Hip, hip, hurray! it’s National Tea Day (Sunday 21st April 2019)
Darlings, now before I proceed any further, I must admit, I haven’t foggiest idea how or why this recipe commenced its culinary journey as a “saucer cake” – so, if you possess an inkling of a clue please do let me know!
Okey dokey, in celebration of this totally “tea-tastic” day, may I present Mrs Beeton’s Rose & Lime Saucer Cake – How spiffing. Yes, that’s right darlings, this bloomin’ marvellous floral creation oozes the delightful fragrance of an English country garden, well, in this case the delicate aroma of pink dainty roses that grow in a wreath-like fashion, tightly gripped around the grand stone entrance of one of those quaint countryside abodes – a picture postcard image, springs to mind!
Eat cake, sip champagne, and be merry!
Come and join the revelry, as I crank up the volume to "Happy Birthday" by America's very own soul/pop/R&B/funk/jazz sensation - the one and only Stevie Wonder! One, two, three - now altogether, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday” – Oh, what a classic!
“So, what’s all the fuss about?” I hear you squawk? Well, obviously it's Miss Windsor's birthday today and to mark such a joyous occasion, one has recreated an age-old recipe from one's trusty, 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – with a bit of a Miss Windsor twist, of course!
I'm thrilled to present Miss Windsor's Quick & Easy Victorian Boiled Fruitcake - a delightful addition to your afternoon tea pageantry of goodies; or a rather toothsome, time-saving alternative to the traditional Christmas cake.
Oh, and I'm proud to say that my version is 'loosely' based on my beloved grandmother Josie's recipe. You see, ever since she sadly waltzed through the Pearly Gates in 2013, I've tirelessly strived to resurrect her scrumptious culinary creation. I say, but Grandmother Josie is quite a hard act to follow, plus she left no written record of her recipe.
Miss Windsor and I have come to the end of our summer garden party collaboration, and hope you’ve very much enjoyed it as much as we have. We’re taking a bit of a break now but will be back before too long with a special quartet of recipes inspired by our respective Italian travels earlier in the year.
Until then, we leave you with Miss Windsor’s sparking summer beverages: a fabulous fizzy lemonade which she also uses to make a gorgeous summery cocktail with Pimm’s number 6 cup, a special edition one with elderflower and blackberry. It sounds so nice I can’t wait to try it. I really must get out more as I’d never even heard of this Pimm’s until Miss Windsor told me about it!
And, finally, from me a classic Victoria sponge. Every garden party needs a nice simple Victoria sponge so here you are; complete with tips and a brief cake history.
(You may be wondering why our garden party has suddenly morphed into a bit of a Teddy Bear's Picnic as well, but all will become clear as you read on.)
Mini quiches are always a great savoury favourite for parties and picnics and a must for garden parties. Add some cooked diced bacon or lardons if you prefer but the simple cheese and onion flavour is delicious and also suitable for non-meat eaters.
Easy to make and assemble: particularly if you whiz up your pastry in the food processor and make an all in one filling rather than faffing about adding cheese and onions and what have you separately, plus, unlike full size quiches, you don’t have to bake the pastry cases blind first either.
Please join Miss Windsor for a jolly good go at recreating this refreshingly zingy beverage of Mrs Beeton’s Quick-Fire Fizz Lemonade - it's ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy’!
Oh, and it’s just what the doctor ordered to reduce one’s body temperature whilst enduring such an unusual spell of sweltering hot weather. And I dare say, it’s definitely a one-off for Great Britain that’s notoriously known for its mediocre summers – My word, wonders never cease!
Anyone for tennis? Oh, dearie me, last shout for The Championships Wimbledon was on Sunday 15th of July. But not to worry, Miss Windsor’s here to console you with a sup or two of her frightfully fruity Pimm’s cocktail - which is just the tonic to soothe one’s post-tennis blues. Or why not join Mrs Simkins (my culinary collaborator) and I for a jolly good quaff of the good stuff at our summer garden party!
So, move over Mr Original Gin Sling, and make way for Miss Windsor’s intensely vibrant vodka-based tipple – toot sweet! which oozes a luxurious touch of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
Miss Windsor and I love a cream tea and are in complete accord when it comes to three pressing matters of scone etiquette.
First of all, do you say scone to rhyme with ‘gone’ or ‘phone’?
‘Gone’. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Secondly, do you pull your scone apart gently at its ‘waist’ or cut it? Miss Windsor and I prefer to pull ours apart and happily; this is the correct scone etiquette!
Thirdly, should you spread your jam on first followed by a spoonful of cream or the other way round?
I hereby present my delightful sweet offering to Mrs Simkins and Miss Windsor’s summer garden party – my Seriously Scrumptious Lemon & Coconut Cake. I say what an adorable addition to your very own garden party, or afternoon tea pageantry of exquisite cakes and bakes. Oh, yes, and please do enjoy a slice or two with a cup of your favourite brew!
Darlings, just as it says on the tin – it’s seriously scrumptious, very lemony, with a saucy taste of paradise. Oh, dearie me! I fear I’m sounding off like an advert for a Bounty chocolate bar! But nevertheless, I’m certain my glorious cake will send you into a hedonistic state of "coconutty" heaven – How spiffing!
Lovely as cakes are, you can’t have a tea party without a savoury element to begin with, including some delicate little sandwiches: “Sandwiches before cake,” as my mum used to say and I know Miss Windsor agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment!
Here are some sandwich suggestions to start you off: several based around cucumber (essential for keeping your cool in summer) and some tips for the perfect egg mayonnaise filling.
Don’t forget to cut the crusts off all your sandwiches and cut into dainty fingers or triangles.
They are called finger sandwiches, by the way, as you eat them with your fingers.
Well, I say, thank you for popping by – it’s always a pleasure!
So, whilst you’re here I wish to titillate your taste buds with my splendidly gratifying little meaty balls of deliciousness – By Jove, that’s quite a mouthful Miss Windsor!
Darlings, I guarantee my recipe created with quails’ eggs and butchers best sausage meat - ‘jazzed up’ with spring onion, a smattering of parsley, plus a dash of wholegrain and Dijon mustard - will satisfy all carnivore palates and will certainly give Fortnum & Mason a ‘run for their money! In fact, they proclaimed the delightful Scotch egg was invented in 1738 at their Piccadilly, London store – Miss Windsor’s favourite!
Miss Windsor and I can scarcely believe our Queen has now been on the throne for 65 years. It’s a whole lifetime! She is our longest reigning monarch, Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years, seven months and two days, in case you are wondering!
The Queen loves afternoon tea and there are several cakes she particularly enjoys: Dundee cake, ginger cake, sponge cake filled with jam and maybe cream, possibly Battenberg, but her favourite cake of all is chocolate biscuit cake.
I say, my royal counterparts are really putting on a jolly good show this year – Bravo!
Not only were we treated to a beautiful wedding as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Oh, how spiffing! Then on Saturday 2nd June, we joined the gaiety as HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 65 glorious years on the throne – Well done your grace!
You see, to commemorate the anniversary of the coronation, my darling Mrs Simkins and fellow collaborator rustled up Her Majesty’s most favourite teatime dessert - Chocolate Biscuit Cake.
I say, so following such merriment we now prepare for our next royal ‘knees-up’ – the Queen’s official birthday of Trooping the Colour which takes place on June 9th (2018)
Miss Windsor and I send our very best wishes to newly married royals Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And what a fabulous wedding they had, so very moving and full of wonderful and lovely surprises.
Darlings, I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s recipe for GENUINE Sponge Cake – a flavour from the ‘old school’ - well, in this case, The Boston Cooking-School, Massachusetts, USA!
I say, Miss Merritt Farmer is an American culinary goddess from yesteryear, known as an advocate of ‘scientific’ cookery and household management. Thus, following her graduation in 1889 from The Boston Cooking-School, she served as assistant director and teacher; becoming school principal during the 1890's.
In keeping with the ‘spirit’ of The Championships, Wimbledon, one hoped to stumble across a recipe with a tennis connection. Well, 'lo and behold' whilst flicking through my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, there I discovered a recipe for Tennis Cake!
Darlings, as you’ll soon discover, Miss Windsor’s spin on Mrs Beeton’s most decadent, moist and luxurious Tennis Cake boasts an appealing light texture and colour - bestrewn with a plenteous amount of chopped almonds and flavoured with a subtle zing of lemon.
This utterly indulgent Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake has recently sparked a ‘titbit’ of attention on Instagram – Oh, how spiffing! You see, I received a request from a follower who kindly asked me to share this recipe - and so here it is!
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