Friday, January 27, 2012

High Tea with Low Low

Recently I was asked by the people at Low Low to host a meal for my family or friends similar to that of a Come Dine With Me experience. As part of the challenge I had to incorporate some of the Low Low products within my  recipes that I was making. Already being familiar with their range of spreads and cheeses I actually found myself spoilt for choice with what I would make.


Some of you may know, as I have mentioned it in the past, that I love any excuse to hold an Afternoon Tea Party. I have some beautiful sets of cups and saucers, from my many auction expeditions and they never look better than when on a fully set table alongside some cakes and scones. My guests for this Afternoon Tea were my Dad, Diarmuid's Parents - Joe & Liz and naturally the children joined in the fun.



Low Fat Sugary Scones
I make scones quite regularly and normally stick to my Scrumptious Sweet Scone recipe or my Wholemeal Scone recipe. In a bid to make a lower fat version I came up with this recipe. I've omitted the eggs, substituted whole milk with buttermilk and replaced the butter with Low Low Gold. These are a super low fat scone that actually taste really good.

Ingredients:

450g/1lb Plain Flour 
1 teasp baking powder
Pinch of salt
50g/2oz caster sugar
100g/4oz Low Low Gold
3000mls buttermilk
For Glaze:
Egg wash - some beaten egg with a little milk
2 tbsp brown sugar-on a small plate { don't put on scones if filling with a savoury filler}

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/ fan 
200°C/Gas mark 7
2. Sieve all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the Low Low and toss in the flour mixture. Rub in the Low Low until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients.
5. Mix together with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to make a soft dough.
6. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Wash and dry hands. Knead lightly- not too much as the scones would become tough. Roll out the dough and cut out using a circular cutter.
7. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle over the brown sugar.
8. Bake in the oven for 10-12mins until golden brown. Remove and cool on a wire tray.






As a real cheese addict I have many different varieties of cheese in the fridge and often have the red cheddar from Low Low especially when I'm trying to save a few calories! As opposed to regular cheddar it has 1/3 less fat and it still tastes good especially in sandwiches. For the afternoon tea I made some Egg, Cheese & Chive sandwiches. I cut them into fingers, cut off the crust and dipped each end in poppy seeds to give them a true 'Afternoon Tea' feel.


I also made some buns using my normal bun mixture but replaced the Flora Light with Low Low Original. The result was perfect and they were very tasty, fluffy little cupcakes. If you normally use butter for your buns I would really urge you to give these a try. Low Low Original actually has 81 % less saturated fat than butter which makes one of these cupcakes the perfect low fat treat.


Blueberry Yogurt Cake

I was overjoyed  with how this cake turned out. It's almost muffin like and so deliciously moist. I love the blueberries in the cake but strawberries or raspberries work equally well here. I used a ring bundt tin but you could also use a 26 cm/10 ¼ in round tin.

Ingredients
225g (8oz) Low Low Original or Flora Buttery or Butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 free range eggs
280g (10oz) self-raising flour (sieved)
150g (5oz) greek yogurt
100g Blueberries (fresh or frozen will do)

For Icing
100g (4 oz) cream cheese
50g (2 oz) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g (10 oz) icing sugar (sieved)
125g fresh blueberries
Icing sugar-to dust



Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(fan)/200c/gas mark 6.
2. Prepare the baking tin by greasing well with some spread or butter.
3. Place the Low Low Original, caster sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and cream together until it is a pale yellow colour.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little flour- to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well.
5. Add the remaining flour then combine well. Fold in the yogurt and blueberries.
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
7. Bake in the oven for 35 mins or until golden brown in colour. Cool on a wire tray.
8. Put the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Stir in the vanilla extract. Put the icing in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden slightly. When the cake has completely cooled spread the icing over the cake and smooth using a palette knife.
9. Decorate the top of the cake with some fresh blueberries and dust with some sieved icing sugar.





 Joe and Liz thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and not surprising, for the lovely couple that they are, they scored a very kind 10. My father certainly isn't one to hold back on his criticism, all constructive of course, so he scored an 8 for the cake as according to him it was a bit too sweet. However he did score an overall 9 as he thought that the afternoon on a whole was really rather nice. The boys and Millie tried everything and deliberated long and hard over what score to give and declared that the afternoon warranted a big 10. They certainly know which side their bread is buttered. :) A lovely afternoon was had by all and I now have a few new recipes that I will most definitely be making again.

15 comments:

paulaannryan said...

What a gorgeous spread! Love the tip about dipping sandwiches in the poppy seeds! Lovely post Nessa.

Simply Homemade said...

Wow Nessa, my mouth is watering here, that looks like a stunning Afternoon Tea. The scones sound delicious and Blueberry Cake looks divine. Your photos are beautiful.
A well deserved 10 I would think :)
Nicola

Carol-Anne said...

Nessa, such a gorgeous post. Your pictures are stunning and lots of yummy baking too :) I love all of your crockery. I was looking for a nice blueberry cake too, will have to try yours out!

Amee said...

Your afternoon tea does look lovely Nessaand the photos are absolutely gorgeous. Although I would never use any low fat spread myself because of the gums and emulsifiers used to thicken them, I wonder if I could make your blueberry yogurt cake recipe if I substituted the same amount of real butter in place of the spread?

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Paula. I had some poppy seeds in the press, as I've been meaning to make some lemon & poppyseed cookies, so I thought some on the sandwiches would make it prettier.
Thanks Nicola. The cake was really delicious.
Thanks Carol-Anne. The pink teacups and plates were my latest auction buys.
Thanks Anne-Marie - Yes butter would work perfectly in place of the spread.

The Cookie Jar said...

What a lovely spread. We are having an afternoon tea party in our flower club in February. Thank you for some wonderful ideas.

Brownieville Girl said...

Oh man - what a fantastic spread Nessa, hard to believe all these treats are low fat, well done.

P.S. 10 from me too!!!!!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Nessa, I wonder if OK for me to drop by for breakfast...every day.?

Your tea looked so beautiful, so yummy and I love all your red transferware. I started collecting that type after I bought my first peice in Ireland in the town of New Ross. It hangs on my dining room wall. ENOUGH! tomorrow I am using it for our family dinner

Rolling Pin Claire said...

I'm with you on afternoon tea - should be a daily meal. It all looks beautiful Nessa. Love love love your delph (dear Lord, I sound like my mother!)

MissCakeBaker said...

Can I come for tea next time i'm in Ireland?!

Cross My Apple Tart said...

Wow, what a lucky family you have. Lovely post & stunning photos!

Clare said...

Wow Nessa, that looks like such a fab tea party! Everything looks delicious! I will have to try make those scones!!

Nessa Robins said...

Donna, I'm a believer in using all my old crockery. They make the food look even better!
Ladies, thank you for your comments and ye'd be welcome for tea anytime.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nessa,
Your blog is great. I was wondering if I could add raisins/sultanas to the low fat sugary scones, at what stage would I add them into the mixture?
Thanks!
Amanda

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks for visiting the blog Amanda. Either raisins or sultanas would be lovely added to the scones. Just add about 50g(2oz) when the butter has been rubbed in, then continue with the original recipe. I hope you like them.

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