberry Tea!

  1. shayma says:

    everything look splendid, Sig. congrats on a wonderful event. x shayma

  2. Julia says:

    Ooh, I’m hungry again now! It was such a lovely spread, and now we can recreate the recipes, fab x

  3. rhwfoodie says:

    Mmmmm yum!!! What a great selection of treats for such a great cause too. Especially like the look of the cheesy items…

  4. gastrogeek says:

    what scrummy looking treats! Love the sound of those scones, and such a fantastic cause, well done on what sounds like a brilliant event :)

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