On Saturday Dan and I hosted eleven wonderful guests at the Manor for an afternoon of Mediterranean teatime treats. Taking inspiration from our our friends across the water, including Spain and Italy, we created some unique bold tastes for our guests to enjoy that would take them to warmer climes, at least for a couple of hours!
The welcome cocktail was an elderflower fizz to tingle the tastebuds before the savouries, this was concocted using Dan’s homemade elderflower cordial. First up were a number of Spanish inspired delights. My Gallician Chicken Empandas were filled with lightly poached chicken, spiked with paprika, peppers and tomato, encased in crisp, lightly flaked homemade pastry.
To continue with the smoky paprika spiked theme, I had to make my favourite savoury treat, a chorizo scotch egg! These were made with a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall homemade chorizo recipe, which you really do need to try. The meat cures in the fridge for a number of days and the flavour is rich and porky. Just how it should be. This was used to encase little quail eggs.
To continue on the Spanish theme, Dan made some beautiful rounds of tortilla topped with grilled manchego and slow roasted tomatoes. Then it was onto Italy with his even more beautiful pizzette (mini pizzas) of gorgonzola and proscuitto. Truly a delicious salty treat and I literally could have eaten about twenty!
The last savoury was a bruschetta of baked feta, spring onion and chilli atop sourdough toast and garnished with rocket and olive oil.
After a short bit of respite and a cup of tea, it was onto our sweet treats. First up was a delicious lemon posset to cleanse the palate before the onslaught of our other delicious bakes.
Cake wise, the chocolate offering was my take on the Italian torta Gianduia, or as I affectionately called it – a Ferrero Rocher cake. A flourless hazelnut and chocolate cake slathered in chocolate ganache and topped with toasted hazelnuts. Deep, gooey and delicious!
The next cakes were Dan’s beautul peach and ricotta friands. Buttery moist almond cakes filled with creamy ricotta, pistachios and juicy peaches. Deceptively light and very naughty!
British figs (From Dan’s mum and dad’s garden!) were the order of the day for the sweet pastry, in the shap of a pistachio and fig frangipane tart. Crisp pastry and a soft nutty filling. Clotted cream made this extra naughty.
To finish were Dan’s super beautiful and zesty pistachio shortbread rounds topped with raspberry lemonade mallow and raspberry coulis. This was a brilliant clash of textures and flavours that was so moreish.
Thanks again to our lovely guests who came to dine with us, most of whom were new visitors to the Manor and we hope they’ll be paying a return visit soon. We also said farewell to one of our regular guests Becs, who’s jetting off to Dubai for a new adventure!
We’re having a short break now and will be back in October for our 3rd birthday celebrations. My my, we’re getting old!!