Afternoon Tea Is Back In Fashion

Posted on: 25 June 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Learn why cream teas are back on the menu for 2009.

It’s official - afternoon tea is back in fashion!  Originally introduced by the upper classes nearly 150 years ago, to fill the gap between luncheon and dinner, afternoon tea is now associated with holidays, and special occasions by everyone. Generations have tucked into cream teas at posh hotels like the Ritz in London, by the seaside in Cornwall and even in First Class on planes. 

But did you know where it all began?

Afternoon Tea Tradition

Afternoon tea was introduced in England in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. She would become hungry at four o'clock in the afternoon and would sit down to tea, sandwiches and scones with clotted cream.  Today, the term has become synonymous with ‘cream tea’ which consists of tea, served with scones with jam and clotted cream. 

How do you eat yours – the Cornish or Devon way?

  • In Devon, the locals place the cream onto the scone first, allowing it to soak into the scone as a replacement to butter, before placing the jam on top
  • In Cornwall, they put the clotted cream on top of the jam and say that this is the best way to savour the pure and luxurious taste of the cream

About Rodda’s

  • The Rodda family has been making Clotted Cream in Cornwall on the same site, since 1890
  • Originally the family was involved in mining, but when the new steam trains began to bring holiday makers to the region, the family realised the potential for serving visitors local food
  • Fanny Rodda, the current Managing Director’s Great Grandmother, was the first to pack what the locals call ‘Cornish Gold’ into preserving jars, so that visitors to Cornwall could take some of this luscious treat home with them
  • Today, Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream is the nation’s favourite. It is one of the few PDO protected products in the UK, which means it must be made in Cornwall from Cornish milk. 

Rodda's finest recipes -

Chocolate Orange Pots 

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus setting time

Serves: 4


  • 200g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • Zest of 1 orange + 2 tbsp juice
  • 227g tub Rodda’s Clotted Cream
  • 25g butter

To serve:

  1. Rodda’s Clotted Cream
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, then allow to melt gently.
  3. When melted, stir well and transfer to 4 x 150ml ramekin dishes or glasses and allow to set in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  4. Just before serving top with a spoonful of clotted cream.

Its delicious flavour and velvety texture is the perfect match for so many sweet and savoury dishes.

Poached Cornish Scrumpy Pears

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes


  • 150g dark brown soft sugar
  • 568ml bottle Cornish scrumpy cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 medium ripe pears

To serve:

  1. Rodda’s Clotted Cream
  2. Place the sugar, cider and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the pears leaving in the stalk.  Using the pointed end of a vegetable peeler, scoop out the core from the base of each pear.  Place the pears in the syrup and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes turning occasionally until softened.
  4. Remove the pears and set aside, then boil the liquid for 5-8 minutes until syrupy. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the pears and serving with a dollop of clotted cream.
  5. Add to the simplest of recipes for a truly indulgent result.

Summer Puddings

Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time

Cook Time: 3-4 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 700g mixed fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 12 medium slices white bread

To serve:

  1. Rodda’s Clotted Cream
  2. Place the fruit, sugar and 1 tbsp water in a large saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.  Drain and reserve the juice.  Allow to cool.
  3. Grease 4 x 200ml ramekin dishes.  Using 8 slices of bread, cut 8 rounds slightly smaller than the base of the ramekins and immerse in the reserved juice.  Place in the bottom of the ramekins.  Remove the crusts from the remaining 4 bread slices and cut in half.  Dip in juice to coat and arrange around the sides of the ramekins to line.
  4. Spoon in the fruit and press down well, dip the remaining rounds of bread into the juice and place on top. Spoon over any excess juice, cover well with cling film and place a weight on top.  Place in a fridge overnight to chill before removing from the ramekins.
  5. Serve with a generous dollop of clotted cream.

Rodda’s Clotted Cream adds a taste of pure luxury to desserts from strawberries to Christmas Pudding.

Chocolate Brownies

Approximately 32 squares


  • 275g/10oz soft margarine
  • 375g/13oz caster sugar
  • 75g/3oz cocoa powder
  • 100g/4oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g/4oz plain chocolate drops

Method/ Serve

  1. Fresh strawberries and Rodda’s clotted cream to serve
  2. Preheat oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5.
  3. Line a rectangular 8oz tin with foil and grease well with a little of the margarine.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together, except the chocolate drops, in a large bowl until well blended. Mix in the chocolate drops by hand at the last minute then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Cook in the preheated oven 40 to 45 minutes. To test if cooked, the mixture should spring back slightly when lightly pressed in the centre with a finger.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.  This size tin should make approximately 32 brownie squares.  Serve with fresh strawberries and a dollop or two of clotted cream.

Chocolate & Banana Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes standing
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 8


  • 100g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium egg
  • 300ml semi skimmed milk
  • 100g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 bananas, quartered and sliced

To Serve:

  1. Rodda’s Clotted Cream
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Beat well, adding the milk gradually to form a smooth batter.  Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt.
  4. Heat a little oil in a 24cm pancake pan and pour a tablespoon of the batter in the bottom and tip the pan until it covers the whole base. Cook for 1 minute each side until golden.  Turn onto baking parchment. Repeat to make 8 pancakes.
  5. Spread melted chocolate over a pancake, scatter over ¼ sliced banana and fold up.  Repeat with the remaining pancakes. Serve with a dollop of clotted cream.

Rodda’s Clotted Cream is uniquely made using a closely guarded family recipe.

For more information on Rodda's Clotted Cream please visit

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