I have been hosting a number of afternoon teas at home recently as a great setting for old friends to catch up and for new friendships to blossom. What better way to relax with a cup of specially selected tea along with all freshly made sandwiches, desserts and good conversation? I only wish we can do this everyday.
First on the menu were two new flavors of scones:
Strawberry Buttermilk and Orange Raisin. I have made different versions of strawberry buttermilk scones in the past. Although they tasted pretty good, I was not entirely satisfied with it. This new version finally met my own bench mark with just the right amount of moisture and taste. The Orange Raisin scones were made with freshly grated orange zest
and preservative-free raisins. The taste of scones fresh out of the oven with generous amount of whipped cream and jam is just heavenly! If you don’t have the luxury of having a scone fresh out of the over, see my post “How to have a Scone at its Best” for tips. A warm scone makes a world of difference in taste! These scones are now available for purchase at https://tweetealicious.com/scones/.
Next up on the menu were two kinds of delicious finger sandwiches made by two friends who specialize in savory food. One was with turkey, smoked sharp cheddar, cranberry sauce and topped with a horse radish mayonnaise on cinnamon raisin bread. The other was a roast beef sandwich with carmelized onion topped with a spicy honey mustard sauce on whole wheat bread.
For pastries, I made some filled-to-the brim cream puffs that were freshly piped. Store bought cream puffs tend to become soggy quickly. With these home-made cream puffs, you could taste the still crusty shell with that nicely sweet and creamy vanilla pastry cream dripping from each bite. In addition to the cream puffs, I made a new flavor of Shortbread Cookies – Chocolate Chocolate Chip. This cookie flavor was inspired by my friend, Pat, who had requested a double chocolate cake for her birthday. These Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies were made with gourmet quality cocoa powder and one of the highest rated chocolate chips. They are buttery, with a full chocolate taste, and with a nice bite of chocolate chips that are of just the right softness. These are now available for purchase at https://tweetealicious.com/cookies/.
To complete the afternoon tea experience, the final item is a delicious and moist Brown Velvet Cake frosted with a beautiful cream cheese frosting. It is essentially a Red Velvet Cake without all the red coloring. As I cringe at the idea of putting in the amount of red coloring from all of the recipes I see, I decided to go all natural. The taste? Fantastic! The not so sweet cream cheese frosting was a perfect balance to a velvety textured chocolate cake.
Finally, we have two drinks to accompany the wonderful afternoon tea time. For our tea selection, I used a white tea, courtesy of my friend, Lisa, from Chambre de Sucre Gourmet Artisanal Sugars (http://www.chambredesucre.com). The tea was very fragrant and smelled and tasted wonderful. For our cold drink, my friend, May, made a great virgin mojito that consisted of fresh mint, lime, agave nectar and seltzer water. It was delightfully refreshing.
I hope you will also have the opportunity of enjoying afternoon tea with some wonderful friends. If you ever want to have an afternoon tea catered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.