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Emma x

Category: Banquet

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

The final addition to our afternoon tea stack are these little chocolate ginger biscuit shards. These are so easy and fun to make so they’re perfect for baking with small children, and you can easily leave out the ginger if it’s not your cup of tea. As with most biscuits you can also get really creative with the decoration! I’ve just gone from a drizzle of chocolate and some crystallised ginger, but these are also a great biscuit base for icing and so on.

Recipe

Makes 20 biscuits

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g Unsalted butter
  • 330g Plain flour
  • 50g Cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1 Medium egg
  • 50g Dark chocolate
  • 50g White chocolate
  • A little Seasalt
  • Crystallised ginger to decorate

Method

  1. Put the butter and flour into a bowl and cut the butter up into small pieces using a round bladed knife. When you can’t cut the butter up any further go in with your finger and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir the cocoa powder, ginger and sugar into the mixture. Then add the egg and mix together until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and then chill it for at least 20-30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of clingfilm and then use a knife to cut the dough into triangles (or any other shapes you want). Transfer the biscuits to your lined baking trays and then bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until starting to firm (the biscuits will firm up a lot more once cooled down).
  5. Leave the biscuits to cool for a few minutes and then move them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Now prep the decoration. Put the dark and white chocolate into separate bowls over pans of simmering water and leave to melt.
  7. Cover a surface in baking paper and arrange the biscuits over it. Then drizzle the biscuits with the two chocolates (you can either use a pipping bag or a teaspoon). Scatter the biscuits with the crystallised ginger and a little seasalt.
  8. Leave the chocolate to set and then serve! These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Profiteroles

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Profiteroles

Every afternoon tea stack needs some choux pastry, and who doesn’t love profiteroles? These ones are stuffed with a passion fruit creme patisserie which gives a great tang to marry with the rich chocolate ganache on top. If you’re not a fan of passion fruit these also work really well with orange zest  or even just as plain vanilla creme pat.  If you’re not keen on making creme pat you could even go super traditional and just fill the profiteroles with whipped cream!

Recipe

Makes 25

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the choux pastry

  • 110g Unsalted butter
  • 120g Plain flour
  • 3 Medium eggs

For the filling

  • 250ml Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla bean paste
  • 50g Caster sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 10g Cocoa powder
  • 10g Cornflour
  • 25ml Passion fruit curd (or coulis – preferably with no seeds)

To decorate

  • 100ml Double cream
  • 100g Dark chocolate

Method

  1. Begin by making the choux pastry. Put the butter and 450ml water into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and wait until the butter has melted.
  2. Tip in the flour and mix really quickly with a wooden spoon until the mixture has formed a ball and is lump-free. Tip the dough into a bowl and spread it out as much as possible to help it cool down. Leave until cool (about half an hour).
  3. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Then line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Draw 10-15 circles, about 4cm in diameter, with a pencil  on each baking sheet (it can be useful to use a lid or cookie cutter as a stencil to help!) Then turn the paper over so that the lines are on the other side.
  4. Now add the eggs to the dough, one by one, beating well in between each addition. You might not need all the eggs so between each addition test the consistency. You want the mixture to be thick and to hold it’s shape but to be pourable, if you pick up a bit of the pastry with a spatula and then shake it once you should get a ‘V’ shape of dough hanging off the end of the spatula.
  5. Transfer the pastry to a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle. Pipe blobs of pastry onto your lined baking trays, using the circles you drew earlier as a guide. Then dip your finger in some water and dab down on any peaks or mis-shaped bits of the mounds.
  6. Bake the profteroles in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and risen. Then take the profiteroles out of the oven, quickly prick each one in the side with a knife and then put them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to dry out even more (this will stop the profiteroles from collapsing once out of the oven). Then leave the profiteroles to cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Now make the crème patisserie filling. Put the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  8. In another bowel mix the sugar, egg yolks and two flours until fully combined. Once the milk is heated, remove the pan from the heat and gently pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  9. Once combined pour the mixture back into the pan and put the pan back over a heat. Whisk on a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.
  10. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in half the passionfruit curd. Pour the custard into a jug and cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside for later.
  11. Now make the ganache. Chop the chocolate up finely and then put it into a bowl.
  12. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring just up to the boil. Then pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  13. When the profiterole shells have cooled down slice one in half with a sharp knife and place the ‘tops’ next to the ‘bottoms’.
  14.  Pipe a blob of the creme patisserie into the base of each of the bottom shells. Then spoon a little of the passionfruit curd over the top of the creme pat.
  15. Next take one of the top profiterole halves and dip it into the ganache. Run your thumb along the side to stop drips and then repeat with the rest of the tops.
  16. Finally put the tops of the profiteroles onto the bottoms and serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

 

 

 

 

Banana, Cinnamon and Rum Friands

Banana, Cinnamon and Rum Friands

The first time I had a friand was in NYC on an Art trip a couple of years ago . My friends and I found this amazing patisserie shop near where we were staying and consequentially had delicious viennoisserie and patisserie for breakfast every morning. One day I had a raspberry friand – which is basically a chewy but very light cake, and it was so insanely good! I can still remember sitting on a bench in central park, everything turning orange and red because it was on the cusp of autumn, and biting into this moist fruity cake with a delicious chew on it. Since then whenever I’ve made friands they’ve reminded me of my amazing trip and so I thought it was about time I make some and write up a recipe of my own for them.

I’ve always loved the flavour combination of cinnamon and banana, so I thought this in a  friand would be cool. I’ve topped these with  rum icing which is optional but is also very delicious so I’d really recommend trying it out. This icing also goes really well with any sponge cake, crumble or generally warm pudding, so if you make too much just keep it in a pot in the fridge for when you need it! Traditionally these are made in little oval tins, but as I didn’t have a specific financier tin I just used a well-greased muffin tin which seemed to do the trick.

Recipe

Makes 12 Friands

Time: 20 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

For the Friand

  • 55g Ground almonds
  • 110g Caster sugar
  • 30g Plain flour
  • ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
  • A large pinch of Salt
  • 50g Butter, melted
  • 3 large Egg whites
  • 2 large Bananas

For the rum caramel icing

  • 60g Butter
  • 75g Light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Rum
  • 100g Icing sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and then grease a 12 hole muffin tin with butter.
  2. Now make the cake mixture. Put the ground almonds, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and whisk together. Add the melted butter and egg whites to the mix and whisk until smooth.
  3. Take one of the bananas and mash it in a bowl with a fork. Then add it to the mix and whisk it in.
  4. Then take the other banana and slice it into slices the thickness of a £1 coin. Put one of these slices into the bottom of each of the muffin holes. Top with an ice cream scoop of the cake mixture and then bake the firands in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked all the way through (a knife or skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean).
  5. Take a knife and run it round the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the tin and then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  6. Now make the icing. Put the butter into small pan and melt gently. Then add the sugar and heat whilst stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Add the milk and bring to the boil. Then remove from the heat and add the rum. Stir and then leave to cool to room temperature.
  8. Once cooled add the icing sugar to the mixture and stir to make a smooth icing. Pour the icing into a pipping bag with a small nozzle and then drizzle over the friands.  Serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Every afternoon tea starts with a delicious selection of finger sandwiches. For this spread I went for cheese and ham on brown bread and then cucumber and smoked salmon on white bread. These are personal faves  of mine, but feel free to get experimental! So yes I am going to write a recipe for sandwiches, here we go…

Recipe

Makes 6 of each type of sandwich

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 tsp Unsalted butter
  • 6 slices Brown bread
  • 6 slices White bread
  • 2 tsp cream cheese
  • A few pieces of Smoked salmon
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 3 Slices of Honey smoked ham
  • 3 Slices of Cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Begin by buttering (the proper technical term) the brown bread slices and half the white bread. Then spread the cream cheese over the remaining White bread slices.
  2. To make the smoked salmon sandwiches lay the smoked salmon in  a layer over half the cream cheese covered bread. Then sandwich these sandwich halves with the rest of the cream cheese covered slices.
  3. Now make the cucumber sandwiches. Thinly slice the cucumber and then lay the slices over 1/2 of the white bread slices.  You might need to cut some of the cucumber discs in half so all the bread is covered. Top with the other slices of white bread and leave to one side.
  4. To make the remaining sandwiches lay the ham over 3 buttered brown bread slices and the cheese slices over the another. Then top with the remaining slices of brown bread, butter side down.
  5. Take a sharp knife and cut the crusts off all the sandwiches (keep these in an air tight box as they make great snacks!) and then cut each sandwich in half vertically to make two finger sandwiches. (Depending on the size of bread you’re using you might need to cut the sandwiches into three or something, but just use your judgement). Serve!

Thanks for reading! Next afternoon tea recipe coming out tomorrow!

Emma x

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland.

We’re at the end of book themed month (where did that go?!) and so I’ve decided to end like we started and do a week of recipes themed around one book – this time that good old favourite Alice in Wonderland! I’m from Oxford and there’s loads of Lewis Carrol references around the city that I’ve been trotted around since I was very young, so I’ve always had a fondness for this crazy story. Although it’s technically a children’s book I think the actual themes and plot are pretty incomprehensible and I remember being really confused with it as a kid, but re-reading the book now in my early adult years I’m finding it much more insightful and interesting.

So, back to why we’re here, the food! When doing an Alice in Wonderland themed week on a food blog it’s kinda compulsory to do a Mad Hatter’s tea party so that’s what we have. This is an all bells and whistles afternoon tea, but you could scale it back if you don’t want to spend two days baking. If you really don’t want to bake that much you could just take inspiration from what I’ve put together and buy the elements from a shop. I have to admit to being sooo tempted to just buy a bakewell tart on my way out of the shop when I was buying the ingredients for this! In my opinion a ‘complete’ afternoon tea needs…

• Finger sandwiches

• Scones

• Some kind of cake

• Some kind of biscuit

• Something made out of choux pastry (e.g a profiterole)

• Something made out of Shortcrust pastry (e.g a tart)

• And of course lots of tea!

I’ll be posting a recipe a day which you’ll be able to find on the main page of my blog, or on this post where I’ll be collating all the links…

First up is the base of all afternoon teas – finger sandwiches!

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Scones

Banana, Cinnamon and Rum Friands

Bakewell Tartlets

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

Thanks for reading!

Emma x