Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A Tea Party...

Macaron, Eclairs, Profiteroles...with a twist...We made these at the weekend, but instead of the usual sweet fillings,we decided to go for savoury ones. For a while now, we have been wanting to make a savoury version of some of the  classic sweet pastries. Finely had a chance last weekend...So, Smoked Salmon and Grapefruit Macaron, Caramelised Onion Eclair and Caprice 'Salad' Profiteroles graced our tea table last weekend. We also had three types of Scones, all savoury-Cheese, Tarragon and Za'ater. The Za'ater Scones were my favourite! I've shared some of the recipes below...

For the tea table, we combined vintage with new. We went for a pastel look with lots of white. The starting point was a snowy white silk organza table cloth. We teamed this with vintage napkins and an old Noritake tea set. Soft pink crystal goblets and antique heirloom silver completed the look...

Our current craze, is to use edible gold leaf to add sparkle to our mocktails and drinks... Really glams thing up!

Smoked Salmon Macaron
For the Macaron:

120g Ground Almonds
200g Icing Sugar
90g Egg Whites (Approximately 3 eggs)
55g Caster Sugar
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Put the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food processor and grind to a fine powder and then sift into a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar a little at a time. Whisk the mixture until stiff and glossy. 
Fold the sifted almond mixture and the black pepper into the egg whites. Continue folding the mixture until it falls from the spoon in a ribbon. 
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe disks onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little bit of extra black pepper. Tap the tray against the work surface and then leave to stand for about an hour or until the tops are dry to the touch. 
Preheat the oven to 150C. 
Bake for 10 minutes and then open the oven briefly to let out the steam. Continue baking for another 2-5 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a little while before transferring to a wire rack. 

For the Filling:
Cream Cheese
Smoked Salmon
A small Grapefruit, segmented

Fill a piping bag with the Cream Cheese and pipe a little on the Macaron bases. Top with a piece of smoked salmon, and a grapefruit segment. Garnish with some chives and perch a Macaron lid on each. 

Za'atar Scones
225g Cake Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
50g Butter
70g Cheddar Cheese
2 tsp Za'atar
125ml milk
Beaten egg, to glaze
Extra Za'atar for sprinkling

Preheat an oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper. 
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt  into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese and the Za'atar. Gradually add the milk, mixing just until the mixture forms a dough. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Don't overwork the dough.
Roll out on a floured work surface to about 3cm thick. Use a small, round cookie cutter to cut out the scones. Place on the baking sheet . Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a bit of extra Za'atar. 
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Oh, we had some Sweet Coconut and Violet Macarons and a few other sweets too!