The Queen of the Afternoon Tea

I am a huge fan of afternoon tea and have tried and tested quite a few recently. What’s not to love about them?! Beautiful delicate finger sandwiches filled with thinly sliced cucumber, smoked salmon with cream cheese and wafer thin ham and mustard. Then there is the decadent range of handcrafted cakes, which melt in your mouth and of course the endless supply of tea and coffee drunk from the finest of china. We recently enjoyed the wonderful surroundings of The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Alley and I have to admit they really do afternoon tea in style. Not only is the location elegant and sublime but the afternoon tea is on an equal par.

Amongst the sandwiches and dainty petite fours, the queen of the afternoon tea for me however is the scone. Each one perfectly shaped, light and fluffy on the inside and golden brown on top. Having just returned from a majestic week on Mull, known not for its afternoon tea offering but for its breath-taking scenery and world class cheese, I wanted too tart up the humble scone and give it a bit of a makeover using this wonderful cheese.

My cheese and cranberry recipe will help put the scone on a pedestal. It has to be said however I’m not striving for five star Michelin scones. My focus is on flavour and taste and I much prefer the more rustic looking scone! Nevertheless this recipe will help make the scone outshine everything else on your three tiered cake stand the next time you decide to serve afternoon tea to friends.

scone 004

Cheese and Cranberry Scones

The Ingredients…

225g self raising flour

1/2 tsp salt

55g unsalted butter

70g Isle of Mull Cheddar Cheese

40g dried cranberries

150ml milk

The Baking Bit…

1. Heat the oven to 200C and add the flour and salt into a bowl

2. Using your fingers rub the butter and the flour together until it looks like breadcrumbs

3. Then add in the grated cheese with the cranberries and mix everything together

4. Make a well in the middle of your mixture and add in the milk. Using a spoon mix everything together again, until it resembles a dough

5. The next step is to lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough very gently into a nice shiny ball shape

6. Using a rolling pin roll out the mixture until it is about 2cm thick. For a more rustic look cut the dough into triangular shapes, prick with a fork and using a pastry brush glaze with a milk and honey wash

7. Bake in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes and enjoy with a cuppa while they are still hot!

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