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Author Notes: With the nation set for a right-royal knees-up this June, official sponsor of The Patron’s Lunch PG tips Green Tea has collaborated with former royal chef Carolyn Robb to create a selection of updated, iconic afternoon tea recipes – all with a green tea twist!
Inspired by the launch of the two new PG tips Green Tea flavours ‘Strawberry Cupcake’ and ‘Lemon Pie’, Carolyn has fused the nation’s two great loves - tea and cake - to help you celebrate 90 years of British heritage in style. The energising effect and refreshing taste of green tea make it the perfect ingredient to modernise staple British afternoon tea recipes, resulting in sumptuous treats fit for royalty.
After 11 years in the palace as executive chef to TRH Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as serving other members of the royal family, Carolyn is well equipped to offer a fresh take on these traditional recipes while adding a touch of ‘royal-tea’ to the classic bakes.
Why not try it for yourself? Join in the celebrations and try one of Carolyn’s and PG tips Green Tea’s royal recipes!
“The Victoria sandwich cake has a wonderfully regal heritage. It was originally made for Queen Victoria. During her incredible 66 year reign the concept of afternoon tea was created. It evolved and became a daily ritual and a very social event, with ladies dressing in their finery to gather for a cup of tea, and an array of tiny sandwiches, biscuits and cakes.
The addition of PG tips Green Tea to this very traditional cake gives it a lovely subtle flavour as well as making it beautifully moist. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven it is pierced all over and is drizzled with delicate green tea syrup.”
This recipe makes 2 x 8 inch (20cm) cakes
You will need: 2 x 8 inch (20cm) cake tin
1 piping bag with a small fluted nozzle
- 225g / 8oz soft butter
- 225g / 8oz golden caster sugar
- 4 medium free range eggs
- 225g / 8oz self raising flour
- 10ml / 2tsp baking powder
- 5ml / 1tsp pure vanilla extract
- a few drops of natural green food colouring (optional)
- 15ml /3 tsp boiling water
- 2 PG tips Green Tea teabags
- 150ml (2/3 cup) boiling water
- 85g (3oz) granulated sugar
- 300ml / 1 1/3cups double cream
- 100ml / 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 2,5ml /1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 finely grated zest of orange
- 30ml / 2Tbsp caster sugar
- 200g / 8oz strawberries
- 200g / 8oz blueberries
- 200g /8oz raspberries
- fresh mint and fresh flowers for decorating
- 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- 2. Line the base of each cake tin with a circle of non-stick baking parchment and butter the sides.
- 3. Either by hand or using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light in colour and creamy in texture.
- 4. Lightly beat the eggs and add gradually to the mixture with 2 tablespoons of the flour.
- 5. Add the vanilla and if using it, carefully add the natural green colour, drop by drop, so as not to make the colour too strong.
- 6. Sift the remaining flour and the baking powder into the mixture, fold it in carefully. Lastly stir in the boiling water.
- 7. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 cake tins. Spread it out using a palette knife and create a slight hollow in the centre, so that when it is cooked it has a flat top.
- 8. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, until the cakes feel springy to the touch.
- 9. When cooked cool on a wire rack. After 5 minutes remove the cakes from the tins.
- 10. While the cake is cooking make the green tea syrup. Pour the boiling water onto the 2 PG tip Green Tea teabags and leave for several minutes. Remove the teabags and transfer the tea into a small saucepan with the sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved and syrup has thickened slightly.
- 11. Once the cake has been turned out of the tin pierce it all over with a fine skewer or needle. Carefully drizzle (or paint) the warm syrup on all sides of the cake using a pastry brush.
- 12. Whip the cream and mascarpone with the vanilla and sugar. Wash the orange and finely grate the zest directly onto the cream, fold it in. Spoon the cream into a piping bag fitted with a small fluted nozzle.
- 13. When completely cold, fill the centre of the cake with cream and most of the fresh berries, reserving a few for decoration. You can arrange raspberries around the edge of the cake, and pipe a rosette of cream between each one. Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining berries and a few edible fresh flowers. When in season, elderflowers look very pretty! Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
- 14. This is best eaten on the day it is made, but can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days in a sealed box.