High Tea, ANZAC Biscuits and Being Sweet….

Hi ho, it’s been 14 days at home on school hols with the kids.  It’s also been chilly, greyish and hovering near freezing. My dreams of loading up bikes and heading to places unknown had proved unlikely. Plans of walking in daffodil yellow fields filled  neither my kids (or myself) with inspiration and even I had to force myself out into the small urban garden to plant a few beans and herbs. All and all we needed some sort of motivational tool to make this dull rainy afternoon feel radiantly spring like. So, I decided to celebrate our late spring with a high tea to be served only after rooms had been cleaned, jobs had been done and various things accomplished. It certainly cheered me up immensely and proved to be an excellent “clean room” tool. We practiced drinking tea in tiny cups with our pinky finger extended. I made up a recipe for apricot, cardamon and palm sugar scones, Jack pulverised the cardamon seeds and I served them with lemon curd, natural yoghurt and passionfruit. The combination worked very well (I was my own best customer!) …… oh and I cheated a little and purchased some of the sweetest little tea cakes from Philipe Galerne, in Statenkwartier….www.philippegalerne.nl

Gorgeous little cakes for high tea

Gorgeous little cakes for high tea

We served egg and radish open sandwiches, scones, fresh strawbs (a big treat from Ekoplaza), organic baby heirloom tomatoes, natural yoghurt mixed with lemon curd, lemon zest and passionfruit pulp and local salted butter from the Farmer’s market on a lovely old bit of linen with some cups from the second hand market! I haven’t met a better high tea in The Hague, except at my friend Jilly’s house!

I will also admit that I am developing a menu for a pop-up  New Zealand wine-tasting with shades of Kiwiana – Antipodean style – party finger food with an emphasis on Madmen, hostess trollies and paper doliles. I do so adore a paper dolilie and look what you can do with them – http://pinterest.com/questforbeauty/pretty-paper-doilies

The menu I am working on, will celebrate my home country, New Zealand and will take place on ANZAC day, April 25,  in The Hague so in honour of that, I am sharing the ANZAC biscuit recipe with you in this blog.

These are cookies with history – as wives and sweethearts sent these long lasting eggless treats to soldiers abroad in WWI, ANZAC being short for The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Made with rolled oats, coconut, butter, sugar, and syrup, they are dead simple, smell of far off golden shores and never last long in our house.  If you are in the lowlands and want to come to a wonderfully fun event with 10 New Zealand wines to taste (and food from yours truly), email jarrod@cellar-door.nl for more details and to reserve. I am fairly excited about this event as it will allow me to showcase some great local products from The Netherlands while stirring up a pot full of New Zealand food memories.

ANZACs  are great cookies for a lunchbox for any soldier big or small, and you can healthy them up by experimenting with using different flours and sweetners – maple for golden, etc.

ANZAC Biscuits

Preheat oven to 175 fanbake and grease a biscuit tray

1 cup of spelt flour

3/4 cup of light brown sugar  – have used palm sugar as a substitute (note that most recipes call for a full cup but you could take this down to half a cup and they would still be sweet enough in my opinion)

1 cup of coconut

2 cups of rolled oats – place all these ingredients in a bowl and mix together

Melt 125 grams of butter with 2 tbsp of golden syrup (have used maple instead) in a pot on the stove top

When the butter and syrup has melted, add in 1 teaspoon of baking soda that has been mixed with 3 tbsp of boiling water – it will froth up. Add to dry mixture and form into small balls, placing on an oven tray that has been greased or has been covered with baking parchment. Flatten the balls with the back of a fork, and bake until golden at 175 for exactly 12 minutes. Do keep an eye on them as they can burn easily!

tea cakes

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