Tea parties are a quintessential British activity. Commonly associated with us, they can be a high affair with the best china laid out, the finest cakes, and guests in their finery. The tea party held in Bordeaux for Erasmus peeps was slightly different. Everyone was asked to bring something to add to the table, which we did, then we helped ourselves to mugs of tea and ate until we stumbled home in a sugar-induced stupor.
Off I went in search of something that wasn’t too complicated: I was limited to one dish and one mixing bowl and a basic oven that is still on a cardboard box, but I wanted to make something truly scrumptious.
I decided my baked good would be lemon-based, so went for a hunt on Google. Eventually I stumbled across the Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association website. Buzzin’!! I had a look at its Honey Lemon Drizzle cake recipe and liked the sound of a sponge drenched in honey-lemon goodness. The fact that the recipe was from a beekeeping organisation also piqued my interests.
The recipe here does not specify how long in advance the juice should be drizzled on the cake, so I decided to bake the cake the day before the Party and leave the cake to absorb overnight. I decorated it with pink and white sugar hearts, attempted to crumble some sugar over the top of it and then Pani and I went over to our friends’ apart, she with her tiffin and myself with my bee cake.
We were quite early arriving but as people turned up, the table became heavier and heavier with cakes galore. There was a home-made Battenberg cake with edible pearls placed on top – a work of art in my opinion – a cheesecake with a speculoos crust, chocolate-heaven tiffin and, the key ingredient of the whole shebang, cucumber sandwiches. They provided light relief to the hordes of sweet treats I consumed that day.
While the honey in my cake wasn’t particularly strong, I think it came through at the end and I was delighted by how moist and juicy it was. I have written it down as a keeper.
What was really special was that everyone had made something at home, one way or another and it reminded me how much I like baking and cooking. So, despite my limitations here in terms of utensils I am going to try and up my game!