Welcome to my D.I.Y. afternoon tea workbook.  

The idea for posting a D.I.Y. Afternoon Tea began with a workshop I presented at a women's conference

"From Indian chai to afternoon tea" A tea adventure with Doreen Buhler.   

Thanks to all of you that attended my workshop.  Here are some of the recipes I promised to share.  

Egg salad filling:  Cook 12 hard boiled eggs.  Put the peeled eggs into a food processor and pulse for 8 to 10 times to break up, but not puree, the eggs.  Add 1/3 cups mayonnaise, 2 tsp whole grain mustard, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 Tbsp dill.  Combine lightly with a fork.  NOTE:  You can cook and peel the eggs a few days in advance and store them in a covered container.  I also like to make the sauce a day ahead.  Then, on the day you make the pinwheels, you only need to chop the eggs, mix in the sauce and you're ready to roll.  NOTE:  keep your sandwiches moist by wrapping the sandwiches with wax paper.  Then wrap damp paper towel around the wax paper and put into a sealed container.  

I also use this recipe for egg salad and for devilled eggs.  You can add siracha sauce or replace the dill with pesto or whatever else your imagination, or your fridge, conjures up.  

Instead of traditional cucumber sandwiches, serve crunchy cucumber cups filled with a fresh green herb dip.                              

Green Herb Dip:  8 oz cream cheese, 4 oz goat cheese, 1/4 sour cream or mayonnaise, 3/4 cup chopped scallions, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1 1/2  Tbsp  chopped dill, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Mix cream cheese, goat cheese and sour cream in mixer till smooth, Stir in the remaining ingredients by hand. NOTE:  You can make this two days ahead of your party.  This dip is also fabulous for dipping vegetables.  Sometimes, if there's a bit left over, I'll add some vinegar (start with a couple of teaspoons) and sugar (to taste), shake it up and use as a salad dressing.  

Brownies:  Fry's cocoa brownie recipe is the best!  If you don't have a tin of Fry's cocoa in your cupboard, here is the recipe.            

Melt 1 cup butter, then add 1 cup cocoa powder and 2 cups sugar and mix well.   Add 4 eggs and 1/2 Tbsp vanilla, mix till silky smooth.  Add 1 1/3 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt and stir gently.  I make mini-muffin brownies - put 1 Tbsp of dough into each mini-muffin cup.  Bake at 350 for 13 minutes.  Let cool.  The secret for moist brownies - Don't over-bake them.  

Chocolate ganache:   Chop 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate in blender, then pour  4 oz of hot (not boiling) cream on top.  Let sit for one minute and gently blend till silky smooth.  Dip the tops of the brownies into the ganache.  Top the brownie with whipped cream and a fresh raspberry.  This is one of my favorite treats!  

Devonshire cream:  An exquisitely, decadent topping for your scones - nutty, sweet and silky.  If your budget or calorie count doesn't allow for this luxury, then the following recipe is a delicious alternative.  1 cup cream cheese (at room temperature) + 1/2 cup sour cream.  Beat the cream cheese till smooth.  Then add sour cream and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Keeps well in the fridge.  

Chai:  For 4 cups of chai you will need 4 cups of water, 4 Tbsp sugar, 4 crushed whole green cardamom seeds (put the seeds between two tablespoons and press together till the seed pod pops), 2 whole cloves, 1 thin slice of ginger and a pinch of ground cinnamon.  Boil this for 3 minutes.  Then add 1 1/2 tsp 'Red Label' Brook Bond tea (You can find this tea at all Indian specialty stores as well as Superstore).  Boil for another 3 minutes.  Finally, add 6 Tbsp evaporated milk, bring the tea to a full boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for 2 minutes.  Let the chai rest for 30 seconds, pour into a tea pot and serve.  

Vegan chocolate cake:  A family favorite.  We often had chocolate cake and popcorn for dinner on Sunday night- it was moms night off!  Mix 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 cup cocoa powder.  Mix 3/4 cup oil, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 cups cold water.  Lightly combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into a greased and floured 11 x 16 pan.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  The icing that comes with this cake is delicious - unfortunately, it's not vegan.  Melt 2 oz chocolate, then add 3 Tbsp of plain yogurt and stir till smooth.  Pour onto cake - it will thicken as it sets.  You can serve whip cream and canned cherries on the side for a do-it-yourself black forest cake.