Have a Blooming Great Tea Party with the Tea Party Queen

Want to put your baking to good use raising money for charity? Why not take part in this year's Marie Curie's Blooming Great Tea Party. Read on to find out how... Hello, my name is Suzy Pelta and for the third year running, I am Marie Curie's Blooming Great Tea Party Queen. Being a tea party queen gives me the honour of providing tips and creating recipe ideas for the Blooming Great Tea Party Campaign. I began working with Marie Curie back in 2013. Marie Curie nurses had cared for one of my closest friend's fathers just before he passed away, and I was really inspired to get involved and give back. From that first year, I saw how important every penny is to Marie Curie and the incredible people who make sure that this charity is available to all who need it. My annual Blooming Great Tea Party is a really fun event! It has a 'boutique' theme - I have a few shopping stalls in my living room and you can can even have a spray tan upstairs! My kitchen is filled with cakes baked by me with a few donated by some lovely local cake makers and there is a raffle, which is the highlight of the tea party! Local businesses donate prizes and this year I have also lined up Afternoon Tea vouchers for a couple of top hotels! Last year my tea party raised close to £800 and I am hoping to raise as much this year, if not more! Baking is central to my role as Blooming Great Tea Party Queen and this year I've also filmed a number of videos to accompany my recipes. This year's official campaign cake is a Sour Cream Banoffee Cake which was created because I wanted to find a way to turn my favourite dessert - Banoffee Pie, into a cake! It's a really easy, really delicious cake and the recipe is below. To find out more about how you can take part in Marie Curie's Blooming Great Tea Party, click here     Official recipe pic        

Sour Cream Banoffee Cake

  Ingredients for the cake: 100g light brown sugar 250g unsalted butter 200g caster sugar 300g of peeled bananas (approximately 2 very large or 3 large bananas) 4 large eggs 50ml sour cream 300g self raising flour pinch of salt 1x 397g tin of caramel Ingredients for the frosting: 100ml sour cream 350g icing sugar 60g butter   2 Flake bars to decorate You will need two 20cm deep sandwich cake tins. Method for the cake: 1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. 2) Grease and line your sandwich tins with baking parchment. 3) Measure the light brown sugar and butter into a microwaveable bowl, and heat for just 20 seconds in the microwave. 4) Remove the bowl from the microwave and using a handheld or free-standing mixer, beat together the contents of the microwaved bowl with the caster sugar. 5) Mash the bananas, turn down the speed of the mixer and add the bananas in to the main mixing bowl. 6) Beat in the eggs, one by one, making sure each egg is fully incorporated into the mixture. 7) Add in half the flour, the salt and half of the sour cream. Mix until everything comes together. 8) Add in the remaining flour and sour cream and mix again until you have a thick cake batter. 9) Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins. (You can weigh the tins to make sure you have equal amounts in each)! 10) Put the tins in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are springy and the cakes are golden brown. 11) Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before removing and leaving them to cool on a wire rack. 12) Once the cakes are on the wire rack, use a toothpick or piece of dry spaghetti to poke small holes all over the top of each cake. 13) Empty the tin of caramel into a bowl and stir with a spoon to loosen it. 14) Pour half of the caramel over one cake and half over the other. Carefully spread the caramel so it covers the top of each cake (don't worry if it drips a bit down the sides). 15) Leave the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.   Method for the frosting: (You may want to put your bottom cake on the cake stand that you wish to use, before you frost it. 'Glue' the cake to the cake stand with a little bit of frosting, spread on to the centre of the cake stand.) 1) Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the sour cream and butter. 2) Using a hand held or free-standing mixer, beat the frosting ingredients together for a full 5 minutes until you have a thick, white, glossy frosting. 3) Spoon half of the frosting onto the top of the bottom cake and carefully spread it across, taking care not to move the caramel too. 4) Crumble one of the flake bars and sprinkle it all over the frosted cake. 5) Carefully place the other cake on top of the frosted cake. Press it down slightly. 6) Spoon the remaining half of the frosting over the top cake, once again taking care not to move the caramel. 7) Crumble the remaining flake bar and sprinkle it all over the top of the cake.          

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