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A Tropical Mother’s Day – High Tea!

This month, we thought it would be fun to do High Tea—Caribbean style—in celebration of Mother’s Day!

I have incorporated locally found ingredients to capture the tropical elements in each dish. Whether you celebrate the British or American Mother’s Day, we hope that you enjoy these delightful island bites!

Tropical Biscotti

Biscotti is one of those baked goods, that you can add whatever you fancy to it; nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips etc.

I found this great tropical mix at RiteWay in the baking section which includes dried papaya, pineapple, and coconut; it goes perfectly in this dish. Of course, you can substitute with whatever dried fruit you like. It will keep for a week or so in an airtight container.

Enjoy with your coffee or tea!

Level: Easy

Makes: 20 pieces approx.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ cup caster sugar

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 eggs

¾ cup dried tropical fruit mix

½ cup toasted unsweetened desiccated coconut


Preheat oven at 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Using a large mixing bowl and an electric hand whisk, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and ensure they are fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together until well-combined. No more than 1 minute to avoid a tough dough. Using a spatula, fold in the tropical fruit mix and coconut, stir until evenly distributed. Tip the dough out onto the baking tray and form a loaf about 10” long by 4” wide. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Once baked, allow to cool for at least 30-minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaf, cross ways, about ½ inch thick. Lay flat on the same baking tray, and bake for a further 15 minutes, turning over halfway through for even colour. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Passionfruit Curd

I grew up with lemon curd, always tucked away in our fridge. We used to have it on buttered toast or fresh croissants and it was just divine. To keep in the tropical theme, I thought it would be great to try it with passionfruit instead, and it is delish! You will want to keep this recipe on hand.

Level: Easy

Makes: 2 cups approx.


4 oz unsalted butter

1 cup of fresh passionfruit juice (about 12 passionfruit)

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

¾ cup caster sugar


In a small saucepan melt the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the passionfruit juice, eggs, and sugar until combined. Add this mixture to the butter and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure to pay attention to it as you don’t want the eggs to scramble! All to cool and transfer to a jar, keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Tip: Use this curd to make a passionfruit tart or have it on toast in the morning!

Mini Jonny Cakes with Salt Fish Roulade

Jonny cakes and salt fish are very prominent in many Caribbean dishes. The Jonny Cake recipe I used was from www.food52.com, and it worked perfectly. I’m sure many of you have your own recipes for them; what makes these a little different is that they are bitesize, and therefore a perfect vessel for the salt fish roulade.

Of course, if you aren’t a fan of salt fish, you can certainly substitute with smoked mackerel.

Level: Easy

Makes: 20 cakes approx.

For the Jonny Cakes


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 oz unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup water

2-3 cups vegetable oil


Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Work the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the water slowly to incorporate. You might not use it all. Turn dough out on to a flat, floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. All to rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll dough out to ¼ “ thick and use a small round cookie cutter. Using a fork, pierce each one. Heat up oil in a deep pot, preferably cast iron. You will know the oil is hot enough when it begins to ripple. Carefully drop the dough into the oil (be careful not to splash it!), and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden. Set on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

For the Saltfish Roulade


½ lb prepared salt fish (see note below)

4 oz cream cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup ketchup

1 tbsp mustard

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

Juice of 2 lemons

Dash of hot sauce

2 celery stalks, fine dice

½ small red onion, fine dice

Finely diced bell pepper for garnish


Put all of the above ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. For the best presentation, put into piping bag and pipe over the Jonny cake. Or serve in a dish and use it as a dip with crudité. The flavour gets better if it sits overnight in the fridge in an airtight container.

Note: To prepare the saltfish, place in saucepan and cover with water, simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and repeat again. You might have to do this a few times to ensure the fish is rehydrated and salt is removed. Allow to cool. Flake fish, leaving the skin and bones behind.

Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Traditionally at High Tea, cucumber sandwiches are served. To update them I thought I would incorporate a chicken curry mayo, cut them round and serve open-faced. These are fresh and full of flavour and if you have any of the chicken mixture left, you can save it and have it over a salad for lunch the following day.  

I hope that you enjoy them!

Level: Easy

Makes: 4 cups approx.


1 rotisserie chicken, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp spicy mango chutney

½ red onion, finely diced

4 stalks celery, finely diced

1 green apple, finely diced

Salt & pepper to taste

Sliced bread, crusts cut off

Thinly sliced cucumber

Alfalfa sprouts


To make the sandwich fillings, simply stir together the first 8 ingredients. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. You can shape the sandwiches any way you like, I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the rounds. To build the sandwich, start with the bread on the bottom, then 3 slices of cucumber, the curried chicken, and top with the alfalfa sprouts. You can keep these open-faced, as pictured, or you can top them off with another bread slice, and secure with a tooth pick.

Delish was shot on location at Outer Banks, a traditional Caribbean-style Villa, situated in a quiet residential area above the stunning Brewers Bay beach on Tortola’s North Shore.




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Food Styling by Erin Paviour-Smith

Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Kayleigh Driver

Kayleigh Driver

Born and raised on Tortola, Kayleigh is the Coldwell Banker/BVI Villa Rental Property Manager and Villa Chef. Kayleigh loves to work with fresh island produce as much as she can, supporting local farmers and fishermen. She looks forward to sharing fresh and fun recipes with you.
Kayleigh Driver

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