Mother’s Day: Treat your Mum to a special afternoon tea at home

Expert food blogger Jo Romero reveals how to make a sandwich selection, banana cake and scones for Mothering Sunday

Although an elegant afternoon tea at a posh restaurant or hotel can be expensive, you can make one at home for a fraction of the price. Treat Mum this Mother’s Day to these extra special home-made treats.

Sandwich selection

Afternoon tea isn’t complete without a selection of sandwiches, and these are both pretty and inexpensive to make. Each recipe makes 8 small portions (2 whole sandwiches) but adjust quantities to suit the numbers you’re feeding.

Treat your mum to this homemade sandwich selection this Mother's Day © Jo Romero
Treat your mum to this homemade sandwich selection this Mother's Day © Jo Romero

Stilton, tomato and walnut

Spread a little mayonnaise on four slices of granary wholemeal bread. Crumble a slice of  Stilton over two of the slices. Next, chop a handful of walnut halves, scattering on top of the cheese and then top with 8 small tomato slices. Top with the other slice of bread, cut off the crusts, and then cut crossways into eight squares.

Egg, bacon and chives

Shell a large, hard-boiled egg and mash lightly with a fork. When cooled, stir in a heaped tablespoon of mayonnaise and season with black pepper. Next, grill four rashers of unsmoked back bacon until slightly crisp, and leave to cool. Spread a little mayonnaise on four slices of white bread. Spread the egg mixture over two of the slices and top with the bacon. Cut off the crusts and slice into eight small triangles. Very lightly spread a little mayonnaise on one side of each sandwich and then dip into a saucer of finely-snipped chives just before serving.

Salmon, lemon mayo, pea shoots and cucumber
In a small ramekin mix two 15ml tablespoons of mayonnaise with the grated zest of half a lemon. Spread over four slices of bread. Scatter a handful of pea shoots over the lemon mayo on two slices of the bread and then top with flaked, cooked, boneless salmon fillet. Top each sandwich with four thin slices of cucumber and place the other slice of bread on top. Cut off the crusts and slice into rectangles (four per sandwich).

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Vanilla-Iced banana cake
This cake is great for using up any over-ripe bananas, and is perfect with a cup of tea. The vanilla icing is sweet and fragrant, but if you prefer you can make a version using Lady Grey tea instead. Cuts into 16 squares.

Bake this delicious banana cake with vanilla icing for your Mum © Jo Romero
Bake this delicious banana cake with vanilla icing for your Mum © Jo Romero

100g soft, unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
200g ripe, peeled bananas (about 2-3 small bananas)
4 tsp baking powder
215g plain flour
pinch sea salt flakes

For the icing:
80g icing sugar
half a teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1.    In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Crack in the eggs and beat until smooth.
2.    Add the ripe bananas and mash them into the eggy mixture with a fork, beating well. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and pour into a square 23cm baking tin lined with greaseproof paper. Bake at 180ºC for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool.
3.    Once the cake is cool, make the icing. Carefully tip the icing sugar into a bowl and add the vanilla bean paste and 3-4 teaspoonfuls of boiled water from the kettle, until you get a runny but not watery icing. Drizzle over the cake, leave to set and cut into squares.

Variation: to make the Lady Grey icing, place a Lady Grey teabag in half an espresso cup of boiling water to make a strong tea. Mix 80g icing sugar with 3-4 teaspoons of the tea or until you get a firm but runny icing. Drizzle over the cake as above.

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Scones and clotted cream with 5-minute home-made raspberry and lemon jam
Don’t let the thought of making home-made jam put you off. This jam takes just five minutes to make. The lemon also gives the raspberries a freshness, which contrasts perfectly with rich clotted cream and scones.

These clotted cream scones look ideal for Mother's Day © Jo Romero
These clotted cream scones look ideal for Mother's Day © Jo Romero

200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
170g jam sugar (the type with added pectin)
juice of half a lemon
grated rind of 1 lemon

Pop a saucer in the freezer. Tip the raspberries into a medium-sized saucepan (the jam will froth and bubble up later so you’ll need more room in the pan). Add the jam sugar and lemon juice and warm over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Next, drop a teaspoonful of the hot jam onto the cold saucer. Gently push the blob of jam - if it wrinkles, it’s ready. Turn off the heat and pour into a warmed, sterilized jar or into a serving dish. Makes enough for about eight servings. Top with more lemon zest if you like.

How will you be treating Mum this Sunday? Let us know over on Twitter now.