We’re hooked on The Vintage Tea Party Book, A Complete Guide To Hosting Your Perfect Tea Party by Angel Adorée (Mitchel Beazley). Inside Angel, who set up the Vintage Patisserie in 2007 and has an eye for beautiful things, illustrates how to recreate the tasty treats and classic styles of a magical golden era at home with your very own vintage tea party. Follow the recipes for Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (pictured top), Floral Creams and Filo Baskets (pictured below) here...
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons recipe
prep 25 minutes, plus setting
cooking 15–18 minutes
1 free-range egg white
200g (7oz) caster sugar
30g (1oz) plain flour
20g (¾oz) cocoa powder
200g (7oz) fresh coconut, coarsely grated
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g (3½oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking paper. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff, then gradually add the sugar, whisking continuously until thick and glossy. Sift the flour, then fold into the egg white mixture along with the cocoa powder and coconut until completely combined.
2 Using an 8cm (3¼in) shape cutter as a mould, fill with tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets (12 on each). Bake for 15–18 minutes until golden around the edges and just starting to brown on top. Leave to cool a little, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3 Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove the chocolate from the heat, allow it to cool slightly, then transfer to a disposable piping bag. Cut a tiny hole at the bag’s point and decorate half the macaroons by piping lines of chocolate back and forth across the top. Repeat for the other half of the macaroons, using a new piping bag and the white chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set for 20 minutes. The macaroons will keep in an airtight container for two days.
Floral creams recipe
prep 25 minutes, plus chilling
45ml (1½fl oz) double cream
1 drop of food colouring of your choice
45ml (1½fl oz) rose, violet, mint or lavender syrup (available online)
275g (9¾oz) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tsp sunflower oil
20 edible sugared rose or violet petals, sugared mint leaf pieces or lavender florets, to decorate (available online)
1 Place the cream, food colouring and syrup in a bowl and mix well. Sift the icing sugar over the cream mixture and stir to combine.
2 Dust a work surface lightly with icing sugar, then tip the cream mixture out on to it and knead with your hands until it comes together in a firm ball. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Remove the fondant from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Divide it into 20 teaspoon-sized lumps, roll them into balls and place on a plate. Set aside.
3 Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir in the sunflower oil, then remove the chocolate from the heat. Allow to cool for around 10 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, line a 39 × 35cm (15½ × 14in) baking sheet with nonstick baking paper. Working quickly, dip the fondant balls halfway into the melted chocolate one at a time. Place each coated ball carefully on to the nonstick baking paper. Top each with an edible sugared petal or leaf and set aside to harden in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Serve as they are, or in individual petit-four cases, if you wish.
Tall Filo Baskets with Stilton, Pear and Walnuts recipe
prep 30 minutes
cooking 7 minutes
6 sheets (20 × 40cm/8 × 16in) of ready-rolled filo pastry
70g (2½oz) butter, melted
2 small ripe pears
100g (3½oz) Stilton cheese, crumbled
12 walnut halves, roughly chopped
'I like to combine contrasting flavours and textures in my recipes, and this one is no exception,' says Angel. 'The silky-sweet pears perfectly balance the saltiness of the Stilton, and the walnuts and filo pastry provide a nice crunch. I prefer to use ripe pears as they are often sweeter and juicier than the firmer ones. Alternative fillings that you might like to try are: roasted tomato with goats’ cheese; Cheddar cheese with pickled onions; pancetta, pea and mint; and roasted shallot, red pepper and smoked sausage.'
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7.
2 Unroll the filo pastry and, using a sharp knife, cut each sheet into 8, so you have 48 10cm (4in) squares. Using a pastry brush, brush one side of each square with melted butter. To make the pastry baskets, lay 1 square on top of another at a 45-degree angle so the points are offset. Then add a 3rd and 4th square, arranging the points to fall where those of the first two squares fell, so you end up with a 4-layered star shape. When you have finished you should have 12 baskets.
3 Push each layered star into one of the holes in a tall 12-hole mini-muffin pan. Brush the edges with any remaining melted butter.
4 Bake the pastry baskets for 7 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool in the muffin pan.
5 Quarter the pears and remove their cores. Slice each quarter into 3 lengthways, then arrange 2 slices of pear in each pastry basket. Divide the crumbled Stilton evenly between the baskets, then do the same with the chopped walnuts.
6 Serve the baskets either individually or on a large serving plate.
Recipes taken from The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree, published by Mitchell Beazley.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor