Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Afternoon tea

I surprised my friend, Mary a birthday tea. Her daughter and daughter-in-law were in on the secret. Her sister-in-lad, niece, and long-time dear friend were also invited. Mary is married to a Swede, so I made a Swedish birthday cake to go along with all the more traditional tea time food. There were three sandwiches, cucumber, ham, and egg mayonnaise.  Scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, black current jam tarts, lemon and banana tea bread, and teapot shaped cookies. I had my trusty Mrs. Tea maker going at full speed with several tea pots rotating to keep us all with full cups. I prefer a good English Indian tea, like Darjeeling or blended teas like Taylors Yorkshire Gold, Typhoo, or even good old PGTips.  I particularly like the philosophy behind Dilmah Tea Co. If you follow the link it will take you to their website where it explains their wonderful foundation founded by Merrill J. Fernando, a great humanitarian. As a plus, his tea is really delicious.
I'm not a fan of American tea (beige water). I don't like those nasty bitter herbal tisane types the French and Americans are so fond of, either. If I'm not sick why take medicine? No, give me a nice cup of good English or Irish tea that I can stand a spoon in. BTW if you like Irish tea, Trader Joe's has a killer Irish Breakfast Tea that is less than $3 a box of 80. I start my day with a pot of that every morning.
Swedish Cloudberry Cake

Cloudberry Cake

This is one of the easiest cakes I've ever made. It is a traditional Scandinavian cake using the rare cloudberry jam. Cloudberries only grow north of 78°N.

Makes 16 servings .
     For the cake:
  • 6 large eggs (about 1 1/3 cups), room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
      For filling and decoration:
  • 2 cups cloudberry preserves(from Ikea)
  • 3 cups heavy cream, whipped (I used Dr. Oetker Whip it -whipped cream stabilizer so I was able to pipe it on the cake for decoration)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two or three 9-inch, round cake pans with parchment paper. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs and sugar, beating on high speed until light and lemon colored, about 5 minutes.
  3. Beat in vanilla and salt. With a rubber spatula, thoroughly fold in flour.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the pans. Bake until the cake springs back when touched in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool. Loosen edges of cooled cakes and remove from pans. If making 2 layers, use a serrated knife, slice cakes horizontally to make four cake layers in all, or use the 3 layers as they are.
  5. For the filling: Whip the cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and the stabilizer until stiff.
  6. To assemble the cake: Place bottom layer on cake plate, brush cake with rum, and pipe one-third of the filling. Top with the second layer, brush with rum, and spread with 1/2 of the preserves. Top with the third layer, brush with rum, and pipe one-third of the filling. Top with the fourth layer, brush with rum, and spread with remaining preserves. Pipe remaining cream  on cake in a decorative pattern. (If you use three pans, as I do, spread a thinner layer of the preserves on each layer with the cream on top)
 I have linked to
Decor to Adore


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my I am overcome with the beauty and detail that you put into your tea. You must have made your friend feel oh so special!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for participating in the tea.

Priscilla said...

Thank you for you kind comment. I have to apologize for the poor photography. I only have my old Blackberry. Naturally the tea was at 4 o'clock and very dark already. I need a new usb cable for the camera.

Mickle in NZ said...

What a magnificent selection and such a pretty setting. Now becareful putting a teaspoon in Irish Breakfast - leave it in too long and you have no spoon!

I confess to drinking South African Rooibos tea these days. Sending care and huggles (best I can offer from Zebby Cat is mildly melodious snoring)

Michelle xxx

Priscilla said...

Naturally you are right, I'd never put my sterling silver spoons in Irish tea. Only the sturdiest of iron!!!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

This was a treat learning about cloudberries and seeing the beautiful party you put on for your friend. :)

Jane said...

Very lovely spread. Everything looks, not only delicious, but inviting. I am sure your guests were wowed!
Jane (artfully graced)

Johanna said...

you made a wonderful birthday tea for your friend. I am sure, all your guests were delighted. The cake looks wonderful.
Gretings, Johanna

mary said...

Priscilla, the gift of your afternoon tea just keeps giving. I am so pleased to see the pictures you posted here. It truly was an afternoon I will cherish forever. Thank you dear friend once again for the unforgettable tea party. It was like a delightful and delicious dream!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

YOu have set a magnificent table just ladened with all kinds of scrumptious goodies! Thank you so much for the recipe for this fabulous cake! YUMMY! A treat for the eyes and tummy!


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