AUSTIN (KXAN) - For Sophie Parrott, having tea is more than just a drink. Parrott, an Austinite born in England, now creates traditional English tea parties in Central Texas with her "Marvelous Vintage Tea Party Company."
While "tea" may be in the name, much of the work goes into everything else. She meticulously creates cakes, scones, and finger sandwiches just like in the olden days.
Parrott sets up ornate spreads for customers in Austin and even dresses up vintage outfits ranging from flapper to 1950's beauty.
Ahead of the London Olympics, Parrott appeared on the KXAN News at Noon to teach Austinites how to create their own traditional English afternoon tea with some delectable treats! To check out Parrot's web site to have her come to your home, click here .
ROYAL VICTORIA SPONGE
Classic Victoria sponge, filled with softly whipped cream and homemade strawberry jam. Dredged with caster sugar, this is a classic teatime treat
For the Cake:
- 125g (4oz) self-raising flour
- 125g (4oz) butter, softened
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 2tbsp milk
For the Filling:
- 4-6 tbsp strawberry jam
- 142ml carton double cream
- Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Caster sugar, for dredging
- 2 x 18cm (7in) sandwich tins, buttered, base-lined and floured
Tip all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth. Divide mixture between the sandwich tins and level the surfaces.
Bake the cakes in the center of a preheated oven - 350°F for 20-25 mins, or until the cakes have risen and are golden, and spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for 5-10 mins, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave them to cool completely.
Spread the jam over the base of one of the cakes. Lightly whip the double cream and spread it over the base of the other cake.
Add as many berries as you wish. Sandwich the two cakes together. Dredge with caster sugar before serving.
SOPHIE'S ENGLISH SCONES WITH CLOTTED CREAM & JAM
With Luxury English Clotted Cream, and Strawberry Jam. A Must Have...
For the Scones:
- 8oz Plain flour
- 1 level tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 2 level tsp Cream of tartar
- 2oz Butter (cold)
- Cold milk
- Splash vinegar
For the Jam:
- A good quality strawberry jam (I like Wilkin and Sons)
- Or make your own if you're brave!
For the Cream:
- English, or Devonshire luxury clotted cream.
If you can't find it in your supermarket, you can whip up some heavy whipping cream so it's firm. NEVER use the "squirty" kind. That would be sacrilege.
After mixing all the dry ingredients together with your hands, and getting the smoother consistency, drop the milk in slowly. It must be binding, but not moist, enough so it's a springy dough you can pat down. Pat into about ½ inch thickness, and cut quickly.
Whack them on a warm greased baking tray, and brush with milk (or egg). Sprinkle with sugar if you like, and pop them in the oven on the top shelf at 425 for 12-15 mins. Make sure they are golden brown on the top.
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL SUGAR COOKIES
A fun way to serve your guests for the London Olympics.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Edible gold paint
- Edible colored writable frostings (Red, Green, Black, Blue and Yellow)
- Fun ribbon
For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. 2.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. 3. Make a hole in each one (this will be where your ribbon goes). Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
For the Decoration:
Paint the cookie with your edible gold paint, and set aside to dry. Paint on the 5 Olympic rings.
Once they have completely dried, thread the ribbon through and attach to the other end with tape. Be sure to hide the tape under the cookie, so your guests don't see!
With colored roses, and white frosting on the top!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- White frosting
- White sugar roses
- Edible paint (Red, Green, Black, Blue and Yellow)
- Union Jack, or Patriotic cupcake paper cups
Cover the white roses with edible paint. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into the prepared paper cups.
20 to 25 mins in the preheated oven. They are done when they spring back to the touch. Let them cool.
Pipe the frosting onto the top of the cupcakes leaving a hole in the center.
Press the colored rose into the hole, so it sits firmly. Voila!
CUCUMBER TEAPOT SANDWICHES
Thinly Sliced Cucumber & Cream Cheese in Delicate Thin White Bread. Cut into teapot shapes.
- 1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread
- 1 pack of Cream Cheese
- ½ an English Cucumber
- 1 Teapot Shaped Cookie Cutter
Smother each slice with a tasty amount of cream cheese. Slice the cucumber up thinly, and put 3 or 4 on every other slice of bread. Put the blank cream cheese slice of bread on the other to complete the sandwich and press down.
Take the clean cookie cutter and cut out fabulous tea pot shapes! (There should be no signs of crusts anywhere).
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