Mother’s Day: Afternoon Tea Recipes

Sitting down with your loved ones and catching up, is good for both the soul and mind. Sometimes the gift of time is the most important gift of all.

If you’re lucky enough to be spending Mother’s Day with your Maman/Madre/insert word for your mum here, why not spend a few hours together over a simple but tasty afternoon tea. Mis-matching china, a vase of flowers and home baked treats will go a long way to make for a memorable afternoon. Here are our favourite treats to make the perfect afternoon tea, 3 types of individual cakes combined with 3 traditional sandwich fillings with a twist. Whip up the cakes the day before, and make the savouries on the day, for a delicious and fresh indulgent treat both of you will enjoy:

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea
Serves 4

Chocolate Cardamom Ganache Tarts
Makes 12 mini (3cm) tarts

80g plain flour
20g fine ground toasted hazelnuts/almonds
1tbsp icing sugar
45g cold butter
2tbsp ice cold water

Ganache Filling
150ml double cream
45g caster sugar
Seeds of 5 cardamom pods
150g 70% cocoa solids chocolate

You will need: a 12-hole mini muffin tin (3cm)

To make the pastry: Cut the butter into knobs and add to the flour, icing sugar and ground nuts. Using your thumb and fingers, rub the butter in to the flour, icing sugar and ground nuts until you have breadcrumb consistency. Do not overwork it. Add the water very gradually and stir with a knife until the mixture begins to come together – you may not need all the water. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30mins.

To make the ganache: Heat the cream, sugar and cardamom together and bring to the boil. Break the chocolate into small pieces. In a bowl, pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 190C. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry to approx. 2mm thick. Cut out circles using a 6cm pastry cutter and press into the mould. Repeat until you have filled all 12. Fill the hole with baking beans, dried beans or rice. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly in the tin before removing and tipping out the beans (some may need a little extra help with a spoon handle). Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Fill each tart case with the ganache, using either a teaspoon or piping bag and sprinkle a few toasted hazelnuts on top.


Lemon Drizzle Cake
Makes 8 mini cakes/cupcakes

225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
Finely grated zest 2 small lemons

For the drizzle
Juice 2 small lemons
85g caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 180C.
Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in the flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined.

Grease/line a muffin tin, or the individual mini cake moulds, spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.

Bake for 20-25 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling in its tin, lightly heat the lemon juice and sugar to make the drizzle, stirring until all the sugar has melted. Prick the warm cake all over with a cocktail stick or skewer, then slowly pour over the drizzle, allowing it to be absorbed into the cake. Leave in the tin to cool completely. Remove and garnish with some very thinly sliced lemon.


Raspberry Cream Viennese Whirls
Makes 8
125g very soft butter
30g icing sugar, plus extra to decorate
1/2tsp vanilla extract
130g plain flour
15g cornflour

For the filling
150ml double cream
2tsp icing sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
50g fresh raspberries
3tsp raspberry jam

Preheat your oven to 190C.
To make the biscuits: Using a wooden spoon, cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together. Gradually add the flour and cornflour, mixing until well combined and you have a smooth, soft mixture.

Draw 8 circles onto a sheet of greaseproof paper, using an upturned egg cup as a template. Lay the paper onto a bakin sheet and secure with a small blob of batter in each corner. Spoon or pipe the mixture into each circle (use only half as the biscuits will need to be baked in two goes). If you are using a spoon, create a whirl in the mixture using the back of a warm teaspoon. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Repeat until you have 16 biscuits.

To make the filling: Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, until you have soft peaks. Add the raspberries and whip a little more, until you have pink cream, with some of the raspberries still in tact. Be careful not to over whip.

To assemble: Spread the underside of each biscuit with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Spoon a dollop cream on to 8 of the biscuits, and top with the other 8, pressing slightly together. Dust with icing sugar.


Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Lemon Sandwiches
Makes 6 fingers

1 ripe avocado
Juice of ½ lemon
2 slices smoked salmon
4 slices of bread
Cracked black pepper

Cream together the avocado and lemon juice, until you have a smooth spread (use a small grinder/blender if you have one).
Spread each slice of bread with the avocado, top two slices with a slice of smoked salmon and some cracked black pepper. Top with the other two slices of bread and lightly press together. Cut the crusts and cut each sandwich into 3 fingers.

Egg Mayonnaise and Watercress Sandwiches
Makes 6 fingers

4 large eggs
1 ½tbsp mayonnaise
Cracked black pepper
2 handfuls watercress
4 slices bread

Hard boil the eggs by placing in a pan of boiling water, allowing to cook for 8 minutes. Run under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
Peel the eggs and mash with a fork, mix with the mayonnaise and black pepper.
Lightly butter each slice of bread. Pick the watercress leaves from the stems. Cover 2 slices of bread with the leaves and top with the egg mayonnaise. Sandwich with the other slices of bread and lightly press together. Cut the crusts and cut each sandwich into 3 fingers.

Cucumber and Dill Butter Open Sandwich
Makes 8 triangles

1tbsp salted butter, softened
Fronds 2 dill stalks
2 slices bread
14 very thin slices cucumber (1 chunk)

Finely chop the dill. Mix with the softened butter and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Spread each slice of bread with the dill butter and top with the cucumber slices, laying one slice so it slightly overlaps the last. Cut each slice of bread on the diagonal, into 4 triangles.