High tea at your favourite hotel is a special treat, but when time and geography interfere, it’s just as simple to make your own at home. Bring out the old silverware and start the kettle; we’re bringing back the tea party with food fit for a queen.
Tea party recipes are usually smaller, more dainty-looking portions of delicious sweet and savoury treats. The key is to keep things neat and bite-sized, from classic cucumber sandwiches to buttery English shortbread and a variety of finger foods.
I’ve made a list of 5 recipes that you can serve at your next high tea party that’ll leave the guests in awe and your party will be the talk of the town.
1. Cucumber Sandwich
1 cup of cream cheese softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh chives, chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 long cucumber thinly sliced
1 loaf sliced bread crusts removed
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise with a hand mixer until smooth. Mix in the herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Spread cream cheese mixture on bread slices.
- Cucumbers, thinly sliced Half of the bread slices should be layered. If desired, garnish with additional herbs.
- Remove the crusts from the remaining bread slices and cut each sandwich into three pieces.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
2. Chilli-Lime Roasted Chickpeas
2 cans of chickpeas
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or regular salt will do too
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet foil in the tray and spread chickpeas in the tray in a single layer. Bake until it’s very crunchy. It takes about 40-45 minutes. Stir it every 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle the chickpeas with the extra virgin olive oil and mix them with the mixture in the serving bowl.
- Garnish it with coriander leaves and you’re ready to serve them.
- After baking, chickpeas are tossed with the spice mixture because spices can become bitter if they burn.
- Drying chickpeas before roasting (just rub them with a kitchen towel or paper towel) helps keep them crisp.
3. Shrimp and Cheese Canapés
1 cup of cooked mini shrimp plus more for garnish (the extra for garnish is totally optional and completely unnecessary lol).
The bread of your choice
1/2 cup Mayo
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch of parsley
1/2 a bunch of dill
1 cup of three cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan and Amul)
- Rinse and pat dry the cooked shrimp with paper towels. Peel and coarsely chop shrimp into small pieces. Place the shrimp in a medium mixing bowl.
- Transfer the parsley, dill, and garlic to a mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining spread ingredients: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup cheese Stir everything together to make your spread.
- Make 1/2-inch slices of bread. Spread the mixture generously over the bread slices and bake at 150°C for 5 minutes to melt the cheese and slightly sizzle the shrimp (8-10 minutes).
- To serve, top with sautéed shrimp if desired, but it is completely optional and tastes just as good without it.
4. Vanilla Cream Scones with Strawberry Jam
- 300g all purpose flour with yeast, plus extra for dusting
- 50g custard powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g sugar
- 95g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 150-175ml whole milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2TbSp of Kissan strawberry jam
- Whipped cream, to serve
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, custard powder, 14 teaspoons of fine salt, baking powder, and sugar. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the milk gradually with your hands until you have a smooth dough – you may not need all of it. Roll the dough out to a 2cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper, cover, and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°F and take the dough out of the fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 7cm round biscuit cutter, cut out three or four scones from the dough (see tip below). Arrange the scones on the tray, leaving a 2cm space between each.
- Repeat step 2 with the remaining dough, then stamp out as many scones as you can (you should get about six in total). Place these on the tray as well, and then brush the scones with the beaten egg (see tip below). Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, then remove them from the oven and cool completely on the tray. Serve with rhubarb compote and clotted cream on the side. They’re best eaten on the day they’re made.
- TIP: When stamping out the scones, be careful not to twist the biscuit cutter. They may not rise evenly if you do. This can also happen if you brush the beaten egg over the tops and it drips down the sides.
5. Chocolate Brownies
2½ sticks (1¼ cups) of unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for greasing
1 cup good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 tablespoon coffee powder
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 180°C with a rack in the centre. Line a 9×13-inch dark metal pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides, with softened butter. Softened butter should be used to grease the parchment.
- Set aside the chopped chocolate, 14 cup cocoa powder, and coffee powder in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just comes to a vigorous simmer, about 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Pour the hot butter over the chocolate mixture right away and set aside for 2 minutes. Set aside until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and eggs. Beat with an electric hand mixer on high speed for 10 minutes, or until light and fluffy. It will have the consistency of very thick pancake batter.
- Pour in the slightly cooled chocolate and butter mixture and blend until smooth, using the mixer.
- Sift in the remaining 12 cup cocoa powder and gently fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Smooth the top with a spatula after pouring the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is slightly puffed.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and lightly drop it on a flat surface 1-2 times until the brownies deflate slightly.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out fudgy but the edges look cooked through. The brownies will appear under baked in the centre, but they will continue to set as they cool.
- Place the brownies on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Use the parchment paper to remove the cooled brownies from the pan. Serve immediately after cutting into 24 bars.
That’s it for today, lovelies. I hope you enjoyed the blog as much as I did articulating and writing it. These are the recipes I’d use if I had a high tea party at my place. Mention in the comments section below which recipes you’ll use for your next tea party with your friends and family. So, when are you hosting your friends for a tea party?