5 March 2012

Afternoon Tea with Friends...part 1...


...Well after the cancelled trip over in February, we finally got to visit our friends South of The River for Afternoon Tea and a catch-up..We decided to take the whole day and visit Canary Wharf for lunch on the way...As we live in North London, we thought a trip past the Olympic Park was in order...the pics aren't great as I was in the passenger seat of a moving car! But you can see bits and pieces!!
  
To the very right of this picture you can see the 'pringle' shaped velodrome...and on the left, the meringue-like basketball arena...

Here you can see the Olympic Stadium itself...with the Anish Kapoor "ArcelorMittal Orbit' sculpture rising behind it... 









...and here is a closer view of the sculpture (yes it's blurry, but remember I was in a moving car!!)...which you can see in much more detail on Kapoor's site...here...


















This last shot shows the Basketball Arena pretty well...














...But on to all things afternoon tea related!! Last time we planned to visit Lee, Zoe and their new baby Ben was way back in February...the 5th to be precise...but the weather put a stop to our plans by snowing rather heavily!! But this time it was just a bit of rain, so we got there finally!! Now, I offered to bake, as 1. I like baking (in case you hadn't noticed!) and 2. Zoe has her hands rather full at the moment with almost 4month old Ben!! My two smallish people decided it had to be the same as I made last time, homemade bourbon biscuits and a bundt cake...which was all good by me, as I love those two baked goods almost as much as them!!


The Bourbon biscuits I make are from the Primrose Bakery Book that I got a while back...it is a pretty simple recipe, easy to follow, and makes the nicest biscuits...way better than shop bought ones, so if you have a bit of time...definitely have a go...they last in an airtight tub for about a week...I use half quantities of everything, and it makes plenty...but we prefer to use smaller cutters...this last batch, using 5cm cutters made about 54 biscuits (after being sandwiched together!) So on to the recipe itself...
The dough is really simple, for my half quantity I use 112g unsalted butter, 112g caster sugar, 2 heaped teaspoons golden syrup, 170g self-raising flour, 57g cornflour, 57g cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of water...plus a little extra if needed...in my Kenwood Chef, I whizz the butter, sugar and golden syrup until pale and fluffy, then pop in the flour, cocoa and cornflour and water, and mix slowly (you don't want a giant puff of flour coming out of the bowl as you whizz too fast!) the dough is a dry dough, but you need to be able to roll it out, so if more water is needed, just add it a little at a time...
Then roll it out to the thickness of about just under half a cm...preheat you oven to gas 4/180c or in my case 160c circotherm...as always, use a little flour on the board or counter as you roll, and use all the dough...
...put onto baking sheets that are either greased or lined with nonstick paper and bake for about 10-12 minutes...after a few minutes, transfer to cool on a rack and make sure they are cold before sandwiching together!!
The frosting is just as easy as the dough...again I halved the quantities...cream together 57g softened unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of icing sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla... add to that a paste made made from 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons of warm water, mix it all together (I even use the Kenwood to do this) and use to sandwich the biscuits together...

...as I said earlier, these will last for about a week in a sealed tub...if they don't get eaten that first day...they are very moreish after all!!! The next post will share the 'tweaked' bundt cake...

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