Thursday, 9 February 2012

Violets are blue - Valentine's afternoon tea - recipes

This week I'm featuring an afternoon tea suggestion for upcoming Valentines day, which this year is on a Tuesday.

One of the nicest Valentines memories I ever had was when I cooked a lovely meal for the two of us at home, but I did it to a restaurant standard (well my version of a restaurant at home anyway!). You know the kind of thing, I went the extra mile above and beyond what I would normally cook, and we spent a lovely evening relaxing over a three course meal with wine and champagne, the whole works really, (without the bill at the end). It was a really good evening, and its a wonderful memory I will keep forever.

But this year I thought maybe something a bit different. Romantic three course meal, no thank you very much, because this year home baking rules in winning hearts and minds.

So here is my take on a lovely pastel inspired Valentines afternoon tea, for you and your loved one...if you love baking like I do, you might choose to make all of these lovely treats or just make one of them...whichever you choose will be a sure success and well received, because its home made and made with love...and thats just what I would like to receive on Valentines day.

Have a lovely home baked Valentines Day. xxxxx
Rose cupcakes
Choose a cupcake batter mix of your choice and instead of vanilla or lemon (or a similar typical flavour) add a tablespoon of Nielson Massey rosewater to the batter on the final mix. Then when baked and cool, top each cake with a rosewater flavoured butter cream. Make a batch of butter cream, and flavour with Nielson Massey rosewater, rather than adding milk or cream, then divide into three lots and colour two of these one pink and one grape with gel food colouring. Add the coloured and plain butter cream to the cakes with a pallete knife, then finish and decorate with crystalised violet petals (lilac cakes), sugar paste roses/hearts and pearls (cream cakes) and sugar paste geranium flowers (pink cakes).
Lemon & Lavender meringues
I made the amount of meringues here from one large free range egg white. 
I separated an egg white from the yolk and whisked this white until it was foaming, then added 50g of sifted lavender sugar (culinary lavender and sugar stored in a jar), keep beating this until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add a small amount of grape food colouring and mix just slightly for a subtle marble effect.  Fill a piping bag onto which you have inserted a star nozzle. Pipe onto a lined baking sheet into spirals and bake in a very low oven (140 C fan) for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open while the meringues cool. For the filling beat or whisk  a small tub of double cream and add one tablespoon of Silver Spoon lemon icing sugar to the cream and fold in. When the meringues are cold sandwich together with the lemon cream, you can pipe this inside or add with a knife.  To finish dust the top with Silver Spoon lemon icing sugar and add a few flakes of dried culinary lavender to decorate on top of the cream.
Almond sugar biscuits
Soft butter 175g (and it must be unsalted butter to make these) and caster sugar 200g are beaten with 2 large free range eggs and 350g plain flour, 50g ground almonds and a teaspoon each of baking powder and salt to create these lovely light buttery biscuits. Add just a quarter of a teaspoon of Nielson Massey almond essence as you want the flavour to be subtle not overpowering to the mix when you add the beaten eggs. Once you have made the dough and allowed it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes then use different heart shaped cutters to cut the shapes. Bake these on a lined baking tray for about 8 minutes in a 170C fan oven. When they have baked and cooled decorate as follows:-
Large hearts: decorate with sugar paste coloured grape colour. Pipe with grape gel coloured icing round the edges.
Medium hearts: decorate with icing coloured with grape gel food colouring. Use a smaller heart cutter to encapsulate the wet icing and hold it in a heart shape on the centre of the biscuit.  Once the icing  starts to set remove the cutter.
Dip the very small hearts into Silver Spoon easy melt white chocolate cake topping. Allow to drip dry on a wire cooling rack then top with a lilac sugar paste heart.

This blog is not sponsored by Baking Mad, but they sent me and 14 other chosen bloggers some cake decorating related products to try in a Valentines bloggers challenge. We were all sent a range of Silver Spoon and Nielsen Massey items, with the challenge being to make something delicious that we would like to receive on Valentine’s Day using at least 3 of the products sent to us. I chose these four...

You can read all about the bloggers challenge here.

I am also entering this post into two bloggers challenges first Karen and Kate's TeaTime treats where the themes is ROMANCE this month...

AND for Ros and Caroline's ALPHABAKES challenge, which is to blog a recipe from the alphabet from the letter L this month...I am entering my Lemon and Lavender Meringues (from the tea party above)


  1. Those cakes look gorgeous Sue. It's all too pretty to eat.

  2. They're so so pretty!!! A nice change to the typical chocolate and red decorations. Where can you buy the Rose water??? I've been wanting to try it for a while, but I've not seen it on the high street x

  3. I could eat the lot,hope chief taster was impressed.

  4. These look amazing!! I want to eat them all :) Love the photo styling and photos. ps do you want to enter your lemon and lavender meringues to my AlphaBakes challenge this month?

  5. wow these are incredible. So elegant. I'm going to give them a try. xx

  6. Such beautiful colours and amazing cakes, far too pretty to eat. I wouldn't want to spoil the display. Lemon & lavender meringues sound just lovely xx

  7. Those meringues look absolutely divine, as does everything on this delicious page!

  8. Beautiful! And if I may be so bold, these would be perfect for Tea Time Treats this month, which Kate is hosting (What Kate Baked) and the theme is....................ROMANCE! Would love to see you enter them as they are TEA TIME TREATS and are ROMANTIC!

  9. I don't know which I like the most? I love the look of the cupcakes but the cookie yum. Then you added meringue to the mix and I found my jaw dropping - amazing display!

  10. Adorable this look simply amazing. You must of had a wonderful time sipping tea and scoffing these goodies.

  11. Thanks for one "L" of an entry to AlphaBakes :) X

  12. Oh my Susan, you have been busy. How did I miss this? They all look so beautiful and the pastel colours make it all look delightfully elegant. Those meringues in particular look wonderful. Lots of heaven on a plate!

  13. These look amazing, I want to try them all! I've never used lavender in cooking before, I imagine it has quite a delicate flavour. Thanks for entering Alphabakes - the round-up is now on Ros's site. Hope to see you in March!


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x