Today’s afternoon tea was attended by those who have been waiting patiently on my ever growing waiting list. A group of people, who had never met before, arrived expectantly at the appointed hour. As ever, the occasion seemed to work its magic, for hardly had the tea had time to brew and be quaffed and the crumbs left on the table, the hours had been chatted and laughed away and it was time to bid a good bye … with goody bags in hand of course.
Today’s menu was cobbled together from various sources of inspiration. Here are the details:
Finger sandwich flavours comprised egg, cheese and ham:
- Curried egg mayo – local farm eggs with a very mild, curried mayonnaise;
- Garstang White & preserved figs – I had started with the intention of using my usual combination of goat’s cheese with the figs, but having visited Clitheroe Food Festival the weekend before, I spied the Garstang White and had no hesitation in deciding on a menu alteration.
- Ham & celeriac remoulade – mustard is probably a more traditional combination with ham but the punchy, peppery, celeriac remoulade is a great substitute.
The garnishing flowers were all picked from the little garden at my back door.
The savouries featured:
- Haggis sausage rolls – these were made with my homemade puff pastry. The filling was a combination of haggis and a little bit of pork sausage meat and garnished with poppy seeds.
- Olive and sundried tomato financiers – these French treats are traditionally sweet but I was intrigued by a savoury recipe I saw and decided to give them a go. I think they were a real winner. They were finished off with a piping of homemade hummus and a sprig of rosemary from the garden.
The summer season naturally influenced the sweet things on the menu. I looked for those things that would be light and make use of the fantastic seasonal berries available.
The meringues were filled with whipped cream doused with raspberry liqueur. I opted for the liqueur rather than fresh berries to balance what was to come further down the menu.
The chocolate hazelnut cake was inspired by a recipe from Borrowdale Gates Hotel featured in Relish Cumbria Second Helping. I made some adjustments to ingredients and method described in the original recipe including adding a very special secret ingredient to enhance the flavours. It was presented with piped chocolate and hazelnut mousse and my home created chocolate wiggles.
A perfect ‘ode to the summer’ had to be the Fraisier. This inspiration came from the recipe featured in Pâtisserie (a fantastic recipe book). I have to admit an awful lot of work went into this but the time and effort was well worth the result. It is not only colourful and pretty to look at but light and bursting with fruity flavour. The decoration on top was strawberries & raspberries along with snippets of my garden mint and some more of my homemade chocolate work in the form of spiral hoops.
Finally, buttermilk scones, warm from the oven, were served with my homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream.
So by all accounts and the lovely compliments received, another enjoyable afternoon tea was had by all.