Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Posh Tea Party

My friend turns 50 this week, and in honour of this event, I decided to throw her a surprise afternoon tea party - Claridges comes to Sheffield if you will....

The menu for the party was:

Mini crab tarts
Porchini and Shiro Shimeji mushroom quiches
Parmesan and Comte scones with Iberico ham and cream cheese filling
Butternut squash and feta filo triangles
Egg and cress, rare beef and Tewkesbury mustard, 
and smoked salmon and cream cheese finger sandwiches
Lemon and raspberry tartlets
White chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes
Clotted cream cherry scones
Chocolate and pistachio macrons

served with Assam or peppermint tea in the prettiest of pretty Royal Stuart Spencer Stevenson vintage china from the 1950s which has been a bit of nightmare to collect (and I'm still searching for a milk jug to complete my set)

The food was mostly very easy, but very fiddly - particularly making all the very tiny pastry cases - I had to double the tins up in the oven to stop them from rising and give me perfect thin crisp shells.

Most of the food was tried and tested but the cupcakes were a new Donna Hey recipe from the Waitrose magazine and were disappointingly heavy.   The crab tartlets were a hit - simple white crab meat mixed with creme fraiche, chives, capers and lemon (sorry no close ups - got carried away with the fizz and the party) and the quiches were light and the flavour boosted with porchini powder in the custard mix.

It was the second time I'd made macrons - had a practice last week - and they aren't nearly as complex as I thought they would be.  The pistachio paste used to flavour the butter cream filling is a real revelation - quite expensive but a little really does go a very long way.  The winning dessert however was the most simple one of all - the lemon and raspberry tart.  An oblong pastry case filled with a lemon cream (whipping cream and good quality lemon curd whipped together) topped with 3 raspberries - light, refreshing and delicious!

There are a few more party photos over on my crafting blog if you're interested as I made all the decorations as well as the food so they're featured on that blog - this is where my two worlds collide http://craftilicious-yorkshire.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/tea-and-balloons.html

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