Food & Wine

High Tea

High Tea

When we asked Milly Spies of Fantasy Cakery to bake something for a Mother’s Day spread, she went to town. Love it? Here’s how to achieve a nostalgic look and feel…

Like so many moms before her, and against her husband’s advice, Milly’s maiden foray into baking was for her daughter’s first birthday. Up until then, this White River resident had only baked the odd pudding, she confesses. For the next three years she baked a cake “here and there”, initially not even accepting payment.

Tabita Sales with daughters Maia and Dara

She wasn’t keen on going back to work full-time, however, and started toying with the idea of turning her new-found talent into a business.

Fast-forward a few years to where the now-established Milly has a passion for wedding cakes and intricate decorating. “I enjoy it tremendously,” she beams.

This baker loves the interaction with brides and breathing life into their creative ideas. She meets them in person, has a look at the dress and what’s planned with the decor, and offers suggestions – if needed. Enthusiasm being her middle name, she gets terribly excited at every new cake.


Even so, Milly still finds every new assignment nerve-racking. “Every time I cover a cake, I pray,” she laughs. “I still don’t quite believe in myself.” She finds ideas in bridal magazines and Pinterest – her big partner in crime. She’s done countless tutorials and knows the shortcuts by now. “My motto in life is ‘Make a plan’,” she says.

With a young family, her best working hours are from 8pm to 2am. When everyone else is sleeping, she bakes. She takes off about every sixth week, as the long, odd hours can take its toll.
“I’m mindful of not burning out. You can’t give your best if you’re exhausted, and it’s not fair on the bride; it’s not their fault you’re tired!”


On the table

• Naked cake
• Cupcakes
• Koeksisters
• Petit fours
• Fancy, royal iced cookies
• Shortbread
• Coconut ice.

• Fresh roses
• Silverware
• Lace tablecloth
• Glass domes and servers
• Mismatched crockery
• Old books and strings of pearls.

Vintage dream
To recreate Berry & Flambé Events’ nostalgic tea table, remember the following:
• Nothing has to match; combine bits and bobs from different tea sets, eras and collections • A lace tablecloth sets the scene • If you can’t get hold of a chandelier, settle for bunting or Chinese lanterns • Use soft, muted colours • Make use of ornaments: a battered candlestick, an old teddy or much-loved books.

Kids’ clay dough

• 250ml cake flour • 125ml table salt
• 5ml cream of tartar • 15ml cooking oil
• 250ml water • Food colouring (red/blue/yellow).

Mix the ingredients together in a pot and then cook slowly over a low heat while stirring constantly. Keep stirring until it starts to come together, forming a soft ball. Remove from heat, knead it a few times and then add colourant and mix well. If you want it smelling yummy, add raspberry flavour once it’s cooled down. Will keep fresh in a sealed tub for
3 to 4 months.

Christlene Spies reaches for one of the many yummy options on the table

Chocolate pound cake
• 250ml Golden Cloud cake flour (sieved x3)
• 5ml fine Himalayan salt
• 180ml cocoa (50% cocoa mass minimum)
• 60g chopped Belgium chocolate (70% cocoa mass)
• 80ml boiling water
• 250ml farm butter (unsalted and at room temperature)
• 310ml white sugar
• 5 eggs (55g each, at room temperature).

Ganache topping
• 85g Belgium chocolate (70%)
• 125ml cream.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the flour and salt. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over to melt it. Stir in the cocoa and cool. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate-cocoa mixture and incorporate well. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture and incorporate well. Do not overmix the batter. Spread it into a wax paper-lined cake tin and tap to get rid of excess bubbles. Bake for 60 to 70 mins at 170ºC. Cool down until warm (not hot) to the touch and tip the cake out onto a cooling rack. Cover with a cloth.

Warm the cream until just before boiling point and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until everything has melted and let it cool down. Beat it with a wooden spoon until the desired consistency has been reached. Spread or pipe
it over your delicious chocolate cake.

Vanilla dream cake (with strawberry cream)
• 500ml Golden Cloud cake flour
• 350ml castor sugar
• 5ml Himalayan salt
• 15ml baking powder
• 125ml canola oil
• 5ml vanilla essence
• 160ml water
• 25ml full-cream long-life milk
• 7 eggs (separated, each 55g at room temperature).

Preheat the oven 180ºC. In a
large mixing bowl, sift the first
4 ingredients together 3 times.
In another mixing bowl, combine the next 4 ingredients plus the
7 egg yolks. In a clean bowl, mix the egg whites until fluffy and firm, but not dry. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour one and incorporate well. Then add half of the beaten whites to the batter and fold in carefully. Then fold in the rest of the beaten whites. Pour into 2 wax paper-lined pans and bake 30 mins or until a testing pen comes out clean. Let them cool on a cooling rack 15 to 20 mins before turning them out. Beat 1 cup of farm
cream until stiff and spread
over 1 layer. Place freshly cut strawberries on the cream and then sandwich other layer on top. Dust lightly with icing sugar
before serving.

Cakes: Fantasy Cakery, Facebook: Fantasy Cakery or 081-493-3842
Styling and decor: Berry & Flambé Events, Leoni Myburgh, or 083-284-2081
Venue: Nut Grove Manor,, 076-697-4886
Flowers: Celebrate Flower Studio, Leoni Viljoen,, 072-582-9804
Chandelier and domes: Umbali Events, Adriaan Schoeman,, 079-631-7785
Flower crowns: Just Crowns, Nadine Nel,, 083-774-5165
Baking supplies: The Grove SUPERSPAR,

is a national brand of premium free magazines available in centres across the country.

Click here

to see other Get It magazines in the network.