It is that time of year to start thinking of gifts for those we love. We have found the best books of the season for our friends and family members who also love Afternoon tea or high tea. These books are perfect for inspiring new baking, sharing ideas for tea party events and showing someone you are thinking of them.
The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Teacaptures the essence of this traditional British occasion and provides the reader with all the Ritz expertise in the ceremony as well as over 50 recipes, illustrated with passages from Dickens to Oscar Wilde and charming drawings.
Afternoon tea is a revered and treasured English tradition—and no one knows better how to prepare and enjoy a proper tea than the residents of Downton Abbey. With this alluring and vibrant cookbook, fans of the PBS series and anglophiles alike can stage every stylish element of this cultural staple of British society at home.
With more than 70 delectable recipes for scones, savories, and sweets, this book will inspire anyone who is planning a Christmastime celebration. Included are unique Tea pairings, along with a tea-steeping guide.
The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook presents over 100 recipes that showcase the cookery and customs of the Crawley household—from upstairs dinner party centrepieces to downstairs puddings and pies—and brings an authentic slice of Downton Abbey to modern kitchens and Downton fans.
Highclere Castle, known as “the real Downton Abbey,” bustles with activity all year round, but it is never more alive than at Christmas. This book is a look behind the scenes at the routines and rituals that make the castle the most magical place to be throughout the festive season.
This elegant coffee table cookbook highlights the luxe and elegance of the Christmas at Downton Abbey and features a collection of traditional British holiday recipes, from appetizers to desserts, that were popular during the Edwardian period.
Mix three heaped tablespoonfuls of grated chocolate into a paste with cold water. Pour it into a double boiler with four cups of hot milk. Add sugar to taste, and let cook for five minutes. Beat the whites of two eggs to a stiff froth and put them into the cups. Put a teaspoonful of vanilla into the chocolate after taking off the heat. Pour the hot chocolate very slowly upon the beaten whites of the eggs, stirring constantly with a silver spoon or a wooden stick. This makes delicious, frothy chocolate. The cocoa which comes in packages may be used instead of grated chocolate.
Select perfect lemons and roll until soft. Extract the juice, using a glass lemon squeezer, and rejecting the seeds and pulp. Rub sugar over the peel of the lemon to extract the oil, and add to the lemon juice. Fill a glass pitcher one-third full of broken ice, pour the lemon juice upon the ice, and add granulated sugar and water to taste.
Make tea according to the directions given above, using two or three extra teaspoonfuls of tea. Fill a glass pitcher half full of broken ice, and pour the tea, scalding hot, upon the ice, being careful that the stream strikes the ice and not the pitcher. Serve with sugar, and slices of lemon.
Put into a bowl the juice of three lemons, two oranges, sliced and seeded, one grated pineapple, and one cup of sugar. Let stand an hour to extract the juice, then strain through a fruit press. Add to the juice as much cold water as desired, and two slices of pineapple, shredded. Pour into glasses half full of cracked ice.
Mash and strain two cups of currants stripped from the stems. Mash also an equal quantity of raspberries. Mix the juices, sweeten to taste, and serve in glasses with cracked ice and cold water.
One cup of sugar, one cup of canned pineapple, one cup of water and the juice of two lemons.
Boil the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Put the pineapple through the fruit press and add to the syrup with the juice of the lemons. When ready to serve, add water and sugar to taste. Serve ice cold.
For every cup of fruit juice add half a cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of sugar. Heat the fruit, sugar, and vinegar stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves, and it boils into a thick syrup. Skim if necessary, strain, and bottle. When served, allow one-fourth cup of syrup to half or three fourths of a cupful of ice water.
Use ripe red raspberries, and prepare according to directions given above for Blackberry Shrub.
Fill the tumbler half full of cracked ice. Add one tablespoonful of sweetened raspberry juice and one tablespoonful of cream. Fill the glass with soda water.
Crush two or three sprays of mint with a lump of sugar. Put into a glass half full of cracked ice. Add four tablespoonfuls of grape juice and fill the glass to the brim with charged water. Shake thoroughly and strain into another glass.
Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a tall glass, add two inches of shaved ice, two heaping teaspoonfuls of sugar and fill the glass with seltzer or Apollinaris.
Upon a tablespoonful of good tea pour two quarts of boiling water. In the meantime have ready the juice and peelings of three lemons and one orange in a pitcher. When the tea has steeped for five minutes, strain through a fine strainer into the pitcher. Add a cup of sugar and cool slowly. At serving-time put into glasses with plenty of ice.
Cover thin circles of fried or toasted bread with chopped hard-boiled eggs, lay a curled anchovy in the centre of each piece and serve either hot or cold, garnishing with minced parsley or capers.
Pimola and Anchovy
Cut thin slices of bread into fancy shapes, toast, spread with butter, and lay a curled anchovy in the centre around half a pimola. Fill the spaces with the minced whites and sifted yolks of hard-boiled eggs and border with minced capers or parsley.
Anchovy and Olive
Serve pitted olives on rounds of fried bread with an anchovy curled around each olive. Fill the space to the edge with chopped olives or rings of hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with cress.
Anchovy and Cheese
Fry small rounds of bread in clarified butter, sprinkle with grated cheese, season with salt and cayenne, and put in the oven until the cheese is melted. Fillets of anchovies may be laid on these canapés and they may be served hot or cold, garnishing with minced parsley.
Anchovy and Cayenne
Pound anchovies to a smooth paste with butter and season with cayenne and lemon juice. Spread on strips of toast or bread and lay strips of anchovy on each piece. Fill the spaces between with hard-boiled eggs chopped separately.
Watercress and Egg
Chop watercress and pickles with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs and rub to a smooth paste with butter. Spread on strips of fried or toasted bread and lay an anchovy on each one.
Tomato and Anchovy
Slice large tomatoes, cut circles of bread to fit, and toast or fry the bread. Lay a slice of tomato on each piece, put a pimola in the centre, curl an anchovy around it and border with stiff mayonnaise, using the pastry bag and tube. Serve ice cold.
Anchovy Sauce Toasts
Beat together two eggs, a tablespoonful of melted butter, a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, and salt and cayenne to season. Add three tablespoonfuls of grated cheese and one tablespoonful of flour wet with cream. Spread thickly upon small slices of toast and bake until brown.
Anchovy Essence Toasts
Chop two hard-boiled eggs fine, mix to a smooth paste with melted butter, season with anchovy essence, and serve on small circles or squares of buttered toast.
Caviar and Watercress
Spread strips of toast with caviar rubbed to a smooth paste with butter, sprinkle with chopped watercress, and serve cold.
Caviar and Egg
Heat caviar with enough cream to moisten, spread on rounds of fried or toasted bread, and sprinkle with hard-boiled egg-yolks rubbed through a fine sieve. Garnish with cress.
Caviar on Rye
Spread thin rounds of toasted rye-bread with caviar, seasoned with lemon juice. Lay a slice of hard-boiled egg on each one and serve with a garnish of parsley.
Caviar Lemon and Parsley
Spread thin squares of toast with caviar seasoned with lemon juice, sprinkle with minced parsley, and border with chopped hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with lemon and parsley.
Chop fine, olives, pimentos, and cucumber pickles. Season caviar with lemon juice and spread upon circles of fried or toasted bread. Cover with a thin layer of the chopped mixture.
Caviar on Boston Brown
Spread butter upon thin round slices of rye-bread or Boston brown-bread and lay a thin slice of cucumber, which has been dipped in French Dressing, on each piece. Remove the yolk from slices of hard-boiled egg, lay the ring of white on the cucumber, and fill the centre with caviar.
Caviar and Oysters
Season caviar with lemon juice and spread upon rounds of toasted bread. Lay an oyster on each piece and serve on a plate with a garnish of cress and lemon.
Mix caviar to a cream with lemon juice and spread on buttered toast cut into squares or diamonds. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs, chopped finely, and sprinkle with minced onion. Skinned and boned anchovies may be used instead of caviar.
Heat a can of caviar with a little melted butter, season with lemon juice and cayenne, and serve on small squares of hot buttered toast.
Caviar Watercress Toasts
Fry small rounds of bread in butter, drain and cool. Chop watercress very fine, rub it to a paste with butter and spread on the toast. Sprinkle with salt and paprika, cover with caviar seasoned with lemon juice, and serve with a garnish of cress.
Crab and Green Pepper Toasts
Spread thick rounds of fresh bread with butter and anchovy paste, cover with crab-meat, sprinkle with minced green pepper, press firmly, and serve with a garnish of cress.
Sardines and Egg Toasts
Rub to a smooth paste the yolks of hard-boiled eggs and an equal quantity of skinned and boned sardines, seasoning with lemon-juice. Spread on narrow strips of buttered toast and serve either hot or cold.
Drain and skin boned sardines. Sauté in butter, season with salt, cayenne, and lemon-juice, and serve hot on small strips of buttered toast.
Sardine Lemon Toasts
Drain, skin, bone, and mash sardines. Rub to a smooth paste, moistening with melted butter and lemon juice. Spread on small circles of bread, lay a ring of hard-boiled egg-white in the centre, fill the space with minced olives and surround with the sifted yolk. Serve with cress or parsley.
Sardine on Rye
Toast small slices of rye-bread and spread with sardines, pounded to a paste and rubbed smooth with butter. Arrange alternate rows of chopped hard-boiled egg yolks and whites, garnish with parsley and serve.
Sardine and Pickle
Rub boned and skinned sardines to a paste with butter and the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, seasoning with chopped pickle and parsley, lemon-juice, and mustard. Spread the paste on rounds or strips of fried bread, lay a skinned and boned sardine on each piece, heat thoroughly and serve.
Salmon and Caper Toasts
Spread rounds of fried bread with chopped smoked salmon and cover with mayonnaise to which has been added chopped capers, olives, and onion. Garnish with cress and serve cold.
Anchovy and Tomato Toasts
Fry small rounds of bread, spread with anchovy paste, lay a slice of tomato on each and serve ice-cold, garnishing with cress or parsley.
Sprinkle rounds of fried bread with grated cheese, heat until the cheese melts, and serve very hot.
Fried Bread with Caviar
Spread rounds of fried bread with caviar seasoned with lemon-juice, lay a slice of hard-boiled egg on each one, and sprinkle with chopped cress.
Rub chopped ham to a smooth paste, moistening with cream, milk, or melted butter. Spread on small rounds of fried bread, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and cayenne, and brown in a hot oven.
Cheese and Paprika Toasts
Spread small strips of bread with butter and sprinkle with salt and paprika. Cover with grated cheese, bake until the cheese softens, and serve immediately.
Butter small rounds of toast, cover with thin slices of Swiss cheese or sprinkle with grated Swiss cheese, brown in the oven, and serve hot.
Cheese and French Mustard Toasts
Spread grated cheese on small rounds of bread seasoned with salt and cayenne, and bake until the cheese is melted. The bread may be spread with French mustard before the cheese is put on.
Rub two chicken livers to a smooth paste with butter, seasoning with salt and paprika, spread on rounds of fried bread, and serve hot.
Mixed Meats Toasts
Mix equal quantities of minced cooked chicken, ham, or tongue with a little very thick cream sauce. Season with curry powder and lemon juice. Spread on small rounds of toast and serve hot, or make sandwiches of toast with the mixture between.
Take a fresh layer of sponge-cake, and while it is still warm cut off the edges, spread it with jelly, and roll it into a cylinder.
Then roll it in a stiff paper and tie it with a string. If the cake is not over-baked and is rolled while hot it will not crack. The paper will keep it in shape.
Dust with icing sugar.
Drop separate spoonfuls of sponge cake mixture at intervals on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven for a few minutes only, and watch carefully that the edges do not burn. The cakes will spread, rising in the center, and be thin on the edges.
Spread the flat sides with green colored icing. Blanch some almonds, split them, and cut them in strips. Arrange them in a circle, and place in the center a little yellow icing, or use white icing to create the daisy petals.
Use a sponge- or a cupcake mixture and bake it in gem-pans. If they rise in the center cut off the tops to even them out.
Invert them, and with a small cutter stamp a circle in the center of each one and take out a thin layer of the cake. Cover the rest of the cakes with icing, or the cakes may be moistened with water and then rubbed over with powdered sugar to whiten them.
Place a piece of preserved peach or other fruit, in the small hole you have made and serve.
Cut a layer of any kind of cake into pieces three inches long and two and a quarter wide.
Ice the pieces and decorate with candied cherries cut in halves with small strips of angelica imitating stems, and angelica cut in diamond-shaped pieces imitating leaves.
Cut a layer of cake into two pieces. Cover one with chocolate icing and the other with white icing. While the icing is still soft cut the cake, using a sharp knife, into pieces three inches long and one and a half inches wide.
Put a little decorating icing into a pastry bag with a plain tube with a small opening, and press it through on to the cakes in dots and lines to imitate dominoes. Use white icing for the chocolate pieces, and the same icing mixed with cocoa powder for the white pieces.
¼ cupful of butter
¼ cupful of powdered sugar
¾ cupful of pastry flour
½ teaspoonful of vanilla
Yolks of two eggs.
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the yolks and flavoring, and then the flour. Make it into balls one inch in diameter, by rolling small portions of the mixture between the hands.
Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a hemisphere tin. Bake them in a moderate oven for ten to fifteen minutes.
Remove and cool. Cover the flat sides of the cakes with icing of different colors and ornament with decorating icing.
If large cakes are baked in tin pans, the bottom and sides should be covered with sheets of baking paper before the mixture is put in.
Sponge cakes and Almond cakes should be baked in pans that are as thin as possible.
If the cakes should get burnt, scrape them with a knife or grater, as soon as they are cool.
Always be careful to butter your pans well. Should the cakes stick, they cannot be removed without breaking.
For queen cakes, the small tins of a round or oval shape are most convenient. Fill them just a little more than half full with batter.
When the cake is baked, let it remain in the tin until it is cold. Then set it in the oven a minute, or just long enough to warm the tin through. Remove it from the oven; turn it upside down, tap the edge of the tin on the table and it will slip out with ease, leaving it whole.
Water can be used in place of milk in all dough.
Where any recipe calls for baking powder, and you do not have it, you can use cream of tartar and soda, in the proportion of one level teaspoonful of soda to two of cream of tartar.
When the recipe calls for sweet milk or cream, and you do not have it, you may use in place of it sour milk or cream, but not sour enough to whey or to be watery.
Always stir the butter and sugar into a cream, then add the beaten yolks, then the milk, the flavoring, then the beaten whites, and, lastly, the flour.
While the cake is baking avoid opening the oven door, only when necessary to see that the cake is baking properly. The oven needs to remain at a moderate heat, not too cold or too hot. A cake is often spoiled by being looked at too often when first put into the oven.
If, after the cake is put in the oven, it seems to bake too fast, put brown paper loosely over the top of the pan, while being careful that it does not touch the cake, and then do not open the door for five minutes at least. Then quickly check the cake and the door shut carefully, or the rush of cold air will cause it to fall. Setting a small dish of hot water in the oven will also prevent the cake from scorching.
To check when the cake is done, run a wooden skewer into the middle of it; if it comes out clean and smooth, the cake is ready.
Never stir cake after the butter and sugar are creamed, but beat it down from the bottom, up and over; this laps air into the cake batter, and produces little air cells, which cause the dough to puff and swell when it comes in contact with the heat while cooking.
When making most cakes, especially sponge cake, the flour should be added little by little, stirred very slowly and lightly, for if stirred hard and fast it will make it porous and tough.
Before you cut an ice cake, cut the icing by itself with a small sharp penknife. The large knife with which you divide the cake, will crack and break the icing.
Spread the frosting with a broad knife evenly over the cake, and if it seems too thin, beat in a little more sugar. Cover the cake with two coats, the second after the first has become dry, or nearly so. If the icing gets too dry or stiff before the last coat is needed, it can be thinned sufficiently with a little water, enough to make it work smoothly.
A little lemon juice, or half a teaspoonful of tartaric acid, added to the frosting while being beaten, makes it white and more frothy.
The flavors mostly used for frosting are lemon, vanilla, almond, rose, chocolate and orange.