3 Recipes For A Blooming Great Tea Party With Marie Curie

When was the last time you went to a tea party? I don't mean afternoon tea - I mean a proper tea party with family or friends. I bet a lot of you can't remember and I was in exactly the same boat when Marie Curie got in touch with me. I must've been a child the last time I attended one, so when the charity asked if I'd like to write a post related to tea parties, I just had to say yes! I love the idea of tea parties, and all the fun and food that goes into making one happen, so I instantly came up with the idea of creating a collection of recipes for the perfect tea party treats. You may have been wondering why things have been so quiet on the baking front on this blog, and that's exactly why! I've been planning away, but now I'm finally able to share these three yummy recipes with you all. Side note: don't worry about waste. My publishing schedule managed to align perfectly with a tea party that we were throwing for my goddaughter's birthday, so everything has been eaten!

You may be wondering why Marie Curie are wanting me to talk to you all about cake. Well, the charity have a wonderful campaign called The Blooming Great Tea Party (their second biggest annual campaign), which takes place in the late spring/early summer. It was designed to encourage people to help raise funds by hosting tea parties, selling homemade goodies and maybe even hosting raffles! It's such an amazing campaign for an outstanding charity, so I'm more than happy to do what I can to spread the word. If you'd like to join in and host your own tea party, please click here. Every tea party helps, no matter how big or small! Even if you only raise £20, that's enough to cover one hour of nursing care for someone with a terminal illness in their own home. To find out more about Marie Curie and the work they do, please click here.
First of all, we've got pork and apple scotch eggs. I'm not usually one for baking savoury things, thanks to my raging sweet tooth, but at a tea party, you've got to have some savoury bits to balance out the sweet. Working in a tea room has given me lots of opportunities to make new things and scotch eggs are one of them. I'm a massive fan of scotch eggs, whether they're homemade or not, so I just knew that I had to include some in this post. I didn't want them to be plain old pork sausage scotch eggs, however, so I went for sausage meat that included pieces of apple for a chunkier texture and just a hint of fruity flavour. To make them slightly healthier, I opted to bake them instead of frying because, you know, we eat a lot of cake at tea parties, so we don't need more bad stuff entering our bodies! I'll also say that these guys are pretty huge due to their chunky texture, so you may want to cut them into quarters for serving. If you'd rather have smaller scotch eggs, I'd suggest using smoother sausage meat.

For 6 large scotch eggs, you will need:
6 eggs, hard boiled
2 eggs, beaten
800g pork and apple sausage meat (I used Asda's Extra Special)
Golden breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c/gas mark 5 and get a large baking tray ready. Boil your 6 eggs in a pan of water on the hob until they become cooked to your liking. I like my eggs boiled all the way through, so they spent about 10 minutes in the pan. Once they're boiled, allow them to stand in cold water until cooled, then crack and peel the shells away,
  2. In a large bowl, squeeze your sausage meat out of their casings. This can get pretty messy! Squish the meat with your hands to soften it up and to break up any lumps.
  3. In a shallow bowl, beat your 2 eggs until they become runny. Tip out some golden breadcrumbs on to a plate. If you find that you don't have enough when you're coating your scotch eggs, you can always add more!
  4. Take a ball of sausage meat in your hands and work it into a flat patty, as large as you possibly can. Place a boiled egg in the centre of the patty, then fold the meat around it, pinching and squeezing as you go to help seal the egg inside completely. Roll the ball in the egg and then the breadcrumbs to totally coat the outside. Pop it on to the baking tray, then continue the process with the rest of the meat and eggs.
  5. Bake the scotch eggs in the oven for about 30 minutes or until they become a golden brown colour.
So why are scotch eggs an ideal addition to any tea party? Well, they can be served hot or cold (hot scotch eggs are gorgeous), and if you make them at home, you can make them to your own preference. You could switch out the pork and apple for vegetarian sausage meat or try sausage meat in a different flavour. I let J try the one that I cut in half for the photos and he fell head over heels for them, and he's suggested trying Asda's Bacon and Maple Syrup sausages next time!
Next up, we have raspberry and white chocolate muffins. I'll admit, muffins of this size aren't normally found at tea parties (I wish I'd taken photos from the side so you could see how big they actually are), purely because they aren't very delicate, but I love huge, bakery-style muffins, so I couldn't leave them out. Queen Victoria would've been appalled to see these babies next to her finger sandwiches and scones! If you'd like to find out some of the science behind achieving bakery-esque muffins with good height and a dome, you can check out my blueberry and white chocolate muffin recipe. I used the exact same method for these muffins, except I switched out the blueberries for raspberries, and I'm pretty darn pleased with the results! Raspberry and white chocolate is my thing - if a list of desserts is put in front of me and there's something related to raspberry and white chocolate, that's what I'm having every time. I just love how the tang of the raspberries contrasts against the sweetness of the white chocolate. Plus, there's something about the red of the raspberries mixing with the white to make a gorgeous pink colour.

For 9 large muffins, you will need:
375g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
Half teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
200g granulated sugar
240ml whole or semi-skimmed milk, room temperature
120ml vegetable oil, room temperature
Teaspoon vanilla extract
150g raspberries (plus extra for the top)
200g white chocolate

  1. Preheat your oven to 220c and line a muffin tin with cases.
  2. In a large bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix them together and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in the milk, oil and vanilla. The mixture will be very liquidy and pale. 
  4. Before adding the two mixtures together, chop 150g white chocolate bars into chunks. If you're using chips, you can skip this step. You can also chop 150g of raspberries in half, making sure to leave some whole to stick on top.
  5. Gently pour the wet mixture into the dry, then gently fold them together, being sure not to overmix. Fold the mixture until there are no pockets of flour left and all the flour is removed from the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Add in the white chocolate chunks or chips and the blueberries, and fold them in. The batter should be fairly thick and somewhat lumpy.
  7. Divide your batter between the muffin cases, being sure to fill them right the way to the top, not two-thirds full. Top each off with a couple of raspberries, then pop them into the oven. Allow them to bake at 220c for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 190c and continue to bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Once they've finished baking, remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Melt your remaining 50g of white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, or in the microwave, making sure to check every few seconds and stir to prevent burning. Once completely melted, drizzle the chocolate over the tops of your cooled muffins and allow to set.
By following these steps, you'll get an amazing rise, a golden crust and that bakery-style dome that we all know and love. These definitely aren't a typical thing that you'd find at a tea party, but I promise, they'd make a welcome addition!
And last, but certainly not least, we've got my favourite of the bunch (don't tell the others), the sticky toffee cupcakes. If there's one thing I love more than chocolate, it's toffee. These guys are my take on the classic pud, which means that I've included dates and brown sugar in the sponge to give them that warm, sticky flavour. They're topped off with my favourite toffee buttercream, a drizzle of homemade toffee sauce and PopWorks sticky toffee popcorn. They're basically a toffee-lovers dream come true! I've been thinking for so long about how I can incorporate PopWorks popcorn into my baking, and this is the perfect way. I'm still waiting for the day that the company announce that all the flavours they have in America will make their way to the UK - that bag of birthday cake flavour is calling me!

For 9 cupcakes, you will need:
150g pitted dates
1 tablespoon treacle
415g unsalted butter
175g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
115g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g fudge chunks
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
300-400g icing sugar
Sticky toffee popcorn

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c/gas mark 5. Line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake cases.
  2. Finely chop your dates and put them into a saucepan with 150ml of water. Bring to the boil, cover and gently simmer for around 5 minutes until the dates become soft and pulpy Remove from the heat, stir in the treacle and mix well. Leave to one side to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat 115g of the butter with 75g of the light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the cold date mixture and vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs. The mixture doesn't taste as horrible as it looks, I promise!
  4. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda over the top, then add in the fudge chunks. Carefully mis all the ingredients together until well blended.
  5. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases until they're just over two-thirds full. Pop them into the oven to bake for around 22-25 minutes, or until they're risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Whilst they're cooling, you can make the toffee buttercream. In a pan, melt 100g of the butter with the remaining 100g of light brown sugar over a low heat. Stir constantly so that the sugar doesn't burn! Once the sugar has completely dissolved, add the 2 tablespoons of milk and stir well to form a thick toffee sauce. Leave to one side to cool completely.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat the remaining 200g of butter until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, beating regularly. The amount of icing sugar you use is completely up to you, but I used closer to 400g as I like a sturdy icing that will hold itself up when piped. Add in just over half of the cooled toffee sauce (we'll use the rest as a drizzle) and beat thoroughly until it is fully incorporated. Pipe the icing on to your cooled cupcakes using your favourite nozzle.
  8. Add a few pieces of popcorn to the top of your iced cakes, then drizzle over your remaining toffee sauce. If you find that it's starting to set, you can pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up.
These cupcakes are so moreish and sweet that it's kind of hard to eat just one. The sticky cake ties in so perfectly with the toffee buttercream and drizzle - it's absolutely mouthwatering, if I do say so myself. Kids and grown-ups alike will love these cupcakes, even the ones that say they hate dates!

If you're planning on having a tea party soon, whether it's for charity or not, you should definitely out one or two of these recipes. If you'd like to host a Blooming Great Tea Party, you can do so at any time of the year, but the people at Marie Curie HQ will be hosting theirs over the last weekend in June (23rd-25th). It's for a really great cause and the money made can benefit people's lives massively.
Thank you to Marie Curie for asking me to get involved with this campaign. I had a lot of fun coming up with these 3 yummy bits and even more fun making them! What are your ideal treats to have at a tea party?

10 comments

  1. OMG I need to try out the apple scotch eggs they sound so yummy!!

    Ronnie
    www.veronicabizzarri.com
    xx

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    1. Ronnie, I don't want to blow my own trumpet too much, but they were seriously good. And it's so hard to go wrong with them as well, so absolutely anybody could make them! Give them a go! x

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  2. I had no idea Marie Curie were doing this campaign, thanks for spreading the word!
    Your recipes look absolutely delicious I'm definitely going to be trying some out :D

    Coffee & Avocados

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    1. It's such a great campaign, isn't it? Especially for all of us cake lovers! Thank you for your comment x

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  3. Olivia, I've been seeing these photos on Instagram...and damn have they been looking good!

    The sticky toffee cupcakes look incredible (and probably taste even better)!

    Steph
    www.socialspying.com

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    Replies
    1. Ahh Steph, that's such a lovely thing to say! You have GOT to try out the cupcakes - if I could, I'd throw one across the big pond! x

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  4. AHHH MA GOD! Scotch Eggs are ma fave 😍😍 these recipes are amazing girly !

    M x

    Lifewithmaria.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha you definitely can't go wrong with a good scotch egg! Thank you, Maria! x

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  5. All of them look so good, but raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes sound just perfect to me! I definitely need to try them. Thanks for sharing! x

    Dabin / http://dabindb.blogspot.kr/

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought to turn them into cupcakes! You could use smaller cases and put less mixture in each, which would stop them from turning into humongous muffins. Thanks for the comment, Dabin! x

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