Savoury Afternoon Tea
I love the idea of Afternoon Tea but I don’t really have a sweet tooth – so the idea of the Savoury Afternoon Tea was born. Now, making afternoon savoury might sound easy but when you are trying to achieve the same look as the sweet counterpart, things get a bit more difficult.
Not one to shy away from challenges (at least in the cooking department), I started looking at ideas on how to turn sweet into savoury. So here is what I came up with:
- Blue Cheese & Walnut Biscuits
- Macarons with Liver Paté (recipe)
- Eclairs with Salmon Paté (recipe)
- Mini Tacos (recipe)
- Tomato Jelly
- Herb Shortbread (recipe)
- Scones with Goat Cheese Mousse
- Beetroot Fudge
First off, not everything worked out the way I wanted it. The beetroot fudge turned into a beetroot mousse (still need to try that one again to figure out how to set it properly) and the tomato jelly wasn’t to everyone’s taste (although I loved it). I am not sharing the recipes for the fudge and tomato jelly – just yet as I like to work them over a bit more to ensure that they will work.
For the eclairs, I have left the top plain – for sweet eclairs you would normally have a coating on top like chocolate or icing. I think it would have been better with a topping but couldn’t come up with anything. The macarons are a different matter – I am not the best at making them. I blame my oven as it doesn’t go low enough (I have a gas cooker and oven and have regretted the oven gas ever since I got the cooker) but if you like to learn more on how to make macarons, I can recommend Christine Girault of La Spoon who gives classes regularly in Cork. I used a recipe I was hoping would result in a more stable mix and it did but my oven bleached out the colour – they were supposed to be pink. Here is the recipe I used for the egg white mix. And now I have to admit something – I don’t like making liver paté and since I have found a delicious ready-made one by Kinsale Bay Food Company, I used that. I used the plain version but they also do red onion marmalade and pepper relish ones. And since I am in confessing mode – I also used their salmon mousse. If you can’t do it better than ready-made, use it. Everything else was homemade – honestly.
The mini tacos are so easy to make, I am not going to give you amounts and times – it is just too easy and you can use fillings as you like.
it took quite a while to make each component of the Savoury Afternoon Tea but a lot of the items can be prepared ahead of time so you can actually spread the work out.
Macarons with Liver Paté
- 1 mix of macaron shells, recipe here
- 1 pack of Kinsale Bay Food Company Chicken Liver Paté
- 200g Creme Cheese
Bake the macarons as directed in the recipe. In a bowl, mix together the liver paté and cream cheese. Fill the mix into a piping bag with a star nozzle (size depends on the size of your macarons). Pipe the mix on half of the macaron shells and top carefully with the other half. Arrange nicely on a platter.
Eclairs with Salmon Mousse
- 80g butter
- 250ml water
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 pack Kinsale Bay Food Company Salmon Mousse
- 100g cream cheese
Preheat your oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl mix the salmon mousse and cream cheese until smooth. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and set aside
Place the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When the butter has melted, add the sifted flour and with a wooden spoon beat the four into the water butter mix until the mixture comes away from the base of the saucepan and starts forming a ball. Transfer the mix into a bowl and beat in the eggs gradually (you can do this with an electric mixer – I was silly enough to do it with the wooden spoon throughout, felt arm muscles I didn’t know I had). Continue until the mix becomes glossy. The mix should have cooled by then to be handled.
Fill the mix into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle – it’s up to you what type of nozzle you like to use, I used a plain nozzle but a star one would create a nice pattern. On the sheet of baking paper, I drew lines of 6cm with space of 6 cm in between and laid the side with the lines upside down on the baking tray. Pipe the mix onto these lines (you can do them longer if you like but I wanted bite size eclairs). Bake in the oven for about 15 – 20 mins (depending on the size). You want a nice golden brown and a crisp top. Remove from the oven and cool on a wired rack.
Cut a slit (without cutting through) in each of the eclairs and pipe the salmon mousse into each and arrange nicely on a platter.
- 160g plain flour
- 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 tbsp rosemary leaves (whizzed up in a food processor or chopped really fine)
- 1/2tsp salt
- 110g butter, cubed
- selection of herbal leaves like parsley, sage and thyme
In a food processor, add the flour, parmesan, minced rosemary, salt and butter. Pulse to combine into a crumbly mix. If the mix is too dry add a little water (not too much, it is easier to add than to take away). Pour the mix onto a clean surface and bring together with your hands; you want a smooth texture with no flour showing. Wrap in clingfilm (if you flatten the dough, it will be easier to roll out later) and place in a fridge for at least 30 mins.
When you are ready to start again, preheat the oven to 160-180C (lower temperature for a fan assisted oven). Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.
Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness – instead of rolling the dough out on a floured surface, use two sheets of clingfilm or parchment paper and roll out between the sheets (adding flour will result in a more dense consistency). Arrange the leaves of the herbs evenly on top of the dough and covering with a sheet of clingfilm or parchment paper roll over to indent the leaves into the dough. Using a round cutter (I used a 4cm fluted cutter) cut out rounds and place on the prepared baking tray, leaving space between.
Bake for approx. 10-15 minutes. You don’t want it to brown, just to start to turn a light gold on the edges. Leave to rest and place on a wired rack to cool. Arrange on a platter or store in an airtight container until needed.
- tortilla wraps
- shredded lettuce
- cherry tomatoes
- grated cheese (I used cheddar)
- sour cream
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 160C.
Using a round cutter (I wanted bite-size tacos so used a 6cm fluted cutter) cut out as many tacos as you like to serve – you get about 6 out of a normally sized tortilla wrap. Brush each circle with olive oil and place each one in an upside-down muffin tin between the openings. Place in the oven until crisp and just slightly browned (be careful as it turns black quite quickly). Leave to cool and fill with lettuce, tomatoes & cheese and top with guacamole and sour cream and place half of a cherry tomato and add herbs to decorate. Serve on a platter.
Disclaimer: Although I have not been paid to use Kinsale Bay Food Company products, I am associated with the company. I happen to like the salmon mousse and chicken liver paté and the reaction of my guests at the Savoury Afternoon Party proved me right to use the products.
Your savoury scones look delicious, could I please have the recipe for them.
Hello Lee, the scones were yummy and so adaptable as you can use any filling you like. Here is the basic recipe: 225g self-raising flour, 2 tsp sugar, 30g grated parmesan, 60g grated cheddar, approx. 200-250ml milk. Preheat oven to 160C. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add enough milk to form a smooth dough. Flatten out with your hand and using a round cutter cut rounds. Arrange scones on baking sheet, not touching and bake for approx. 18-20 mins or until golden brown. You can also brush the top of the scones with beaten eggs and sprinkle grated cheddar over top before baking.
You can also just use your general scones recipe, leaving out any fruit and using less sugar and add cheese.
Let me know how you get on.