My Afternoon Tea: July 2015

Take an afternoon tea break and enjoy
baking tips and techniques and
fresh ideas for afternoon tea presentation.

Afternoon Tea

Summer has arrived! The weather at the beginning of July in the Kootenays is like a warm and perfect English summer. It makes me think of country roses, delicate china and ladies in long white lace dresses carrying parasols across the lawn!

Well, I can do the roses and china....

Roses are so evocative of an English summer and they're pretty and fun to play with! You can cut them long or short, and they last for long enough even without water to make a table look pretty. You can pull the petals off and scatter them for decoration on the table, and you can even eat them!

Pink Roses everywhere! On the table cloth, in vases, on the cake, in the jam, in the tea - even folded into napkins. :-)

I love pink, blue, white and silver together. It's such an easy-going combination. This table setting is perfect for summer, and quick and simple to put together.

We tried rose petal jam on buttermilk scones (delicious!) and served rose petal and mint tea to flow with our theme, and we chose sandwiches and cakes that were pink, red or green to fit in with the look.

It's easy to make a cake look top notch by serving it surrounded by rose petals! From a simple sponge cream cake, to super yummy dream cake. :-)

A mouthful of perfection....

Raspberry Tart

My star recipe this month is for fresh strawberry tarts made with pate sablee, pastry cream folded with whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries (or raspberries) and dusted with a little icing sugar. 

Pate sablee is the most delicious sweet pastry you could dream of. It is crumbly, flaky and buttery. It's so tasty, that we often make little cookies from it with no further adornment. It's reminiscent of shortbread.

I treated myself to a new tart tin this month (shown below) - and it was worth every cent. My tarts had been sticking in the pan for some time, and although they were delicious, they were not pretty!!

This mini pie tray made by Masterclass is really fabulous. I would definitely buy another!

Tarts made in this tin do not stick and I did not even grease the pan. It's the perfect size for making mini mince pies at Christmas, quiches for picnics and of course, pretty little fruit tarts for afternoon tea.

Love it, and can't recommend it highly enough.

Top Sweet Pastry Tips
for perfect pastry every time!

  • Use a big wide bowl so that you can sift the flour from a height to aerate it.

  • Use slightly softened butter for easy rubbing in.

  • But don't use very soft butter. You can't make good crumbs, and the pastry will not be as flaky.

  • Bring your finger tips high up as you rub and allow the crumbs to fall back into the bowl.

  • Handle the pastry for as little time as possible.

  • Think about lightness and fairies and ballet while you make your pastry.

  • Don't make pastry when you feel angry. Make bread instead....

Inspiration

I use Pinterest for inspiration, or for when I want to lose myself in pretty pictures. This is my Pinterest board that I used for inspiration for the Pink Roses tea table setting.

Basically, I trawled through Pinterest pinning all the pins that I liked that had any relevance to pink roses or afternoon tea.

Once I had gathered them all, I looked through to see which things drew me the most. 

Favourite Napkin Fold

This is one of the simplest napkin folds I have come across - and one of the prettiest. This is one occasion though where cloth napkins work much better. The way the cloth folds softly is important to the finished look.

You basically fold the napkin over and over to make a long flat piece, then you roll this fabric up, and put it into a cup and slightly loosen it around the edge. I made a video so that you can see it being done more easily.

Most Fun Video

How cute is this! I wish I had seen this before I photographed the Pink Roses table! Must remember this for when I do a strawberry cream tea. Or how about in strawberry iced tea? Or just for fun.

I love them!

I do hope you enjoyed My Afternoon Tea newsletter. I'm keen to make it something that you look forward to. So if you have any suggestions or requests for things you'd like to see more of - or less of - then I welcome your comments.

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