Vernalisa's Afternoon Tea Party
Afternoon tea was invented by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford
(1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. In her day,
the upper crust ate a huge breakfast, little lunch, and a very late
dinner. Every afternoon, the duchess experienced a "sinking
feeling." One afternoon she instructed her servants to serve tea and
little cakes in her boudoir. The experience was so delightful that
Anna repeated it every afternoon thereafter.
Soon others followed the Duchess' lead, and in just
a few decades the custom of "taking tea" in the afternoon had become well
established. At first the practice was limited to the upper classes, but
it eventually became so popular that tea shops and tea-rooms began opening
for the enjoyment of the general public.
America's Part in the History of Tea
The United States can claim two distinct contributions when it comes
to tea, both dating from the early twentieth century.
In 1904, visitors to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
in St. Louis sweltered in a heat wave and shunned the hot brew offered by
Indian tea growers. An Englishman named Richard Blechynden, who represented
the tea growers, tried pouring tea over ice in order to entice fair visitors.
The result was iced tea, which now accounts for 80 percent of the tea drunk
in the United States.
The teabag began as the brainstorm of a New York
tea merchant named Thomas Sullivan in 1908. He decided to provide
samples to his customers in small silk pouches. Sullivan's customers
soon discovered that the pouches could be put directly (and conveniently)
in teapots, and soon orders were pouring in for tea packaged in "those little
bags". Before long, teabags had become a widely accepted means of packaging
Tea Rooms, Tea Courts, and Tea Dances
Beginning in the late 1880's in both America and England, fine hotels
began to offer tea service in tea rooms and tea courts. Served in the late
afternoon, Victorian ladies (and their gentlemen friends) could meet for
tea and conversation. Many of these tea services became the hallmark of the
elegance of the hotel, such as the tea services at the Ritz (Boston) and
the Plaza (New York).
By 1910 hotels began to host afternoon tea dances as dance craze after
dance craze swept the United States and England. Often considered wasteful
by older people they provided a place for the new "working girl" to meet
men in a city, far from home and family. (Indeed, the editor of Vogue once
fired a large number of female secretarial workers for "wasting their time
at tea dances").
Afternoon Tea is served at approximately four o'clock and can consist
of whatever the hostess chooses (sandwiches, scones, cookies, a special dessert
such as a fruit tart or a rich cake). It can be formally served in the dining
room or at the living room tea table. Informal teas can be enjoyed in the
kitchen, garden, as a picnic, or any location of choice.
Farmer's Tea is a combination of a Ploughman's Lunch (heavy grained
bread, sharp cheese, fruit, and sausages or a meat pie), popular in British
pubs, served with a sweet.
Full Tea is a complete four-course Afternoon Tea with sandwiches, scones,
sweets, and a dessert finale.
Royal Tea adds a glass of champagne or sherry to the Full Tea.
Light Tea is a lighter version of Afternoon Tea with a scone and a sweet.
Cream Tea is an afternoon tea that features scones and clotted cream
(for the scones, not the tea!).
High Tea is most often served as a Full Tea, only more of the same.
It is enjoyed at approximately six o'clock and is a light supper for the
family or a before-theater meal. An entree such as chicken a la king or meat
pie may be served with breads, biscuits, salad, cheese, fruit, and sweets.
Everyone sits down at the table.
Scones are light, tender biscuits served hot from the oven with jam
and butter or clotted cream.
Lemon curd is a thick sauce about the consistency of pudding used like
jam on the crumpets and scones, and also as a filling for tarts.Clotted cream,
also called Devonshire cream, is made in Devonshire, England, by separating
the cream from the unhomogenized milk and scalded until it is extra thick.
True Devonshire cream cannot be found in the United States, but can be
substituted with unsweetened whipping cream. Crumpets are like griddle
cakes that develop surface holes as they cook. Americans substitute English
Planning An Anne Tea Party
Tea always tastes best when it's shared. Why not invite a few of your
friends over for a tea party, serving some of the treats from the Anne books?
Getting ready for the party is almost as much fun as the party itself, for
you'll have a wonderful excuse to prepare a beautiful table setting, serve
an array of delicious tidbits, perhaps dress up a little, and have a "perfectly
scrumptious time", as Anne might say.Anne first entertained for tea in her
first year at Green Gables. Marilla was to be out but gave Anne permission
to invite Diana over for the afternoon. Marilla didn't allow Anne to go as
far as to use the rosebud spray tea set, which was reserved for the most
honored of guests, but she did offer to let Anne serve cherry preserves,
fruit cake, cookies, and snaps ~ and raspberry cordial. More important to
Anne than the menu, however, was creating just the right atmosphere for such
a grown-up activity as having a friend for tea.
"I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and
pouring out the tea", said Anne ecstatically. "And asking Diana if she takes
sugar! I know she doesn't but of course I'll ask her just as if I didn't
know. And then pressing her to take another piece of fruitcake and another
helping of preserves. Oh, Marilla, it's a wonderful sensation just to think
of it."Anne of Green Gables, XVI
Though the afternoon ended in an unorthodox way, Anne and Diana observed
the most important elements of proper tea-time behavior ~ special attention
to one's grooming and clothes, polite but sincere conversation, exquisite
manners, an attractive table setting, and an appealing variety of foods offered
with the tea itself.If you decide to plan a tea party, you have come to right
place! The following tea-time treats are mentioned in the Anne books, and
you might want to try some of them for your own tea party.
"Tea first...what do you want for tea? We'll have whatever you like.
Do think of something nice and indigestible."Anne of Avonlea, XXIII
The custom of serving tea was brought to Canada by the many immigrants
from Great Britain, where the tea-time ritual began and was refined and,
thankfully, continues to this day. In the Anne books, tea was any meal eaten
after mid-afternoon, whether it was a snack, light supper, or substantial
dinner. When it was a formal occasion, Anne and her friends treated tea with
Brewing the Perfect Pot of Tea
Learning to prepare tea properly is one of the first steps in bringing
Anne's world into your own.First, there are three main types of tea - black,
oolong (semi-black), and green. Black tea is fermented before it's dried;
green tea is steamed but not fermented before it's dried; and oolong is fermented
only briefly before it's dried. Anne and her friends drank black tea (such
as today's' English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast), which was the most common
tea in the Canadian Maritimes. It is served at any time of day, while the
more exotic oolong and green teas are reserved for the afternoon or evening.Tea
is a delicate beverage, and to coax the subtleties of taste and aroma from
the leaves, you must observe a few simple but basic rules.First ~ run enough
fresh, cold water into a tea kettle to fill the teapot, plus an extra cup
or two. Bring it just to a rolling boil.Second ~ While the water is heating,
fill the teapot with hot water; this will enable the pot to keep the tea
hot much longer. Just before the boiling water is ready, pour the hot water
out of the teapot.Third ~ To the pot, add 1 teaspoon tea leaves for each
tea cup - 3/4 cup - of water. The average teapot will hold four to six tea
cupfuls, so you will need 4 to 6 teaspoons of tea.Fourth ~ Pour boiling water
over the tea leaves in the pot, stir gently, and place the lid on the pot.
Allow the tea to "steep" or stand for 3 to 5 mintues, stir again and serve
immediately, pouring the tea through a strainer into the tea cups. The strainer
will keep the loose tea leaves out of the tea cups (some people like to strain
the brewed tea into another heated teapot before serving so there will be
no loose tea leaves to deal with and the tea will not get any stronger. But
you can simply have more hot water on hand; if you want to heat up or dilute
the tea a bit, add a little hot water to the tea in the cup.)Fifth ~ Serve
the tea with sugar and thinly sliced lemon or milk.Since the teabag was not
invented until 1896, it is highly unlikely that Anne used it. While the teabag
is a convenient method of brewing tea, the tea leaves do not open enough
to brew properly when they are confined to such cramped quarters, and the
material of the teabag itself can impart its own flavor to the tea.There
are other beverages mentioned in the Anne books ~ Marilla's raspberry cordial
(made from fresh raspberries, sugar, vinegar, and water), homemade current
wine, ginger tea, Anne's Golden Picnic Lemonade, Miss Minerva Tomgallon's
cocoa, and even coffee, which was considered exotic enough then to be included
in the luncheon menu for Mrs. Charlotte Morgan ~ but the beverage most often
served was tea.
"You must be real tired and hungry. I'll do the best I can for you in
the way of tea but I warn you not to expect anything but bread and butter
and some cowcumbers."Anne of Avonlea, XVIIIIngredients:
1/3 cup elbow macaroni
1 7-ounce can tuna
1 medium carrot
1 medium celery stalk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
3 medium cucumbers
Put about 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt into a small saucepan
and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni gradually and boil until tender ~ about
8 to 10 minutes. Drain the macaroni and put it in a medium mixing bowl.Drain
the tuna and add it to the macaroni.Peel the carrot and grate it into the
bowl. Chop the celery into tiny pieces and add it into the bowl.Add the
mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and stir with fork.Peel the cucumber
and cut off the ends. Cut each cucumber in half lengthwise. With a spoon,
scoop out and discard the seeds and any watery flesh.Fill each cucumber boat
with tuna mixture.
Makes 6 Cowcumber Boats
Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches
The girls sat down by the roots and did full justice to Anne's dainties,
even the unpoetical sandwiches being greatly appreciated by hearty, unspoiled
appetites sharpened by all the fresh air and exercise they had enjoyed.Anne
of Avonlea, XIIIIngredients:
4 hardboiled eggs
1 celery stalk - chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons dried mint or dried parsley
8 slices of fresh bread
With a fork, mash the eggs in a small mixing bowl together with the
celery. Stir in the mayonnaise, salt, and pepper and set in the refrigerator.
Mix the softened butter with the dried mint or dried parsley in a small bowl.
Set aside.Cut each slice of bread with a large cookie cutter. Save the bread
scraps for the birds!Butter one side of the bread shapes with the minted
butter. On half the bread shapes, spread the egg mixture. Place the other
half of the bread shapes on top.
Makes 4 Poetical sandwiches
Anne had brought glasses and lemonade for her guests, but for her own
part drank cold brook water from a cup fashioned out of birch bark...Anne
thought it more appropriate to the occasion than lemonade.Anne of Avonlea,
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
finely grated peel of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
fresh mint leaves (optional)
Measure sugar, water, and finely grated lemon peel into a saucepan.
While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove
the saucepan from the stove and let the mixture cool.Squeeze 1 1/2 cups lemon
juice and add it to the cooled sugar and water mixture. Pour the lemonade
syrup into a jar and cover tightly. The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator
for 2 or 3 weeks.When you're ready to serve the lemonade, put ice cubes in
glasses. Pour 1/4 cup of lemonade syrup over the ice cubes, add 3/4 cup of
cold water, and stir.Float a thin slice of lemon and, if you like, a fresh
mint leaf on top of each glass.For pink lemonade, add 1/2 cup grenadine syrup
to the jar and shake.The recipe makes enough syrup for 14 glasses of
Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits
Mrs. Rachel Lynde and Marilla sat comfortably in the parlor while Anne
got the tea and made hot biscuits that were light and white enough to defy
even Mrs. Rachel's criticism.Anne of Green Gables, XXXIngredients:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cut vegetable shortening
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup red jam or jelly
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Measure the sifted flour, baking powder,
sugar, and salt and mix with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the vegetable
shortening until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs. Add the milk
and mix it into the flour with a fork ~ but only until the mixture forms
a soft ball. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead
it 12 times. Rub some flour onto the rolling pin and roll out the dough until
it's about 1/4 inch thick. With a large biscuit cutter, cut circles, very
close together, in the dough. Use a straight downward motion, and don't twist
the cutter.With a spatula, lift half the circles, one at a time, onto a cookie
sheet. Arrange them about 1 inch apart.With a small cutter, cut a hole in
the rest of the circles to make rings and lift out the centers with the spatula.
Set these centers aside.Place the rings on top of the large circles on the
cookie sheet. Put a teaspoonful of jam or jelly in the middle of each ring.
Bake the biscuits 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and slightly golden. Remove
from the oven and immediately lift the tea biscuits from the cookie
Makes 12 ruby tea biscuits
With the leftover centers of dough, you can bake some little plain
Miss Ellen's Pound Cake
"I wish I could get Miss Ellen's recipe for pound cake," sighed Aunt
Chatty. "She's promised it to me time and again but it never comes. It's
an old English family recipe. They're so exclusive about their recipes."Anne
of Windy Poplars, IIIngredients:
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease and flour a 5x9" loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.With a
mixer, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until soft, smooth, and fluffy.
Add the sugar, a little at a time, beating until light and fluffy.Add the
eggs, one at a time. Beat well after adding each egg.With a spoon, stir in
the flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.Spoon the batter into the loaf pan.
Smooth the top with a spatula and bake the cake for 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 hours.Test
the cake with a toothpick. If it isn't done, test again in 15 minutes. When
the cake is done, remove from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 10
minutes.Slide a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the
pan. Turn the cake upside down on the cooling rack and gently lift off the
loaf pan.To serve, cut the pound cake into thin slices with a knife.
"No, thank you, Kate, I won't have any more tea...well, mebbe a macaroon.
They don't lie heavy on the stomach, but I'm afraid I've et far too much."Anne
of Windy Poplars, VIIIIngredients:
3 room-temperature eggs
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat over to 300 degrees.Cut a large paper bag into a rectangle that
will just fit on your cookie sheet.Break the eggs and separate them, putting
the yolks into a small bowl and the whites in a large bowl. Beat the whites
with an electric mixter until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until
the egg whites are stiff and glossy but not dry.With a spatula, carefully
fold the sugar, coconut, and almond extract into the egg whites. Do not stir.Drop
the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the brown-paper-covered cookie sheet - about
1 inch apart. Bake the macaroons for 20 to 25 minutes until they look dry
on top.Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Dampen a tea towel and lay
it on your counter. Lift the brown paper and macaroons onto the tea towel.
Let them cool completely. Peel the macaroons off the brown paper and put
them on a plate.
"You'll put down the old brown tea set. But you can open the little
yellow crock of cherry preserves. It's time it was being used anyhow ~ I
believe it's beginning to work. And you can cut some fruitcake and have some
of the cookies and snaps."Anne of Green Gables, XVIIngredients:
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place oven racks in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.Measure
the molasses and shortening in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until
it reaches the boiling point. Immediately remove from the heat.Measure the
flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into a large mixing
bowl. Mix. When the molasses mixture is cool, pour it over the flour mixture.
Mix well. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.Shape
the dough into small balls ~ about the size of a quarter ~ and arrange them
two inches apart on the cookie sheet.Flatten the balls with the bottom of
a small drinking glass or with your fingers.Bake the gingersnaps until crispy
and dry ~ 6 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely ~ they can burn very easily.When
the gingersnaps are done, set the pan on a cooling rack. Let the gingersnaps
cook for 5 minutes then remove from cookie sheet.
Makes about 4 dozen snaps
Tantalizing Raspberry Tarts
The little girls of Avonlea school always pooled their lunches, and
to eat three raspberry tarts alone or even to share them only with one's
best chum would have forever and ever branded as "awful mean" the girl who
did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls you just got
enough to tantalize you.Anne of Green Gables, XVIngredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Measure out flour, sugar, and salt and mix
in a large mixing bowl. Fill a liquid measuring cup with 1 cup cold water.
Remove 6 tablespoons of the water. Push pieces of butter down into the water
until the water level reaches 1 cup. Pour out the water. Then cut the cold
butter into the flour mixture until it looks like tiny peas.To the egg yolk
add the tablespoon of water and the lemon juice. Mix with fork.Sprinkle the
egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture. Stir with fork until the pastry
holds together in a ball.With your fingers pull small pieces of pastry from
the ball and press them evenly against the bottom and sides of each tart
tin. The pastry should be about 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate the tart shells
while you make the filling.Put the cornstarch and the water into a small
saucepan. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar. Add the thawed raspberries to the saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat until thick ~ about 10-15 minutes. Let the mixture
cool. Spoon the raspberry filling evenly into each tart shell ~ they should
be no more than 2/3 full.Bake the tarts at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then,
turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake them 15 minutes more ~ or until
they are golden brown.Remove the tarts from the oven, set them on a cooling
rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Then gently remove them from the tin.Try using
1 cup fresh raspberries when they're in season. Delicious!
Mrs. Irving's Delicious Shortbread
"Of course I'll stay to tea", said Anne gaily. "I was dying to be asked.
My mouth has been watering for some more of your grandma's delicious shortbread
ever since I had tea here before."Anne of Avonlea, XIXIngredients:
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter
with an electric mixer until it is soft, smooth, and fluffy. Add the icing
sugar, a little at a time, and beat until smooth.Measure and add the flour,
salt, and baking powder to a medium mixing bowl. Mix with a fork. Add the
flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until well mixed.Turn the dough
onto a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle ~ about 1/4 inch
thick. With cookie cutters, cut the dough into any shapes you like. With
a metal spatula, lift the shortbreads onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place
them about 1/2 inch apart. Prick each shortbread twice with a fork and sprinkle
with sugar.Bake the shortbreads for 20-25 minutes until they turn light brown
around the edges.Remove from the oven and immediately lift the shortbreads
onto a plate.
Diana Barry's Favorite Raspberry Cordial
"But it isn't good manners to tell your company what you are going to
give them to eat, so I won't tell you what she said we could have to drink.
Only it begins with an R and a C and it's a bright red color. I love bright
red drinks, don't you? They taste twice as good as any other color."Anne
of Green Gables, XVIIngredients:
2 packages frozen unsweetened raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water
Put the thawed raspberries into a saucepan and add the sugar.Cook over
medium heat stirring once in a while for 20-25 minutes, until all the sugar
is dissolved.With a potato masher, mash the raspberries and syrup thoroughly.Pour
the mixture through a strainer making sure you extract all the juice.Squeeze
2 of the lemons and strain the juice. Add it to the raspberry juice.Let the
raspberry cordial cool, then chill it in the refrigerator.When the cordial
is ready to serve, float a thin slice of lemon in each glass.
There you are . . . all of Anne's and her friends' favorites for their
tea parties. I have tried most of them . . . including the cordial, and it
I hope you and your friends enjoy!
A fortified wine, Madeira originally came from the Portuguese island
of the same name. These old-fashioned cookies, brushed with Madeira and dusted
with sugar, make a romantic treat to serve with tea. You may serve tiny glasses
of sweet Madeira with the cookies.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Madeira for brushing
sugar for dustingCream the butter very well. Add the sugar gradually,
beating until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the butter. Cover
the gough tightly and chill overnight. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls
and place on to greased baking sheets, 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 drgrees
F. for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven, brush
with Madeira, dust with sugar, and return to the oven for one minute more.
Remove from baking sheets with a spatula and cool on racks. Makes one dozen
How to Eat a Scone
Take a tea knife and split the scone in half across
it's girth. Now take a spoonful of jam or lemon curd and Devonshire
Cream onto your small tea plate. Then spread a little jam or lemon
curd on the area of the scone's crumb face, the size you might expect to
bite elegantly. Top this with as much or as little Devonshire Cream
as you wish and eat just that mouthful. For true English elegance,
do not spread the whole half at one time, and most certainly not the whole
scone! This is considered inelegant in those circles where people know
about such matters as tea-table etiquette!
~Tea Delight Scones~
1 3/4 cups cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
5 Tbsp. sugar
(Optional) 1/2 cup currants, raisins, or chocolate chips
A little less than 2/3 cup milk
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten, for glaze
1. Sift cake flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Using
your fingers or a pastry blender, cut butter and sugar into flour to form
a fine crumble. Make a well in center, and add milk and optional ingredients.
Knead very lightly three or four times.
2. Place dough on generously floured surface, divide dough in
half and pat into two six-inch circles, slightly taller in the middle. Cut
circles into fourths and place on cookie sheet. Brush tops with lightly beaten
egg yolk. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
3 Bake at 400 till golden for 12 mintues
4 boiled eggs
1/4 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
2 tbsp. pickle relish
1/8 tsp. prepared mustard
1/8 tsp. dill
8 slices thin white bread
Dice eggs and mix with other ingredients. Chill thoroughly.
Spread egg mixture onto bread. Remove crusts and cut into squares or
3 ripe tomatoes
Whipped Garden Herb Cream Cheese, softened
8 slices thin white bread
Spread cream cheese thinly on bread slices. Slice tomatoes very
thin and blot with paper towels. Lay tomato slices on bread and top
with bread. Remove crusts and cut into squares or triangles.
Jubilee Cherrie Cake
Cake Ingredients 5 eggs separated
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Filling 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs cherry jelly
1/4 tsp almond extract
Cherries Jubilee Filling 1 quart pitted black cherries
1/2 cup claret
1 cup or less sugar (to taste)
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp lemon juice
To Make The CakePreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the egg whites until
they stand up in soft peaks. Beat in the 1/4 cup sugar a tablespoon at a
time. Without washing the beater, beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice
until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup of sugar. Pour
the yolk mixture over the beaten egg whites and fold together gently with
a spoon or spatula until well blended. Sift the flour and salt together and
fold into the egg mixture. Spoon the batter into two unbuttered 9-inch layer
pans. Cut through the batter gently several times to break any large air
bubbles. Bake about 30 minutes. Test by pressing lightly with a finger. If
the cake springs back, it's done. Invert on a wire rack to cool.
To Make The Cream Cheese FillingCream the sugar and cream cheese together,
add remaining ingredients and beat until thick.
To Make The Cherries Jubilee FillingDissolve the sugar in the claret
and pour over the cherries. Let stand for several hours. In a small bowl,
mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of the cherry juice. Heat the cherries
in a saucepan to the boiling point. Lower heat and stir in the cornstarch
mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, add
spices and lemon juice and allow to cool.
To Assemble The CakePlace one layer of sponge cake on a cake platter
and spread a layer of cream filling about 3 inches wide around the perimeter
of the top of the cake. Cut out the center (in a heart shape if using
heart-shaped pans) of the other layer, leaving a 3 inch border. Put aside
the center piece you cut out. Place the layer with the cut-out center on
top of the other and press down to make the layers stick together. Decorate
by placing a paper doily on top of the cake and sifting confectioners' sugar
over the doily. Carefully remove the doily and fill the center of the cake
with the Cherries Jubilee filling. There, now, wasn't that simple??
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