There’s something so delightfully British about a Sunday high tea. Imagine the scene: you’ve had a huge dinner at Grandma’s house, with roast lamb and overcooked vegetables. Then you’ve had a bit of a snooze, followed by a lazy game of cricket in the garden. Before you know it, half-past 4 has rolled around, and it’s time to tuck into the spread of sweet food laid out for Sunday Tea. Scones, bread and butter, teacakes, crumpets, muffins, and a slice of light fruit cake! Nobody does excess better!
Afternoon Tea Cake
Adapted from a Rachel Allen recipe
5oz/125g dried fruit (whatever you’ve got!)
2.5floz/75ml Grand Marnier/Cointreau/brandy/apple juice
5oz/125g caster sugar
1 tbsp oil
9oz/250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4oz/100g almonds (flaked, or whole and chopped)
sugar for dusting
- Line and grease a 8in deep cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160’C (fan).
- Put the dried fruit and alcohol/juice in a pan and bring to the boil. Then take off the heat and cool.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the oil and eggs.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder, fruit and liquid, and almonds.
- Put the mixture into the cake tin, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack, and dust with sugar once cool (I used caster sugar for a bit of crunch, but icing sugar would be fine too). This is best eaten fresh, or as the French would say “à consommer rapidement!” – though do take care if you decide to consume rapidly not to choke on a crumb, because that’s a sure-fire way to ruin a Sunday Tea.
Throwback: Carrot and walnut cake