Fortnum & Mason in London has been selling beautiful, high quality tea for almost 300 hundred years and is one of the most elegant places to indulge in a luxurious afternoon tea.
Tea at Fortum & Mason is a lovely little new book that discusses the British preoccupation with taking tea, we've cherry-picked our favourite recipes from it so that you can host your own delightful little afternoon soiree.
The recipe for Fortnum's Sacher Torte dates from the 1950s, when the store was bought by Garfield Weston. Mr Weston did not like jam in cakes, so the Hotel Sacher in Vienna provided him with a recipe without jam; it has been jamless ever since.
Honey, sultana and pecan tea bread| Madeleines | Chocolate torte
Here we are featuring the traditional version of the recipe.
150g softened butter, plus
extra to grease
200g dark chocolate,
minimum 50% cocoa solids,
125g golden caster sugar
6 medium eggs, separated
125g plain flour, sifted
200g dark chocolate
175ml double cream
2 tsp glycerine
3 tbsp apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl resting over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base does not touch the water. Cool a little.
Beat together the butter and 100g of the sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in the remaining sugar.
Stir the egg yolks into the butter and sugar mixture.
Add the chocolate and the flour to the mixture.
Carefully fold everything together, making sure not much air is knocked out. Fold in the egg whites.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 45–50 minutes. To check the cake is cooked, insert a skewer into the centre - it should come out clean.
Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
Put the chocolate, double cream and glycerine in a bowl resting over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn't touch the water.
When the chocolate has melted, stir gently.
Remove the paper from the cake. Use a sharp knife to split the cake through the middle and spread the apricot jam over the base.
Top with the other half of the cake then lift the cake onto a wire rack sitting on a tray. Pour the chocolate mixture all over
the cake to cover, using a palette knife to guide it.
Leave to set for around 2 hours. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Enjoy within four days.
Tea at Fortnum & Mason is published by Ebury Press, £10