High tea on my mind…

The thing about parties is that, how you ask people to come to a party sets the tone of that party. Ask your friends as a by-the-way: It’s a casual thing; facebook or twitter: come if you like; call your friends up over the phone: I’s casual but we might take pictures; send out an invite: dress nice, real serious.

Well you see, I sent an invite. So now I’m under this immense pressure to create a mind blowing high-tea event. While I’m cruising through the world of food blogs, I came across these few recipes that I feel I need to share. Two of them come from my favourite food blog, while the other I came across during my Macaron research.

Enjoy!

Casey’s Tip: I like using bittersweet chocolate for these little lovelies but they can be made with semi, dark or milk.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Orange Pot de Crème with Almond Cream

1 ½ c milk

2 eggs

a pinch of salt

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

2 tbl of Grand Marnier

zest of 1 orange

Bring the milk to a simmer in a sauce pan. Put eggs, salt, chocolate, Grand Marnier and orange zest in a blender. Pulse until combined. On medium speed, slowly add in the hot milk and blend for 1 minute. Pour into individual small bowls or ramekins and chill for at least an hour. Serve with almond cream. Copyright © 2009 by Casey Solomon

Almond Cream

1 ½ c whipping cream

1 ½ tsp almond extract

2 tbl sugar

Thanks to Sunday Supper

6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 teaspoons ground ginger

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon finely ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks or 1/2 pound) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup unsulfured molasses

To decorate:
Royal icing
Various fine sanding sugars and sugar decorations

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide dough into thirds and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about one hour or up to two days.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice, such as snowflakes* or gingerbread men. Spread two inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until the cookies firm up again, about 15 minutes.

Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

When cool, you can decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles. When you pipe designs, sprinkle the icing with sanding sugar and let it sit for five minutes before tapping off the excess sugar. Then let the icing set completely at room temperature, which will take an hour or so, depending on how thick it is.

Store cookies between layers of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container for up to a week.

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen


The recipe for this is quite complicated and varies slightly with flavours. But there are a lot of videos for you to watch and a lot of tips for you to read!

2 x 450g almond meal

2 x 450g icing sugar

2 x 165g fresh egg whites

2 x 450g caster sugar

2 x 111g water

2 x 165g old egg whites

2 x 3g powdered egg white

1 ½ tbs red food colouring (for the beetroot macaron)

2 tsp black food colouring (for the olive macaron)

1 tbs maroon food colouring (for the olive macaron)

1. Preheat ovens to 200°C.
2. Separately weigh out 2 batches of macaron ingredients.
3. Using a drum or fine sieve, sift each batch of almond meal and icing sugar together in a bowl. Mix each batch of fresh egg whites with the almond mixture to make a paste until well combined and smooth.
4. Add each batch of sugar and water to a saucepan. Place one saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-low and slowly bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Add the red colouring to one saucepan and the black and maroon colouring to the other, stirring each to combine. Cook the mixture until it reaches 119°C, brushing down the sides with a dampened pastry brush. Remove from the heat (the mixture needs to be added to the egg mixture at 121°C).
5. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, add the old egg whites and powdered egg to a large bowl and beat until combined. Slowly add the sugar syrup (at 121°C) in a thin stream and beat on a medium speed until thick and glossy. Continue to beat the meringue until it has cooled completely.
6. Start the second batch (repeating from step 5) whilst beating the first meringue (to cool).
7. To make the raspberry jelly, combine the pectin, gellan and sugar in a bowl. Heat the raspberry puree, then add the pectin mixture and bring to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes until it reaches a set. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to set.
8. To make the beetroot butter cream, add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil, cooking until it reaches 118°C. Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl until combined. With the mixer running on medium speed, pour over the sugar syrup and continue to beat until 50°C. Carefully and slowly add the butter, then the beetroot powder. Transfer the mixture into 2 small piping bags.  Place in the fridge to firm up slightly.
9. Fold ¼ of the red meringue into one batch of the almond paste, to loosen up the mixture, then fold through remaining meringue until combined.
10. Place the red macaron mixture in 2 large piping bags.
11. To finish the olive macaron mixture, repeat steps 9 and 10 and place into 2 large piping bags.
12. Pipe each batch of macarons, 3-4cm circles onto 6 lined baking trays (4 x 7 macarons each tray).
13. Leave to set for at least 30 minutes to form a crust.
14. Once the raspberry jelly has set, gently whisk the mixture to loosen it up, then transfer to small piping bag.
15. Place the red macarons into 2 ovens (3 trays in each oven). Turn the ovens off and leave for 10 minutes, then turn ovens on to 155°C and bake for a further 9-10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Repeat process with kalamata macarons. Leave macarons to cool on trays.
16. To make the kalamata olive ganache, melt the white chocolate. Place the candied olive puree in an electric mixer and pour over the melted chocolate, mixing to combine. With the mixer running, beat in the butter then slowly add the olive oil, mixing until well combined. Fold through the chopped olives. Place the mixture into the refrigerator to cool slightly, then transfer to a small piping bag.
17. To finish the macarons, pipe the raspberry jelly and beetroot buttercream onto half of the red macarons, then top with remaining red macarons. Repeat process with kalamata olive ganache, pressing 1 lemon candy into the centre. Top with kalamata olive macarons. Place the finished macarons in the fridge to sit for about 10 minutes before assembling.
18. To assemble the macaron tower, place toothpicks on a slight angle, tilting upwards into the cone before placing macaron onto a toothpick creating a pattern as desired.

Thanks to Master Chef; other websites I recommend for you to have a look in conjunction are The Cake Mistress and Poh’s Kitchen.

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