This past weekend we held one of our rare afternoon tea events. We like to change up our events to include and indulge in one of our favourite culinary activities – baking! As usual we added on the usual Dinner at the Manor spin on our interpretation of afternoon tea. We didn’t use a specific book as inspiration for the event, we thought we’d use some autumnal flavours, new techniques and get some inspiration from treats that you’d usually associate with bonfire night.
Our guests for the afternoon were a lovely group of ladies – some repeat guests and some new. All looking forward to sampling our savoury and sweet morsels. To start things off with a bang, our welcome cocktail came in the form of a dark and stormy – dark rum, lime and ginger beer. A zingy, spicy cocktail to get the tastebuds tingling for the savouries. (Non drinkers got a “stormy” – the same drink sans rum!).
Savoury treats included Dan’s amazing homemade not so mini, mini hotdogs – soft rolls filled with spiced pork sausage, mustard and tomato relish. A truly delicious mouthful indeed. Also on offer was the most delicious quiche I have ever eaten (fact!). Dan’s roast squash and Yorkshire Blue cheese. Salty and sweet, encased in walnut pastry. It came spiked with buttery leeks and toasted pumpkin seeds and was truly a delight to eat and I’m still dreaming about it now.
I whipped up my savoury smoked salmon choux buns (recipe here) – rich, creamy and smoky. I could’ve eaten about ten! My other savoury were my “Reuben” bagels. Homemade mini rye and caraway bagels, filled with my home cured salt beef, emmental cheese, mustard and quick sauerkraut pickle. I have an obsession with home curing at the moment and I think these sandwiches added a sharpness to the savouries on offer.
Platters cleared and savouries devoured, we moved onto the sweet treats. These were a mixture of fruity, spicy and chocolatey delights. You can’t have an afternoon tea without scones so I whipped up some mini buttermilk scones to go with the obligatory clotted cream. This was coupled with Dan’s homemade gooseberry jam.
The other smaller morsels were Dan’s mini blackberry and apple trifles – tart and creamy, a real taste of autumn and my black forest millefeuille. Layers of handmade puff pastry, chocolate ganache, cream and my sour cherry jam. Both used old school flavours brought up to date.
Onto the big boys, the cakes. First up was Dan’s beautiful sticky stem ginger cake with lemon icing. Rich, sticky, dark and packed full of ginger, the icing added a tangy twist and this was a real taste of bonfire night. It’s what parkin should be!
We don’t do things by halves here at the Manor and the final cake was my triple layered salted caramel chocolate cake. Chocolate sponge, salted caramel, chocolate ganache and salted caramel truffles. Enough to feed at least twenty people and it weighed in at just under 2kg!
This was a nice, relaxed, interactive afternoon a the Manor, hopefully our guests enjoyed it as much as we did. Our next event will be our Scandinavian Christmas extravaganza. We can’t wait!