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The Perfect Tea

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 Buongiorno bakers, I think I should start by saying Ciao as right now I am in ITALIA!!! & it’s not just a holiday i’m on either. I’m here to stay for 5 months on an exchange programme which only means one thing…… a lot of italian food to come! (you can also follow my journey at casaalmare.me 😉 ) So before I headed off, as a final goodbye to my family and family friends, we hosted at tea party at our house. I was prepping all week to ensure that everything was just perfect and it couldn’t have gone any better. I decided to bake 5 items for the table which were: apple, cinnamon muffins, a banana coconut loaf, melting moments ;), hedgehog slice and the star of the show- my rhubarb, walnut, white chocolate crumble cake (deep breath). Alongside the bakes on the table was a vibrant seasonal fruit platter, a platter of vegetables, dips, salmon, bagels and other little condiments. Oh and I almost forgot there was a giant tub of Neapolitan ice-cream (with cones) which the kids absolutely lapped up! 

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As I decided to bake soooo much I thought it would be too long to put all the recipes and instructions in this one post. I will post the recipes on the blog all in good time but today I will just be sharing the pictures and memories, as well as some tips on what I believe makes up the perfect afternoon tea 🙂

It took a lot of time and thought on designing the menu for the afternoon and even though it was really nothing fancy I enjoyed putting the effort in and seeing great results.

I just knew I would be making my very trusted muffin recipe and I thought the combination of apple and cinnamon would be exciting to have. They looked amazing all stacked up and dressed in there oh so cute muffin cases!

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Now moving on to the banana, coconut loaf- another interesting combination but it’s rich flavour and moist inside was heavenly. I decorated the loaf with raisins and banana’s and if I do say so myself: it looked sensational!

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 So moving on to the biscuits… melting moments of course. This time I cut them into abstract shapes decorated them playfully for a touch of silliness. 

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Hedgehog slice was such a hit with the chocolate fanatics. They were fudgey and delicious and looked very inviting sprinkled with coconut and scattered on top of each other.

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For the centre piece and my personal favourite I baked a (big breath) white chocolate, walnut, rhubarb, crumble cake! It was so yummmyyy I could eat it all day every day and it was definitely the guests favourite of the afternoon.

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My top 3 tips for a successful tea party would be:

  1. Play around with interesting, tasty flavour combinations to keep the experience exciting and not just the boring, old traditional treats.
  2. Try and make a variety of sweets, so that all your guests will be satisfied whether they are chocoholics, nutty for nuts, fruit fanatics, cake eaters, biscuit munchers, loaf lovers, silly about slice or mad about muffins!
  3. Finally make everything as colourful and vivid as possible. Remember we eat with our eyes so make it as ravenous as you possibly can.Go wild with your decorations and have fun!

So there you have it, the recipe to my perfect tea. I must say the food was so spectacular however just being surrounded by my loved ones is what made the day so special. I hope this was helpful for any of you out there planning a relaxed and delicious party in the future.

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Love, Suz 🙂 ❤

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Chewy Coconut Meringue with Homemade Lemon Curd

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I’d like to begin by apologising for not posting for so long! I have been busy getting ready for some exciting surprises which I will let you in about soon. Hopefully I can make it up to you with these little delights. What are they you ask? They’re sweet, chewy, crunchy, tangy and soft- they are my coconut meringue bites with a lemon curd surprise! So so simple to bake and such a cute little treat to tickle your taste buds.

Begin by lining two baking trays and preheating the oven to 120 degrees. It’s really important to measure out your ingredients precisely for the perfect result. Once your confident to begin start whisking up the egg whites in a large bowl. At this stage you can add a pinch of salt or cream of tartar to stabilise the egg before the sugar goes in.

Once your mixture has reached soft peaks, add the sugar gradually between whisks. When all the sugar has been added continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mix is thick and glossy. Also make sure all the sugar is dissolved. I use the age old trick of rubbing a touch of meringue between my thumb and my index forefinger. IMG_7996

IMG_7999When you’re happy with the constancy carefully fold in the shredded coconut for lovely flavour and the pink food colouring for aesthetics.  

 Now you can pipe or spoon out the meringues onto you’re prepared baking trays. On one baking tray pipe large circles and on the other do little swirls which will be the hats on the lemon curd treat. Pop them in the oven, turning the heat down to 90 degrees celsius for 1.5 hours then turn the heat off and let them sit for a further 2 hours… I know it seems long but it’s worth it for the best meringues you’ll eat. When they come out of the oven they should be crisp and sound hollow when tapped on the base. They will be light, crisp and chewy on the inside mmmmm

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Now to get creative… simply pull out you’re homemade lemon curd (or store bought if you must) and put a teaspoon of lemon curd on top of the larger (base) meringue and top it off with you’re little swirly meringue hats. So cute, so impressive and so worth it!

Ingredients (makes 12 large):

  • 4 Egg Whites (ROOM TEMPERATURE!)
  • Pinch of salt or cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • Dessicated coconut
  • 12 tsp lemon curd

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There you go. Delish (licks lips)! 

Hope you loved today’s recipe 

Love, Suz ❤