Edwardian Garden Party – afternoon tea treats

I have finally got back to the blogging after a little reprieve during the holidays but rest assured I have been baking and have lots to update you on! I have also been watching the Great British Bake Off and it has inspired me to do more baking. I thought the tarte au citron from Mary Berry would be a great recipe to try soon.

Back in June I was invited to an Edwardian Garden Party. It was great fun and full of delicious afternoon tea goodies. I managed to get a few snaps of the raspberry and champagne jelly and these little lemon and mini cupcake treats on vintage crockery! This year Lili Vanilli has been researching the Edwardian High Tea so you can see her photo story if you’re feeling inspired!

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Raspberry courting cake recipe review

2 tier cake adapted from Good Food magazineOn this cold snowy night, I thought it would be nice to hark back to a summer recipe. This is a raspberry courting cake which I made in August and tasted absolutely delicious. My sister-in-law adapted the recipe from the July issue of the Good Food magazine – it’s a three layer cake but as we didn’t have three sandwich tins, we scaled down the recipe to make it a simple two layer cake. The magazine had some interesting history about this particular cake – it’s a Lancashire cake made by ladies for their young (betrothed) men – see the Food Dictionary’s definition here. It’s usually prepared with fresh cream and strawberries but I liked Good Food’s interpretation with raspberries and mascarpone! I did make this for a young man but not one I’m betrothed to! My five year old nephew declared that he didn’t want a chocolate birthday cake this year, so my niece and I baked him this beauty instead!

Here’s the adapted sponge recipe:
Use 8 inch cake tins
200g softened butter
200g caster sugar
4 medium free range eggs (beaten)
200g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the filling, use a 250g tub of mascarpone or a smaller tub if you can find one
50g of icing sugar and some to dust the top of the cake
175g raspberries
1tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

Treat this as a Victoria sponge cake with a different filling. Cream the sugar and butter, add the eggs one by one, then fold in the sieved flour and baking powder plus pinch of salt. Combine it as little as possible so the sponge turns out nice and light. Bake for 25-30mins in the oven – Fan 160/Oven 180/Gas mark 4. Once baked, let the cake cool. In the meantime, mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar and lemon zest. Spread a generous layer of mascarpone on the top of one of the cake halves. Place the raspberries all over. Then stack the second cake half on top. Finish off with a dusting of icing sugar! This is a simple cake to bake and a refreshing alternative to Victoria sponge. Being a Lancashire lass myself this is a cake close to my heart…

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