Sunday, 11 October 2015

Homemade afternoon tea

Late last week my friend Maya and I decided that we would meet up this weekend to bake lots of different cakes, to make afternoon tea for my housemates (and us, of course). I guess we were slightly mourning the end of the Bake Off and this seemed like the perfect way to recreate it ourselves.

We decided on four different types of cake: Victoria sponge, brownie, cupcakes and Mars bar cornflake cakes. I went out earlier this afternoon to get the ingredients, and Maya came over so we could start some serious baking.

We first made the brownies, using this BBC Good Food recipe. It is actually quite a complicated recipe for brownies, as you have to mix lots of different things in different bowls and add them all together at the end, but honestly they are probably the best brownies I have ever made - really gooey in the middle with a chewy top. They are dubbed 'Best-ever brownies', and I think they live up to their name! Definitely worth following this recipe.

Afterwards we mixed up the batter for the Victoria sponge cake using Mary Berry's recipe. It is fairly straight-forward and easy to follow (unlike some of her vague recipes in the technical challenges) but still tastes amazing.

We had quite a lot of cake mix left after pouring it into the tins for the Victoria sponge, so we decided to spoon it into some cake cases and make some cupcakes.

Plain cupcakes weren't adventurous enough for us so, once they were baked, we cut a chunk out of the middle, filled the hole with Nutella, and put the chunk of cake back on top. So basically they became Nutella-filled cupcakes. (You could add the Nutella before they are baked, by just adding a small spoonful in the middle of the mixture in the cupcake cases so that they are gooey Nutella cupcakes. We didn't think that far ahead). For the icing, we mixed icing sugar, butter and Nutella together and piped it on top with a piping bag.

And finally, we made the Mars bar cornflake cakes. These are Maya's own recipe and are very similar to normal chocolate cornflake cakes, but with a twist. We only made 3 of these but you could add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like, to make more cakes. Here are the instructions:

1) Cut up a couple of Mars bars and put them in a bowl with a scoop of butter.
2) Add a teaspoon of syrup to make the mixture sticky (we used yacon syrup, but normal maple syrup would do).
3) Melt the mixture together - either in the microwave, or on the hob over a pan of hot water. Make sure the chocolate is fully melted and the ingredients are all mixed together.
4) Add a few handfuls of cornflakes to the mixture and mix in. We used Crunchy Nut, which add a lovely nutty taste and texture, but you can use plain cornflakes - or even Rice Krispies, if you would prefer.
5) Spoon the mixture into some cupcake or muffin cases and allow to cool.

We actually completed all four recipes very quickly - I think we did a really good job! Everything tastes delicious, although I think the brownie is my favourite.

It actually turned into evening tea rather than afternoon tea, because the cakes weren't finished until about 7pm - but that's acceptable, right? We just need a cake stand to display them on! I think these will keep us going for a few days (although my housemates can be a load of gannets), and we're planning to take them into hospital tomorrow to keep us going throughout the day.

Baking is really therapeutic and so much fun to do with friends. Maya is quite a messy cook so kept making me laugh by splashing herself with various culinary delights, and we also had a good chat at the same time.

I feel like I have had a really relaxing, but fairly productive, day and have really enjoyed myself. I feel refreshed and ready for whatever Monday morning can throw at me - I hope you have had a lovely weekend too!
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
                     - Dr Seuss


  1. This is such a cute idea, and the cakes look delicious :) sounds like you had a lovely afternoon xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

  2. We used to have a similar mars bar cake at Rangers events. These all look yum, day well spent!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog