Back at the beginning of the month we hosted our first Afternoon Tea in a very long while and we were very much looking forward to rolling our sleeves up and baking. As usual we had a Manor theme to the afternoon’s proceedings, and this time we used Chetna Makan’s Cardamon Trail as inspiration, giving everything an Indian twist.
Our guests arrived to our usual welcome cocktail, this time a spicy, sour, ginger punch – whilst they settled down, got to know each other and awaited their savouries.
The savouries were a delightful mix of fragrant, spiced and hot dishes. There were chilli chicken flatbreads – homemade mini chappatis topped with marinated chicken, spinach, pink picked onions and cooling mint yoghurt. alongside these were aubergine and onion tarts – puff pastry tarts of tomato, caramelised onion, roasted aubergine and fiery coriander chutney.
This fiery chutney also accompanied Dan’s magnificent paneer pie, which was a ton of paneer bound in a yummy masala sauce and wrapped in crispy puff pastry. The final savouries were little potato cups filled with a mung daal. This was a tiny morsel that packed a punch!
After a bit of respite we moved onto an array of delicious sweets, starting off with our classic buttermilk scones accompanied with cardamom clotted cream and homemade jumbleberry jam.
Next up were some zesty black sesame and lime cakes, little sponges packed with lime and black sesame and then topped with a lime icing for an extra hit! In contrast to this there were also some little choux buns filled with mango and praline and topped with a chocolate glaze – a different yet delicious combination.
That wasn’t the end of the sweets – there were three more delectable delights!
Dan made small versions of Chetna’s almond, rose and honey cakes. These are a bit like a friand but Dan spiced his with fennel, cinnamon and cardamom. Chetna fills hers with cream but Dan doused his in a light buttercream, for extra naughtiness. Also on offer was a saffron sponge full of crunchy almonds and fresh cream. Saffron can be a challenging flavour for some people but it really worked in this very sweet and luxurious cake slice. Finally little mango lassi possets were a great palate cleanser as well as a pretty addition to the table.
This was a brilliant, fun afternoon with a lovely mix of old and new faces round the table. What with all of the lunches and evening events we’ve had recently it was great to get baking again.
Next month comes our 5th birthday event! Gosh, where does time go? We’re looking forward to celebrating with great guests, Korean food and Mikkeller beer!