Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Christmas Special 3: High Tea Party

It’s already February so let’s get this last Christmas Special done right before Valentines. After which I can dump straight into Valentines. I’m thinking of skipping that this year though, maybe making something small, but I feel way too busy to bake a lot.
Anyway, Christmas first! The last rant of mine about this will be the High Tea Party I organised. For some reason I actually volunteered to do this, and on my own at that. Together with my helper I started shopping and baking 2 days before the high tea and I was still busy like hell last moment and had to leave some of the things on my list out.


There you have about all that we made. As you can see we focused on sandwiches! A lot of it was just randomly getting things out of the fridge and combinating them, making things up along the way. A few things we used from my Sandwich Mania post from before. We ended up with these combinations:
- (Canned) Tuna with corn and lettuce
- Cheese/ham and cranberry jam
- Eggsalad
- Smoked salmon and herb spread
- Cheese and ham
- Port Salut (cheese) with cranberry jam
For the herb spread we bought a version of Philadelphia Basil or so, because I didn’t have the time to make a -way better tasting- homemade herb spread (which I called herb paste, but I believe herb spread is a better word for it).


Look at the cute little tree-details cut from cheese that we put on some of the sandwhiches!! I got a set of cutters from the Super Sweetest Loveliest Amazing Sexy Etc. person in the whole. wide. world. *love* Sorry I don't know what the name of the tree or bush it comes from is called, but the forestelf knows! (hence the forest part of forestelf, it's an elf that lives in the forest and knows it.)


Next to the sandwiches I also made sweet buns: Vanilla pans. I gave some of the buns a chocolate inside by making a whole into it, putting loads of chocolate in and closing it again. For the buns this time, I experimented with just a plain white flour, baked in the bread machine like normal white bread. Of course, before the baking I took them out, covered them and let them rise and put them in the oven. Saving myself a lot of time by replacing the making of the bread dough by hand by a machine process (if you can follow me here).
We added Cinnamon Butter and Cranberry jam in little bowls to go with the buns or any of the sandwiches. The third bowl contained more icing for the cupcakes I made. These were just simple vanilla cupcakes I posted before, to not make it too complicated. Also I made a Rich Fruit Cake, which is my most delicious specialty! A recipe of which I have, as of yet, still kept secret! *muahaha* I left the fruit for this cake to soak in cognac overnight. Apparently I took my dad’s most expensive cognac for this, but it resulted in a cake with a rich cognac after-taste which really suited it. I didn’t hear anyone complaining.


Of course we couldn’t stop after the sandwiches and some cake. To add up to the savoury part of the High Tea, we added Wraps and filled eggs to it. Here’s how you do that: (easiest ever really)

Ingredients for Wraps:
- Wraps (for Tortillas or so)
- Smoked Salmon or Ham
- Herb spread (Philadelphia Basil or something alike)

1. Lay out a wrap in front of you and spread a thick layer of herb spread on the bottom half.
2. Place a layer of salmon or ham on the herb spread, just the bottom half again.
3. Start rolling the wrap up, starting from the filled bottom half. Cut off any excess parts and make sure you don’t overdo the wrap. You should still be able to taste what’s in it, rather than that wrap.


Recipe for Filled eggs:
1. Boil the eggs, let them cool down a bit and cut them in half. Put the egg-yellow in a small bowl and then add (in whatever order you like, leaving out whatever you like): mayonnaise, ketchup, any sauces, garlic, chives, leek, basil, parsley and any herbs you like, salt & pepper and whatever else you can find in your cupboards that might be nice with it!
2. Fill the empty egg shells with your eggfilling!

There, now I managed to put a recipe in as well. Two even! Not that they might’ve been obvious, but regardless!
Then we also made more of the sweet stuff. We made little bonbons just like the Valentine’s bonbons I made before. Some of them though -and you can’t tell which- were Peanut Butter Balls. I’m telling you, these are DELICIOUS! Perhaps you need to like peanut butter a little before eating these, or peanuts in general, but you can’t not like these. Watch out with eating too much though! Here comes another recipe!


Ingredients for Peanut Butter Balls:
250 grams peanut butter (with or without pieces)
20 grams butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 grams powdered sugar
200 grams chocolate

1. Microwave the peanut butter and butter together slightly and mix them properly. Add the vanilla extract at this point too (after the microwaving).
2. Leave the butters to cool a bit, but it should still be stir-able. Add the powdered sugar and keep adding until you get a thick mixture (dough or knead-able thick).
3. Don’t knead the mixture and don’t touch it too much or heat it up, but quickly roll balls from the dough. You’ll notice if you keep kneading, the peanut butter will melt in your hands. Put the balls on a plate and leave it in the fridge.
4. After the peanut butter balls are set, an hour should do it, you can cover them in chocolate. Double boil the chocolate and dip the balls in, then leave them to dry on a plate, or the counter top. Make sure to cover these with cling foil or grease proof paper, so they don’t stick.

I’m not very sure about the measurements any more. I always buy a bit more than what I need and I might end up using it all, but it should work with this as well. If you wonder why we made both bonbons look the same: we simple had light and dark chocolate to coat them and used both for each!


And we didn’t stop there either, we also made meringues! This one is easy as well, namely mixing eggs till they turn stiff, then adding a lot of powdered sugar until you the mixture turns thick and then shaping them! It’s the same recipe as I used for the Coconut Delights, only not using any lemon or coconut and thus skipping steps 3,4 and 7. Although, covering these in chocolate, or dipping them in chocolate half, would’ve been a nice, but even more time consuming, idea. As we were short of time, we didn’t do this. I might also just not have thought of it at that time. Then we added some little chocolates, some my sis wanted to add and some filled chocolate covered in white balls that are my all time christmas favourite (we hang them in the tree).


I think that’s where we ended it. Hopefully I haven’t bored you with probably my longest post ever and if you ever decide to do this much on your own – GET HELP!

Ps: Don't forget the tea! We have a nice teabox that I filled with over 20 different types of tea. My favourite of the day were Melon and Vanilla, Jasmin is also good! Whatever you like!

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