As a child I used to dream of visiting Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I read the book. I saw the film. Repeatedly. I would sit and plan who I would take with me, the fantastical rooms I would visit, how much I would eat and what I would do with a never ending gobstopper. The strangest thing was that until the age of sixteen I didn’t even like chocolate and I had never tried a gobstopper as my mum had a mortal fear that one might jar between my front teeth.
I still love Charlie and The Chocolate Factory even now and the magical world it inhabits. It would translate into an amazing afternoon tea. Your friends will be clamouring for a Golden Ticket to your party quicker than you can say Oompa Loompa!
SandwichesWhy not have some fun with your savouries and serve your guests with something that looks like it has come straight out of Bill's Candy Shop?
To make lollipop sandwiches take a slice of bread and flatten with a rolling pin, cut all the crusts off. Top with a thin layer of topping making sure that it doesn’t overlap the edges of the bread. Roll up into a sausage, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and cut the sausage into five slices. Secure with a cocktail or kebab stick. Display on foil wrapped polystyrene boards. Toppings could include smoked salmon and cream cheese, pesto, marmite and butter, wafer thin smoked ham and mustard, beef and horseradish and of course good old jam or even chocolate spread.
They are scrumdiddlyumptious!
SconesIn honour of Violet Beauregard it has to be blueberry scones. To get that ‘Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet.’ feeling serve these blueberry treats with blueberry jam and blueberry cream.
Violet’s Violet Scones (makes 16)
You will need:
250g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
50g dried blueberries
50g chilled butter, diced
25g caster sugar
How to make them:
Put an ungreased baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 230°C.
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Add the caster sugar and butter then rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the dried blueberries, pour in the buttermilk and mix together.
Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface to make smooth dough and roll out to a thickness of 2.5cm (1in). Cut out using a scone cutter.
Using a palette knife carefully lift the scones onto the pre-heated baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the scones are risen and golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Slice and spread each scone with luscious blueberry jam Hartleys, St Dalfour and Tiptree make lovely versions and these are widely available. Finally mix some whipped cream with some fresh blueberries, add a dollop on top of the jam, and sandwich.
Don’t eat too many, you don’t want to have to make your acquaintance with the juicing room do you?
CakesWhy not have a chocolate bean feast? Buy or make as many different types of chocolaty cakes you can find. After all what’s the point of going to chocolate factory if you don’t eat any chocolate?
Brownies, cupcakes, chocolate tarts, and Krispie cakes can all be cut into bite size offerings, if you are worried about chocolate overload!
Display haphazardly on a tiered cake stand, sprinkle with sweets, dolly mixtures, malteasers, jelly beans etc and edible glitter for extra wow!
Your cup of choice has to be a chocolate tea. In the words of Augustus Gloop It’s a “chocca river” - just in a cup. You can buy lovely varieties of chocolate tea from Teapig’s ( Chocolate Flake Tea £3.99 For 15 Temples) and Whittard’s (Loose Dark Chocolate Tea £3.50 for 125g)
You can’t have a Willie Wonka tea party without a glass or two of Fizzy Lifting Drink. This drink is really magic as it doesn’t mix and forms three separate different coloured layers.
Charlie’s Fizzy Lifting Drink
Select three different coloured drinks with different sugar contents (for example 30g sugar, 15g sugar, 0g sugar).
Add ice until it’s one third up the glass.
Next pour the drink with the highest sugar content into the glass until it is one third full.
Fill the glass up with ice, all the way to the top.
For the next layer pour the second drink with the second highest sugar content very slowly through the ice to fill the second third of the glass.
To complete the drink pour the sugar free or lowest sugar drink as slowly as possible through the ice until you have reached the top of the glass.
You can see a video of how these layered drinks are made here
DecorYou can have lots of fun recreating Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Mixing Room:
Use fake grass or similar green material as a tablecloth
Fill large vases with sweets. Tip: You can put another vase inside upside down or pack the centre with paper if you don’t have enough to fill the container.
Hang large lollipops and other oversized candy from the ceiling using fishing line.
If you can stretch to it, have a chocolate fountain as a centrepiece and provide lots of goodies such as strawberries, marshmallows and cake squares for dipping.
Dine like Charlie, and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination!