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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Tea time treats

I think if I could choose a favourite meal it would have to be afternoon tea. Every year in the local magazine we run a feature on the best afternoon teas in our area, and the job of testing them has to be the best gig ever. They vary hugely of course: this year my favourite was a savoury afternoon tea with cheese scones, warm slivers of quiche and tiny sandwiches. Anyway, I've also been trying out some afternoon tea baking at home recently. The first item was the lemon and oat cookies, above, taken from Nigel Slater's new cook book which is called Eat. The cookies are absolutely delicious, and they are sandwiched together with marscapone and lemon curd....a lethally good combination.

Next on the list are these cheese biscuits (from a Good Housekeeping recipe).

I used my old cookie cutters for these, love this rectangular shaped one. 

This banana and chocolate cake is the thriftiest cake recipe ever, it is simple, and uses up the black bananas in the fruit bowl. My neighbour gave me this and I've made it so many times. It improves with keeping (if you can keep your family away from it), becoming softer and stickier over time....

I have a new poster for the kitchen. It's a vintage one that I bought in Totnes this summer and which I've finally framed and put on the wall. The frame is from Dunelm. They have a brilliant selection, especially larger ones. 

Teas for one shilling and a six course dinner for 3/6. I'm checking in!

* P.S A couple of people have asked for the cake recipe, so I'll put it here. I only have it in imperial measurements, it's one of those recipes that is passed around on scraps of paper....

Banana and chocolate cake
6oz margarine
8oz granulated sugar
2 -3 over ripe bananas
10 oz self raising flour
half level teaspoon salt
half level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 eggs
2oz plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces 

Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

Heat oven to 325F, 160C or gas 3. Grease a round 8in cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. 
Melt the margarine and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until the margarine has just melted. Remove from  heat. Peel and mash the bananas on a plate with the vanilla. Sift flour, salt and bicarb of soda into the saucepan and mix with the marg and sugar. Beat the eggs and add to the pan with the banana. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate pieces. Pour into the tin. 
Sprinkle over some demerara sugar and bake for about one hour 15 - one hour 30 mins. 
When cool, wrap in foil. 
Apparently it keeps for up to 3 weeks, but it barely lasts for three days in our house


  1. Think I may join you! I love afternoon tea too, I love cake but one slice will do for me, I prefer to have mostly savoury.

  2. You're such an inspiration! I seem to have whiled away the weekend and not achieved anything. Was thinking about baking a cake this afternoon, never quite got round to it and you've done all this. Love the poster too!

    1. I think my family really wish I would sometimes calm down and do nothing! But I like to be busy :)

  3. Very yummy cakes! I haven't got Nigel Slater's new book yet. Think I may have to put it on my Christmas list!

    1. It's very good. I've also made some gorgeous spicy roast potatoes with spinach, absolutely delicious and very easy to do. I found the book at Sainsburys for £9.99 rather than the £26 rrp!

  4. I love your poster and the chocolate and banana cake looks v. delicious. Is the recipe in Nigel Slater's book also?

    1. Hi Fiona, I've clarified where all the recipes come from. Only the oat cookies are from Eat, I should have made that clear. I put the banana and chocolate recipe on the blog. It is very delicious....

    2. Thanks Fiona, will give this a try.

  5. Ooh I'm on my way! What lovely baking ... it looks delicious!

    Thanks for your lovely comments, it means such a lot

    Love Claire xxx

  6. I feel so hungry now, it all looks so delicious
    Thank you for your kind words
    Thea xx

  7. Definitely going out to tea is my favourite especially somewhere like Rye which has several lovely teashops. Your baking looks delicious - in our house it wouldn't last very long either but thats a compliment of course.

    1. I've never been to Rye and I would love to go! It's on my list for next year....