Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Very Decadent Tea

Champagne with hibiscus flower

I've been waiting to write about this incredible tea party.  I wanted to use it as an inspiration for any holiday entertaining you might be doing.  Just look at these gorgeous foods and dream!  My special thanks to the hostess of this fine multi-course event, along with the engaging company.  I felt very special! 

Let's start with the cocktail, above.  I think this is beautiful!  A lovely hibiscus flower (preserved in a sweet syrup) adorns the champagne flute.  The flower is edible, and as it turns out, delicious.  If you're in CA, find these flowers at BevMo.  This drink is guaranteed to impress your guests!  You could easily serve it in sparkling juice if you wanted a non-alcoholic version.

Miniature rose cupcake

Next up, a moist and scrumptious rose cupcake.  We did "dessert first!"  Let me assure you, I ate several more than one.

Peach soup with frozen raspberries, drizzled with a liqueur

This next course is one that I can see using often.  We had peach soup, a mix of fresh peaches, cream and delicate spices.  Over that was the cleverest of treats - frozen raspberries on a skewer, drizzled with a liqueur to give them a bit of a punch.  The raspberries were a great contrast to the peach soup in both texture and flavor, and added a nice color burst, too.  I can think of many uses for these frozen raspberries (or blackberries, or blueberries, or strawberry chunks...)

We followed the peach soup with delightful Kensington Palace Scones.  I must have been too busy trying to look refined as I stuffed myself, because I forgot to take a photo.

Three tiers of savories

Then came the savories: 
  • Top row:  Our hostess's signature sandwich:  Napoleon of Jamon de Paris, Boursin Cheese, Violet Mustard and Cornichon, and a tart with honeyed goat cheese, topped with fig
  • Middle row:  Savory Madeleines made of polenta and fresh corn kernels with a dollop of jalapeno jelly, and a Swedish pancake stuffed with salmon and an herbed goat cheese
  • Bottom row:  Profiterole with chicken salad in an oil-based dressing, and ladybug tea sandwiches made with freshly cut basil and burrata, a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream
  • Not shown:  Pork loin sandwich and sausage roll with caramel and sugared sage on top

Key lime mousse with cape gooseberry

The first time I tasted a cape gooseberry was at tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC.  I was there with a dear friend.  Seeing the gooseberry in this dessert awakened a very special memory for me.

Three tiers of desserts

But we're not done yet!  Next we had a selection of desserts:  rose ice cream tarts topped with red currants, lemon bars with gold leaf and homemade French macaroons.  I love macaroons, and I know they can be quite fussy to make.  Look at the perfect "feet" on these (below). 

May this blog posting inspire your holiday (or other future) entertaining!  I hope this has been a visual delight for you.  It certainly has been a delight for me, to relive it and think of the wonderful day spent in the company of old and new friends.


Colleen said...

This looks soooo yummy! I know when and with who you shared this luscious tea- and you all did a beautiful job- this is better than any afternoon tea I've ever had!

Esmerelda said...

wow! Looks very fabulous.

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Oh my goodness...decadent...for sure!! Wishing I could have been there too!! - Donna (IA)

Snap said...

A visual delight that is making my tummy growl!!!!!!! WOWOWOWOWOWOW

Anonymous said...

Unbelievably gorgeous! What fun.... Thanks for sharing. MKP

TaintedTea said...

Wow it all looks soo yummy !! .. thanks for the background comment ^.^ and if you want to check out some chinese teas then have a look at my last post :) ... thanks for sharing your delectable post i think it is safe to say my stomache is jealous!

Time Traveling in Costume said...

Just seeing these photos brings back delicious memories of, you're right, stuffing our faces. :) How I love to be pampered like this.

La Tea Dah said...

Your hostess always has the best tea parties! Thank you for sharing with your blog readers --- I loved the photos and description!

Marilyn said...

I would say decadent for sure. What a lovely, lovely tea party and I wish I could have been sitting there with this group. I have had several of these items when visiting your hostess and I know from first hand experience each one is delicious and served with such special touches, a true gift from the heart.

Rosemary said...

Visual delight indeed! Such a gourmet treat! Lucky duck!

Angela McRae said...

Oh my, you aren't kidding about this being a truly DECADENT tea! Thanks for sharing it with us!

amherstrose said...

Stephanie, your photos truly capture the elegance and sophistication of our Afternoon Tea experience. It was also a beautiful sharing of culinary skills and ideas which is a true reflection of what tea represents to so many tea lovers. It was indeed an honor to cook with our gracious hostess in her kitchen and share in the preparations of her incredibly creative menu. Being a part of this gathering is a teatime memory I will always treasure.

parTea lady said...

Looks like this was a very elegant affair. The food looked sumptuous and a real feast for the eyes. Thanks for sharing all the great photos.

martha said...

The Decadent Tea was such fun to plan and host. Stephanie, your photos (and title) are amazing and have taken me back to the time shared with you and Mary Jane in my home and on our adventures while you all were here. As I told both of you, it was like having kitchen fairies and made it such fun to have each of you make your signature things and help with mine to make it possible.

Thank you to each of your blog friends who have made such nice comments here.

sweetcakes said...

Looks so amazing! What culinary talent, truly a labor of love!

Get Natured said...

Wow, everything looks divine! That rose cupcake *almost* made me lick my computer screen! ;-)