There’s no denying that we are a nation of tea lovers. In fact, we drink 165 million cups of tea per day. But what if you could change lives with your favourite cuppa?
From tomorrow Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25, Marie Curie is asking people to get together with friends, family and colleagues to hold a tea party, bake sale or special tea break in aid of the charity.
The money raised will help Marie Curie continue to care for people living with any terminal illness and providing support for their families.
TV presenter Mel Giedroyc is supporting the campaign for the fourth year. She says: “I love hosting a Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie because it is the most sublimely joyous, wondrous event, that takes place in June for the best cause. And there’s just something about an afternoon party that just says naughtiness to me.”
If you want to get involved all you need to do is sign up for a free fundraising pack on the Marie Cure website . Once you've done this you can start planning your tea party recipes and who you will be inviting.
Mel says: "My top tip would be to invite more people than you can possibly fit into your house. They will squeeze, don’t worry. For cake, people will do anything.
“I will bake some refrigerator cake. My mum’s recipe - it’s delicious. I’ll bake some bread and I will bake for my gluten/dairy intolerant friend some coeliac muffins.”
Once all the fundraising comes to an end you can send in your donations via the website , by post or by phone using a debit or credit card.
If you need some cake making inspiration check out Mel's recipes below.
Mel’s Mum’s Refrigerator Cake
250g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter
150g golden syrup
300g milk or dark chocolate
100g baby marshmallows (or use big ones and cut them up)
- Line a baking tin (roughly 20cm in size) with cling film, leaving some hanging over the sides.
- Put the biscuits into a plastic bag then hit until broken into pieces (I use a tin of beans!)
- Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and melt the butter, syrup & chocolate.
- Stir until all melted then remove bowl from the heat.
- Mix in the biscuit pieces, raisins and marshmallows.
- Spoon the cake mix into the lined tin, pressing the top down well with the back of the spoon.
- Leave until cool, then transfer to the fridge to set (1 or 2 hours).
- To serve, put a large plate over the tin, turn upside down, and remove the tin and cling film.
- Cut into 24 small squares. Delicious!
Mel's Eton Mess
400g punnet of strawberries
8 meringue nests (shop bought is fine)
600ml chilled double cream
3 ripe passion fruit
Sprigs of fresh mint and red currants to garnish
Good quality honey
For a lower calorie version substitute the cream for a 500g tub of zero fat Greek yoghurt.
- Hull the strawberries and chop them into halves or quarters depending on the size, reserving a few for decoration. Chop the passion fruit in half and scoop the juice and seeds into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl,roughly break up the meringue nests, crumbling some and keeping some larger, bite size pieces.
- Now, whisk the cream on a slow speed until soft peaks form, taking care not to over whisk.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the berries, broken meringue nests and half the passion fruit into the cream.
- Spoon the mixture into 6 small bows or glasses, top with the reserved strawberries, drizzle with the remaining passion fruit and top with a sprig of fresh mint.
- Serve immediately with honey for drizzling.
Lemon Meringue Pie
For the sweet pastry
180g of plain flour plus extra for rolling out
100g cold butter cut into cubes
1tbsp icing sugar
Zest of an orange
1 egg yolk, save the white for the meringue
For the lemon filling
100g golden caster sugar
Zest and juice of 3 large lemons, strain the juice to remove any lumps
Juice of an orange, strained
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, saving the whites for the meringues
2 tbsp cornflour
For the meringue topping
3 large egg whites
180g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
- To make the pastry, combine the ingredients and a tablespoon of cold water in a blender and pulse until combined. Tip out onto a clean, floured surface and bring it together into a ball, being careful not to over work the pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 6). Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll out into a ½ cm thick circle. Lifting it carefully with the rolling pin, place the pastry into a 9 ½ inch fluted, loose bottom, non-stick pie tin. Pushing it down gently into the edges of the tin with your fingers making sure you don't stretch the pastry and leaving the edges of the pastry to over-hang the pie tin. Prick the base with a fork and line with baking parchment. Fill with baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes.
- Remove the parchment and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is a lovely pale golden colour. Take a rolling pin and lightly roll across the top edges of the tin to remove the excess and to get a smooth finish on the pie edge. Lower the oven heat to 150°C (Gas Mark 2)
- For the lemony filling, combine the sugar, cornflour and lemon zest in a sauce pan and gradually stir in the lemon juice. In a small measuring jug make the orange juice up to 200ml with cold water and gradually add to the saucepan.
- Heat the mixture over a low heat staring constantly until it starts to thicken. Once the mixture seats to bubble take it off the heat and beat in the butter until combined. Whisk the egg yolks and slowly add to the mixture and place back on a low heat.
- Stir continuously until the mixture thickens and pour into the prepared pastry case whilst you prepare the meringue topping.
- Now to make the meringue. Using a large, clean, grease free mixing bowl whisk the egg whites on a medium speed until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add the combined sugar and cornflour a tablespoon at a time until combined and you have a lovely white glossy mixture.
- Top the filling with the meringue, starting from the pastry edges spoon the mixture evenly over, sealing any gaps. With the back of a spoon create a swirl or textured peaks on the meringue for a rustic look.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the meringue is starting to brown and crisp. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving warm, or serve cold with a drizzle of fresh cream.