My Afternoon Tea: September 2015

Take an afternoon tea break and enjoy
baking tips and techniques and
fresh ideas for afternoon tea presentation.

Celebrating Chocolate!

Did you know that 13th of September is International Chocolate Day? Seems like the perfect opportunity to visit a few chocolate recipes for afternoon tea! 

After a fair amount of discussion, we picked out our three top favourites for September. And they are.... drum roll please....

Happy International Chocolate Day
Chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate ganache

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Anyone who has a garden is looking for ways to cook their zucchinis at this time of year - and this zucchini cake is truly delicious. It's moist, keeps well, rises reliably and tastes marvellous. What more could one ask? We love to serve it covered and filled with chocolate ganache. Oh yum!

Chocolate florentines

Dark Chocolate Florentines

Florentines have always been my favourite cookie. This is a new addition to the site and I hope you love them! Sometimes afternoon tea seems like a bit of a flour-fest, and these pretty little treats are completely flour-free.

Inside of double chocolate chip cookie

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are looking for thick, reliable, easy chocolate cookies, these are they. They cook from frozen, so you can prepare them in advance. They are heavy on the chocolate chips and they do not spread out much at all on the cookie sheet, so you can keep them nice and thick.

Cake Stands from Cardboard

I made these cake stands with a friend for a play that our children were in. They were on the table in a woodland scene piled up with woodland food. I love them so much! They take less than an hour to make, cost virtually nothing and are easy to put together.

You can't put the food directly onto the cake stand unless you use edible paint (always an option - see this blog post on edible paint by Anna Ranson) I usually put things on a plate on top of the stand. Or a doily looks pretty.

Also, they are not super-sturdy. So you do need to be a little careful with them. But they are sturdy enough to carry a cake (as you can see). In this case, I kept the parchment paper on the bottom of the cake and put the cake onto a plain cardboard circle. I think it looks quite lovely without any paint. Then I just threw away the card at the end of tea-time and kept the remainder of the cake in a tin.

Make your own card cake stands

You need:

A thick double-fluted cardboard box (you can often pick them up at the store for free)
The card inside of a toilet roll.
Some newspaper
Glue gun or other strong glue
Scissors
Paint of your choice

Things to decorate. Ideas are: bark from trees (birch is really nice), twine, pretty leaves (autumn leaves work very well), pine cones, anything you can think of that you can stick to cardboard.

How to make them

Pink card cake stand
  • Decide what you will display on your stand in order to decide on the size of the circle.

  • Cut two circles out of the card box, one slightly smaller than the other. The smaller circle will be the base - so it needs to be big enough to give stability. The bases shown are 7 1/2 inches across, and the tops are 8 1/2. The big top is 10 inches.

  • Paint one side of each circle in the colour you have chosen - or leave them plain card for a rustic look. Leave to dry. It may need two coats.

  • Stuff the toilet roll with some newspaper. It doesn't have to be over-full, it's really just to give more of an area to put glue on. See the picture above.

  • When the card circles are dry, stick the toilet roll to the centre of the underneath of the big circle with glue. Then glue it to the centre of the top of the small circle to make the cake stand. Put something fairly weighty on the top to help it stick firmly together. I used a tin of beans.

  • Leave for an hour or so to make sure that it dries really firmly.

  • Decorate however your imagination likes! We wrapped birch bark around the toilet rolls and decorated the edges of the stand with bits of pine cone, dried leaves or twine which we stuck on with the glue gun. Or you can paint, stencil and decorate with lace as above...

Chocolate....

Quotes about chocolate
Quotes about chocolate
Chocolate quotes

From Bean to Bar - how truly delicious chocolate is made.

I do hope you enjoyed My Afternoon Tea newsletter. I'm keen to make it something that you look forward to. So if you have any suggestions or requests for things you'd like to see more of - or less of - then I welcome your comments.

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