It’s that time of the year again when we spend more time around the house whether we like it or not. It is best to befriend the rains and make way for some good indoor time. And while there is many ways to sit back and enjoy the rain splash against the windows, an old-fashioned high tea over the weekends might just be the perfect way to have friends over and revel in the rains. Here are some of our favourite tea recipes to try your hand at all monsoon long…

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Blueberry Scones

You will need:
3 cups (450g) flour
1 tsp castor sugar
Pinch of salt
50g butter, chopped
1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk
Milk, extra, to glaze
Blueberry or raspberry jam, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sift in the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour till it turns into fine crumbs. Mix in the sugar.

Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, add vanilla, lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Pour the liquid into the dry mixture and use a cutlery knife to stir until a soft but sticky dough forms. Add more milk to make the dough soft enough. Knead the dough until it comes together. Use your fingertips to gently pat the dough into a thick disc. Lay a baking sheet in the oven tray and dust it with flour. Arrange scones on the tray.

Gently brush some milk glaze on the top of each scone.

Bake them for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. A good way to find out if the scones are done is by tapping them gently; if they sound hollow you can take them out of the oven.

Serve the scones warm or at room temperature with jam, fruit compote or cream.

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Chocolate Roulade

You will need:
175g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
6 eggs, separated
175g castor sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
300ml double cream
Icing sugar to dust
180 ml curd
100 gm dark cherries

Line a pan with foil, folding the sides up to make a frame. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Melt the chocolate and set aside. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl with an electric beater and whisk till it foams up. Then add sugar and whisk for about 4 to 5 minutes, until thick and creamy. Gently stir two spoons full of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen the mix. Fold in the remaining egg whites using a large spoon.

Sift the cocoa over the top and then fold it in. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and gently move the tin around until the mixture is leveled.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the dough cracks a little. Remove the roulade from the oven and set aside until cold.

For the filling, stir in cream and curd together. It should have a good lemony, tangy flavour in contrast with the sweet. Spread the curd and cream mixture evenly over the roulade and leave an inch free of the filling. Cover the cream with black cherries. Roll up the roulade and leave it in the foil until you are ready to serve. Refrigerate.

To serve, unwrap the roulade, and gently put it in a serving plate using a palette knife or cake slicer. Sprinkle some icing sugar and decorate it with a few more raspberries and mint leaves, if you wish.

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Almond Honey Pound Cake

You will need:

1/4 cup whole natural almonds, crushed to small bits and dust, divided
3/4 cup cakeflour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon almond extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
Granulated brown sugar

Line an 8-inch baking pan with butter or vegetable spray and sprinkle the pan with some flour to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.

Mix the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a food processor take some almond paste, sugar, salt, almond extracts and mix well. Next take a large bowl and whisk together the honey and butter, one tablespoon at a time, with an electric beater. Add eggs and heavy cream and whisk until mixed well together. Now add the almond paste and flour mixture into the butter and honey mix and whisk together into a smooth batter. For the sponge you need to pour the batter into the baking pan and sprinkle the top of it with granular almond bits.

Bake till the batter turns into a golden brown sponge. Allow it to cool completely and then invert it in a serving tray and serve fresh.