Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sweet (and Savoury) Treats: Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Rachel, Dublin

Afternoon Tea has become very trendy in recent years but can set you back a small fortune in some of the fancier venues in Dublin.  While I'm not comparing my creations to the quality of the Shelbourne's I think that a homemade afternoon tea can have just as much of a Wow factor. 

When I invited some of my college friends over for a catch up recently I had an excuse to go to town with my baking and had been on the lookout for new recipes to try.  When I saw a recipe for Raspberry, Coconut and Almond Slice on Miss Igs' blog I was confident I'd found the star of my afternoon tea. 

I wanted to have a balance between savoury and sweet items and, as I was trying a new recipe, I also wanted to pick some things that would be quicker to make; I wanted to have some energy left to talk to the girls!  I decided to keep both the savoury items relatively easy (although I think they both still looked impressive) and I did a twist on a tried and tested recipe for mini muffins.  

Afternoon Tea Menu

Cake Stand Layers:
Top: Pesto and Cheese Savoury Palmiers
Middle: Mini Wholegrain Blackberry Muffins
Bottom: Raspberry, Coconut & Almond Slice

Served seperately: Mini Chive Blinis with chive crème fraîche and red onion confit 

Everything worked well though I did forget a sage piece of advice from the Cooks Academy Canape class where I learnt to make the blinis.  They advise to always make a larger quantity of anything you are serving warm as it will always be eaten first. I was kicking myself when I remembered this as I could have easily doubled, or even tripled, the blini recipe and they still would have been polished off!

Maybe it's just as well I didn't make more though as it meant that we all still had plenty of room for the Raspberry Slice.  As a big fan of Raspberries I knew I was going to like this cake but it completely exceeded my expectations.  The soft texture of the base, against the crunchy topping and the tart raspberry layer in between was just devine.  It also turned out to be quite easy to make, simply requiring some patience at the rubbing in the butter stage.  I ran out of raspberrys to put on the top but, as you can see from the picture below, I don't think it made much difference, and it certainly didn't stop it from tasting amazing!  I shall post the recipes for the other afternoon tea items shortly but this one was just too good to wait to share it.
Incredibly Good Cake

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