Celebrate mother’s day with a delightful high tea of homemade treats.
TIP: It’s important to beat eggs and sugar until the “ribbon” stage – it will hold its shape when drizzled.
Mother’s Day Sponge Cake
Prep 20 mins / Cook 25 mins / Serves 12
4 eggs; ¾ cup caster sugar; 1 cup self-raising flour; 1 tbsp cornflour; 1/3 cup boiling water.
10 g butter; 500 g strawberries; 600 ml thickened cream, whipped Icing sugar, to serve.
1. Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Lightly grease and line 2 x 20 cm sandwich pans. Dust sides of pan with a little flour, shaking out excess.
2. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs 30 secs until frothy. Gradually add sugar and beat on high until thick and pale and mixture holds its shape (this can take up to 10 mins, see tip).
3. Sift flours together onto baking paper. In a jug, combine water and butter. Gradually fold sifted flour lightly into mixture, followed by water mixture.
4. Pour evenly into pans. Bake 20-25 mins until sponge springs back when touched lightly. Loosen edges with small palette knife. Cover a wire rack with tea towel, turn out cakes. Cool completely.
5. Hull and slice 400 g strawberries. Split cakes in half. Layer with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Top with remaining strawberries and dust with icing sugar, to serve.
TIP: These can be prepared ahead and reheated in a slow oven, 150 C, 5-10 mins. If liked, use ready-made short crust pastry.
Mixed Mini Quiches
Prep 20 mins (plus chilling) / Cook 25 mins / Makes 24
1¼ cups plain flour; 150 g chilled butter, chopped; 1 egg-yolk, plus 3 eggs extra; 1-2 tbsps iced water.
6 grape tomatoes, sliced; 3 asparagus spears, thinly sliced, blanched; 50 g blue cheese, crumbled.
¼ cup thickened cream; 2 tbsps Parmesan, finely grated Chervil sprigs, to serve.
1. Process flour and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and water and pulse until dough just starts to come together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until just smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.
2. Grease two 12-hole shallow patty pans. Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 3 mm thick. Using a 7-cm round cutter, cut pastry and use to line recesses. Chill 30 mins.
3. Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. Bake blind 10 mins. Remove filling and bake a further 6-8 mins until golden. Cool.
4. Divide tomato slices among 12 pastry shells, then divide asparagus and blue cheese among remaining shells. In a jug, whisk extra eggs, cream and Parmesan together and season to taste.
5. Spoon into pastry shells. Bake for 8-10 mins until set. Serve garnished with chervil sprigs.
TIP: Make blinis ahead of time and store in an airtight container.
Smoked Salmon Blinis
Prep 15 mins (plus chilling) / Cook 10 mins / Makes 24
½ cup plain flour; 1½ tsps baking powder; 1 tsp caster sugar; ½ cup milk; 1 egg, lightly whisked; 25 g butter, melted, cooled.
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped; 100 g cream cheese, softened; 2 tbsps lemon juice; 1 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra sprigs, to serve.
100 g smoked salmon slices; 1/3 cup cornichons, thinly sliced Lemon wedges, to serve.
1. In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder and sugar together. Gradually whisk in combined milk, egg, butter and chives. Chill 30 mins.
2. In a bowl, beat cream cheese, juice and dill together until smooth. Season to taste. Chill until required.
3. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat on medium. Spoon ½ tbsp mixture into pan in batches. Cook 1 min until bubbles appear. Turn and cook 30 secs. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining mixture.
4. Top blinis with cream cheese mixture, salmon and cornichons. Serve with extra dill sprigs on top and lemon wedges on the side.
TIP: To make conserve, boil 1¼ cups caster sugar and 2 tbsps lemon juice on medium. Bring to boil, simmer 10 mins.
Scones 2 Ways
Prep 15 mins / Cook 20 mins / Makes 12
2 cups self-raising flour; 50 g butter, chopped; ¼ cup grated tasty cheese; 1 tbsp icing sugar.
1 cup milk, plus; 1 tbsp extra; ½ cup thickened cream, whipped Berry conserve, to serve (see tip).
2 tsps olive oil; 150 g pumpkin, peeled, cubed; ¼ cup firm ricotta; 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan; 1 pinch nutmeg.
1. Preheat oven to very hot, 220 C. Lightly grease and flour an oven tray.
2. In a large bowl, sift flour. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a second bowl, place half mixture. Stir grated cheese into one bowl and icing sugar into the other. Make a well in each.
3. Add half milk to each bowl. Mix with a flat-bladed knife to a soft sticky dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead both gently until just smooth.
4. Pat each into a 3 cm-thick round. Cut each into 6 rounds using a 5-cm round cutter. Place each together on tray. Brush tops with extra milk.
5. Bake 12-15 mins until golden and sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
6. PUMPKIN RICOTTA Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat oil on high. Cook pumpkin, tossing occasionally, 5-10 mins, until golden and tender. Cool. Mash roughly and stir ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg through.
7. Serve cheese scone halves topped with pumpkin ricotta and classic scone halves topped with conserve and cream.