Make the perfect Mother’s Day afternoon tea

PUBLISHED: 11:06 10 March 2020

[Poss LEAD pic]

[Poss LEAD pic]

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

What better way to spoil those special ladies in your life on Mothering Sunday than to prepare a delicious afternoon tea? Our award-winning food writer prepares a pretty table of delicious Kentish goodies

Jam sandwich flowers

Makes approximately 8-12, depending on cutter size

Jam sandwich flowers (photo: Manu Palomeque)Jam sandwich flowers (photo: Manu Palomeque)


- 140g plain flour

- 100g salted butter

- 50g caster sugar

- 50g shelled pistachio nuts

- Raspberry jam


1. Place all the ingredients, except for the jam, into a food processor and pulse until they come together as large crumbs

2. Turn out and squeeze together into a ball

3. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes

4. Pre-heat your oven to 350F/180C

5. Roll out your biscuit dough, onto a floured surface, until a thickness of around 3-4mm

6. Cut out eight bases using your flower cutter and place onto a lined baking Spread a very thin layer of jam over each of the eight bases

7. Re-roll and cut the eight tops then cut a circle in the middle of each one (use a tiny cutter, small bottle cap or freehand)

8. Carefully place the tops onto the bases (you will probably need a palette knife to move them)

9. Add a tiny bit more jam into the centres to fill

10. Bake for around eight to 10 minutes, until the biscuits are just turning golden

11. Leave to cool on the tray before moving

12. Dust with icing sugar, covering the little jam circle

13. These freeze well in a plastic container, but remember to do that before adding the icing sugar

14. You could also substitute gluten-free flour if required


Cheese and bacon mini frittatas

These tasty little bites are perfect for tea or brunch and are a great gluten-free option if your table is already laden with cake and biscuits. We used locally made Winterdale Shaw cheddar-style cheese as it has the deep flavour we are after. You can adapt to be vegetarian by substituting the bacon with diced courgettes if preferred

Makes approximately 6-8 depending upon the depth of your muffin trays.

Cheese and bacon mini frittatas (photo: Manu Palomeque)Cheese and bacon mini frittatas (photo: Manu Palomeque)


- 75g finely diced smoked bacon or lardons

- 75g Winterdale Shaw (or strong cheddar, grated)

- 2 spring onions (green and white) finely sliced

- 4 large eggs, beaten

- Tablespoon butter

- Tablespoon olive oil

- Salt and pepper

- Oil for spraying the muffin tins


1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F/180C

2. In a mix of butter and olive oil, gently fry the bacon and spring onions until pale golden in colour

3. Once cooled add to the beaten eggs and mix in two thirds of the grated cheese (save the remainder to sprinkle over the top)

4. Season with salt and pepper

5. Grease your muffin tray well with spray oil or sunflower oil and line with small squares of baking parchment if you are worried that they may stick

6. Spoon the egg mix into the tins almost to the top

7. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese

8. Bake for around 20 minutes or until set and golden

9. Run a knife around the edge of each frittata to loosen but don't try to remove until slightly cooled - after a minute or so

10. Serve immediately or they can be reheated on a flat tray later


Chocolate fudge cake

This vegan cake recipe was kindly given to me by Anna Paolozzi, whose website has lots of wonderful vegan recipes, all easy to follow and delicious

Serves at least 8

Use a 20cm spring form baking tin

Vegan chocolate fudge cake (photo: Manu Palomeque)Vegan chocolate fudge cake (photo: Manu Palomeque)


For the cake:

- 100ml light olive oil or sunflower oil

- 175g pre-cooked beetroot in natural juices, drained

- 50g unsweetened cocoa powder

- 200g self-raising flour

- 175g soft brown sugar

- 200g full fat almond milk (I have also tried with oat milk and this works well too)

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 1 level tablespoon baking powder

- ¼ tsp salt

- Edible rose petals or freeze-dried raspberries for decoration

For the ganache topping:

- 175g icing sugar

- 50g dark cocoa

- 25g warm water (from the kettle)

- 24g Alpro soya single cream



1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F

2. Line your tin with greaseproof paper and spray oil

3. Place the beetroot into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth

5. Pour into the tin and bake for around 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost clean. NB don't overcook as it will not remain fudgy

6. Leave to cool in the tin


1. Place the ingredients into a bowl

2. With a fork or hand mixer, beat until all mixed together and smooth

3. If it feels too thick and unworkable add another drop of water

4. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the ganache over the top leaving a rippled, rough effect. Sprinkle with edible rose petals or freeze-dried raspberries

5. This cake freezes well with the ganache and petals too.


Blood orange curd

This delicious curd works so well with scones or fresh bread but would also be a great accompaniment to our rich chocolate fudge cake

Blood orange curd (photo: Manu Palomeque)Blood orange curd (photo: Manu Palomeque)


- Grated zest and juice from 1 large blood orange

- 75g caster sugar

- 20g unsalted butter (diced and kept in fridge until about to use)

- 2 large free-range yolks (the whites freeze well or make some little meringues)


1. Mix the egg yolks and caster sugar in a saucepan and with a whisk, beat until smooth

2. Add the juice and zest of the orange and mix well. Keep whisking until the grains of the sugar have almost disappeared

3. Place the pan onto a very low heat (you don't want scrambled eggs!) and keep stirring, this time with a wooden spoon, until the mix thickens and will cling to the back of the spoon without running straight off

4. Take off the heat and beat in the cold cubes of butter until you end up with a nice thick curd (it will thicken up more once cooled)

5. Pop into a small sterilised jar or jam pot and keep in the fridge (for up to a month).


Lemon posset

I have been making this 'no-fail' dessert for many years now and it's always a big hit. Serve in pretty vintage glasses for something a little bit different for your afternoon tea

Fills around 4 small glasses but doubles up well if you need more

Lemon posset (photo: Manu Palomeque)Lemon posset (photo: Manu Palomeque)


- 300ml double cream

- 75g caster sugar

- Zest and juice of 1 large lemon (keep separate)

- Raspberries or pomegranate seeds for decoration


1. Place the cream, sugar and lemon zest into a pan

2. Very slowly bring to the boil, whilst stirring and then turn the heat right down to simmer for 2-3 minutes

3. The mixture will turn into a shade or so darker and will very slightly start to thicken

4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice

5. Allow to cool a little and then pour into your favourite glasses

6. Pop in the fridge to set for at least 3-4 hours

7. Garnish with crushed raspberries or pomegranate seeds



Blood oranges, fruit, eggs, cream: Farmer's Farmshop, Teston

Winterdale Shaw Cheese: Shop open Saturday 10am-1pm and also at several Kent Farmers' Markets

Jam: Cranbrook Conserves

Smoked bacon and vegetables: Haywards Farm Shop, Hadlow

Fudge cake recipe: Courtesy of Anna Paolozzi,

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