The overriding motivation for this afternoon tea was that, with Mothering Sunday falling on the 30th March, I thought an afternoon tea on Saturday 29th might be an opportunity for some Mums to be treated to a special occasion. However, amongst my guests, there were no ‘Mums’ but an equally genial and delightful group of enthusiastic afternoon tea goers.
There were some dietary requirements to consider for this menu with vegetarians, pescatarians and a few other intolerances. This was nothing that I wasn’t able to resolve and sought a balance in the sandwiches and savouries that would accommodate everyone as much as possible.
I haven’t taken to baking my own bread (yet) for the finger sandwiches. My local bakery does such a good job I haven’t felt it necessary to change anything on that front; the comments from my guests are always in praise of it too. The menu for today for these little morsels was effectively:
Fish – the salmon was freshly poached and dressed with a dill crème fraîche and finished with wonderful emerald green and peppery watercress
Cheese – mature cheddar from the Wensleydale Creamery with a salad of grated carrot, roasted seeds, a few raisins and a light dressing of olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Veg – avocado (OK, this is technically a fruit). This was made into a chunky guacamole with a hint of chilli and lime along with some sundried tomatoes.
For the two savouries, there was firstly mushroom & chestnut roulade with some tomato relish. This roulade is like a Wellington with the filling encased with my crispy, light and buttery homemade puff pastry. This was also another winner with my guests as there was none of this leftover! Secondly, cauliflower cheese muffins.
And for dessert? The orange and almond loaves proved a hit with everyone. Exceptionally moist and bursting with orangeness, these didn’t need any more than the simple dressing of orange confit on the top. And so to the chocolate and vanilla Viennese biscuits for a contrast in colour, texture and flavour. The chocolate ones being sandwiched with a vanilla cream filling and the vanilla ones, with the equivalent in chocolate.
With the ‘forced’ rhubarb season in full swing here in Yorkshire, I wanted to ensure this had a place on the menu and the idea of rhubarb and apple crumble cake seemed to fit the bill.
Not to forget buttermilk scones with clotted cream and homemade jam.