Afternoon tea.

I’ve started a blog.  Everyone’s doing it, so what’s the big deal?

There are a lot of reasons why this is an important decision for me.

First, I’m completely computer illiterate.  The Husband is going to have to hold my hand every step of the way until I get this thing up and running on my own.  Which might take a while!

Second, I’m in desperate need of a creative outlet.  This blog will mainly chronicle my love of baking and to a lesser degree, cooking (I’m definitely more comfortable with the former).  Above all else, it’ll feature what I love most in life – eating food!  Lots and lots of delicious, heart-plugging, awe-inspiring food!

I’m a criminal defence lawyer by trade but a baker at heart. If I didn’t have to worry about money, I’d quit my day job in a heartbeat and do nothing but bake all day. And eat. And take photos of my baking and eating. And post them online for my friends and family to ooh and aah and drool over.

I love trying new recipes, baking big batches of yummy treats and inviting my friends over to act as guinea pigs. I recently had a group of my dearest friends over at my apartment for afternoon tea. I literally spent weeks planning the menu. I thought about all the things that are traditional to afternoon tea and couldn’t decide whether to veer from that and do something more modern or if I should stick to the basics. In the end, I went old school. I made two types of finger sandwiches (egg salad and smoked salmon), scones with a cheater’s version of Devonshire cream and bluebery compote, a coffee cake and a dessert. I chose the sweets from my beloved copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

Breaking up chocolate to melt for Dorie’s chocolate cream pie.

Chocolate shortbread crust dough for the chocolate cream pie. I don’t have a food processor so I made it by hand. Cutting frozen butter by hand was a hardcore sweat-inducing workout! Which just probably means I need to work out more.

Sandwich bread from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, ready for its first rise.

Freshly baked cream scones from Dorie’s “Baking”. I only wish the recipe made more – these were a hit!

Sandwich bread out of the oven and cooling down before slicing. I am super happy with this recipe. It’s very similar to Chinese milk bread – soft, sweet and delicious!

The Husband’s fantastic even slices.

The finished pie. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I brushed melted dark chocolate over the baked crust, topped that with bananas sautéed in butter and brown sugar, then placed the chocolate pastry cream and whipped cream on top. Voila – chocolate banana cream pie (one of my favourite desserts)!

Egg salad sandwiches made with the fresh baked bread.

Dorie’s Cardamom coffee cake. I’d never baked or cooked with cardamom so it was a new taste experience.

My ghetto version of the tiered plates you would get at a real afternoon tea. Props to the Husband for his ingenuity.

I tried to get a pic of all the delicious, creamy, banana-y, chocolatey layers of this pie. Kinda messy, but totally delicious!

Scones! With “Devonshire cream” made from marscapone cheese, whipping cream, vanilla and sugar – so good my friend was spooning it into her mouth like yogurt. Topped with a homemade blueberry compote.

My beautiful table, shot before we messed it up with our gluttony.

This was truly an epic event for me, consuming weeks of time and energy. But it was worth every single delicious second!

6 thoughts on “Afternoon tea.

  1. hey eric just told me you started a blog!!! exciting. welcome to the blogging world. 😀 everything looks amazing. i looooove devonshire cream. i’m really curious how you made it. in the past i’ve bought the tiny (expensive) jar! i’m very impressed with the bread slicing skills. i love making bread but i’m SO bad at slicing it evenly, which is part of the reason why i don’t make it very often.

    • Thanks Ashley! I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know you had a blog too – and it’s fabulous! I always want to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet so I’m definitely going to start trying your delicious looking recipes. I pulled the Devonshire Cream recipe off of Joy of Baking ( – place 4 ounces Marscapone cream, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 or 2 tablespoon sugar and zest of lemon or lime (optional – I didn’t use the zest) into a bowl and beat until the mixture holds its shape, looking like softly whipped cream. It doesn’t taste exactly like Devonshire but it’s delicious! You shouldn’t let “bad” slicing keep you from baking bread – all that matters is taste! Sometimes I just tear at the loaf and eat it cave woman styles.

    • Hey Christina, thanks! You’ve really inspired me with your amazing blog – your photos are beautiful, the recipes are to-die-for, and your entries are hilarious and thoughtful. I hope I can do as a good a job with mine as you do with yours!

  2. Beautiful table setup and lovely plates! I love discovering new blogs as it motivates me to keep going. Your blog is the second one today that I’ve discovered before noon. So much good food…must have been one wonderful feast.

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