Afternoon Tea Party Made Easy!

Victoria Sponge

Afternoon tea is a great way to celebrate a special occasion like Mother’s Day, a birthday or a get-together with old friends. Ta-Da!’s head baker, Simon Rutterford shares his top tips for tea party success…

Make a sumptuous spread with the greatest of ease, just follow Simon’s tips:

How to bake the perfect Victoria sponge

Afternoon Tea wouldn’t be complete without a traditional Victoria sponge – make some delicious bite-sized versions in just five minutes using Ta-Da! Vanilla Cake Mix and Strawberry Fruit Filling. Check out the full recipe here.

Simon’s tip for mixing cake batter: “Mixing the batter is the most crucial stage of cake making. Always allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing, as this will help make a smooth batter that doesn’t curdle.”

The secret to afternoon tea sandwiches

Baked bread

The key to a great sandwich has got to be the bread, so why not bake your own using Ta-Da!’s Soft White Bread Mix? Spongey and delicious, this mix makes two wholesome bread loaves, meaning you’ll have plenty to go around. The choice of filling is yours – Coronation Chicken, ham and mustard and smoked salmon and cream cheese always go down well! Here’s the bread recipe.

Simon’s tip for baking bread: “When your loaf is ready for baking, it’s always a good idea to score it first. Not only does this gives your loaf a nice appearance, but also a controlled burst of volume. For a tin loaf, use a sharp knife to make a single cut down the length of the loaf, about 2cm deep, or make a series of shallower diagonal cuts. Toppings, such as seeds, herbs, fruit or cheese can also be added after shaping or just before baking.”

Savoury and sweet mix

Blueberry Chelsea Buns

The perfect afternoon tea combines sweet and savoury delights – so look no further than the Blueberry Chelsea Buns recipe that covers both savoury and sweet requirements! This super simple recipe uses Ta-Da! White Bread Mix and new Wild Blueberry filling, packed with whole fruit pieces. Check out the full recipe here.

Simon’s tip for kneading dough: “Flour contains proteins that, when properly developed, form gluten. Gluten gives the dough its elastic and extensible properties that allow the dough to rise, maintain a good shape and have a soft texture. The kneading action brings the protein molecules together, where they form links to each other. The more links are formed, the more developed the gluten becomes; in other words, the longer you knead, the softer the bread will be! Kneading by hand takes a lot of effort though, so why not try using a mixer fitted with a dough hook instead? To knead the dough with a mixer, simply increase the speed – this increases the energy put into the dough and helps protein links to form.”

Don’t forget your showstopper!

Red velvet cake

Every occasion needs a centrepiece to wow! This luxurious twist on a classic Red Velvet Cake using Ta-Da! Vanilla Cake Mix will do just that.

Simon’s tip for adding cake mix to the tin: “It’s important to make sure the tins you are using are lined with greaseproof liner, or fat like oil or butter, as this helps you get your cake out of the tin smoothly after baking. Also try to divide the mix evenly – you can use digital scales to do this – when adding your cake batter to the tins, and if your batter is thick, then spread the mix to the edge of the pan so that it rises evenly in the oven.”

Ready to plan your afternoon tea? Enter our competition to win a selection of Ta-Da!’s cake mixes and fruit fillings before September 5.

For more recipes, visit our cookery section, and pick up this week’s issue for more savoury and sweet ideas! On sale from Aug 8.

August 8 issue

Allison Hay

I joined the "My Weekly" team thirteen years ago and, more recently, "The People's Friend". I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazines. I manage the digital content for the brands, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters.