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High-Tea for Habitat

High-Tea for Habitat

Host your own High tea this September. Enjoy a cup of tea and some special treats with friends and family all whilst raising money for families and communities in need across the southern hemisphere.

High-Tea for Habitat

Host your own High tea this September. Enjoy a cup of tea and some special treats with friends and family all whilst raising money for families and communities in need across the southern hemisphere.

This September Habitat for Humanity is hosting their annual High Tea fundraiser.  Over 6000 people participated in last years event raising money for families in need across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region.

The renowned non-for-profit organisation works tirelessly to provide housing for low income families in need, both at home and across the southern hemisphere. They have provided over 500,00 homes to date and helped more than 2 million people worldwide.

Now in its third year, this years High-tea for Habitat ambassadors include Jill Jones-Evans, Sydney’s Queen of High Tea and co-owner of The Victoria Room. Here she and head-chef Joe Gambacorta share their very own scone recipe and their top tips for making the perfect scones.

Why not whip up a batch of these delicious morsels for your very own high-Tea for Habitat fundraiser? Visit for more details on how you can get involved.


Makes 18 scones

800g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

170g unsalted butter, chopped and chilled

150g caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon

300ml milk

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

extra milk for glazing

1 Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2 Sift together flour and baking powder, then add salt. Using fingertips rub in chilled butter. Add sugar and lemon zest and rub further until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (See tip below)

3 Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the milk with the vanilla. Working quickly,  take the flour into the centre using a fork to make a soft dough. form into a soft ball with floured hands.

4 Turn out the dough onto a floured board. Give it a few turns and gently roll out with a floured rolling pin to a 21/2 cm (1 in) thickness. Cut into rounds with a 5cm ( 2 in) scone cutter making sure not to twist the cutter.

5 Place the scones on the prepared tray approximately 21/2cm ( 1 in) apart and brush with milk to glaze. (If sprinkling vanilla powder or dried flowers over scones make sure to sprinkle sugar on top to stop decoration from burning)

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.

Tip: The secret to this famous recipe is to place the lemon zest in with the sugar.

The Victoria Room Tea Salon Head Chef Joe Gambacorta’s tips for making perfect scones:

1 Firstly keep your ingredients cold – this will help create a delicious buttery, flaky scones. Your butter should chip when you cut it into chunks  and it’s a good idea to measure milk or water and pop it in the freezer for ten minutes before you start. consider chilling you mixing bowl too!

2 Mix the dough until just combined ( remember not to over mix). Don’t knead it or the dough will become to tough and heavy. Make sure it’s sticky and not too dry.

3 Rest the dough for 10 minutes before cutting it into scone shapes. Cover it with a tea towel or a sprinkling of flour to stop it from drying out as it rests.

4 Use a pastry cutter dipped in flour to cut scones from the dough. Don’t twist the cutter of the scones may not rise evenly.

5 Leave the cut edges of the scones alone. Patting the edges with your fingers melds the edges so that the scone will not rise as nicely or have a flaky, layered structure.

6 Arrange scones side by side and just touching on a lined baking tray. this will keep the side straight and even as the scones cook.

7 Don’t over-bake your scones. Over baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the edges begin to turn brown, remove them form the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack – the hot pan will continue to dry scones.

8 If you like scones with crisp tops, serve hem straight form the oven. For softer scones wrap them in a clean towel for five minutes before serving.

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