It's no secret that I love afternoon tea. My mum and I often scout out somewhere to enjoy the cutest of cakes, soldier like sandwiches and neverending pots of tea.
When i saw that Denby were hosting an afternoon tea themed cake off, I couldn't wait to get involved. I thought, how can I make something that resembles afternoon tea, as well as could be nibbled at one? With our best blue Denby crockery and Sadler romeo and juliet teapot, I laid the table for afternoon tea and got creative for the main event. Cake, of course.
For the victoria sponge
♥ 170g caster sugar
♥ 170g unsalted butter
♥ 3 large free range eggs, beaten
♥ 170g self raising flour, sieved
♥ A dash of vanilla extract
For the sponge filling
♥ 40g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
♥ 90g icing sugar
♥ A splash of milk
♥ Your favourite jam
For the decoration
♥ A sheet of ready to roll white fondant icing
♥ Various gel food colourings
♥ White marzipan
♥ A mixture of paint brushes
♥ Cornflour, to prevent sticking
♥ Plastic gloves, to protect hands from food colouring
♥ Craft stampers, for printing the tablecloth
For the base, I made a classic victoria sponge with two 8" cake tins. Can you get more afternoon tea than that? The filling is thick buttercream and good quality damson jam, as I fancied a twist on the usual strawberry. The toppings were made from coloured marzipan, which were great fun to make!
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c.
Step one. Make a classic sponge by firstly creaming together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg a little at a time, and use a metal spoon to carefully fold in the sieved flour. Lastly add in the vanilla extract and combine.
Step two. Divide into two 8" cake tins, lined with circles of greased baking paper and bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Then check if it needs an extra 5 minutes. When golden and baked, allow to cool on a wire rack.
Step three. Make your buttercream by whipping together the butter and icing sugar. It may need a little milk to help get it going.
Step four. Add buttercream to one side and jam to the other, then flip together. Does anyone else have another technique for this?
Step five. Set aside and don't be tempted to cut yourself a slice. The fun starts now!
Step six. Dust cornflour on a flat surface and roll out your fondant. Sorry Mary, I didn't make my own.
If you have some craft stampers, this is where you can use edible ink or diluted food colouring to print on your design. My mum usually uses these for her card making!
Step seven. When dry, carefully lay over your cake and pinch the edges to create a tablecloth effect.
Step eight. Get various food colourings ready with a dash of water and paint brushes. Be creative with a floral, polkadot or checkered design!
Step nine. Set aside to work on your afternoon tea components. Think teapot, saucers, sugar bowl, sandwiches, macarons and most importantly... cake.
As this is The Great Denby Cake Off, there of course had to be denby crockery at my fantasy fondant table. the Sugarflair Aztec Blue was exactly what I was looking for to create that timeless imperial blue shade.
Step ten. To colour the marzipan, simply get a tiny flick of your desired colour and roll in your hands until the colour runs evenly thoughout.
I would definitely recommend plastic gloves for this, as well as washing your hands between colours. it's also a good idea to use very small bit of food colouring at a time so you don't go too dark straight away.
As well as aztec blue, I used:
Macarons: pink and spruce green
Cake: a dash of autumn leaf, plain marzipan for buttercream, intense pink for the jam and cherries
Sandwiches: autumn leaf
Tea: autumn leaf
Step eleven. Practice the layout of your afternoon tea scene on the underneath of your 8" cake tin.
Step twelve. Assemble and enjoy with a cup of your favourite tea. Mine's english breakfast, please.
What would you have at your afternoon tea? Have you had a go at cake decorating recently?
This post is an enter to The Great Denby Cake Off - find out more about entering here.