May 7, 2011
High Tea is just so lovely.
I once took my sister for her birthday to a Very Swanky Hotel that specialises in high teas. To go with your dainties you got a lovely glass of sparkling wine as well as endless refills of your choice of tea. The tea was hot, the music was subdued, the waitresses were ever so professional.... until one of the poor girls with a tray full of champagne glasses full of bubbly caught her heel on a rug and dumped the whole lot in my sisters lap! The management was apologetic and covered us in towels, new bubbly was bought at the double, dry cleaning charges were promised- but personally I think a private suite to dry off in while our clothes dried would have been much more appropriate :) We went on to have a nice afternoon of (now complimentary) nibbles and beverages, but I got my own back by taking all the smoked salmon finger sandwiches off the buffet, just eating the salmon and hiding my bread under scrumpled up serviettes. But don't tell, they might remember who I was.
The atmosphere, the slight sense of 'grownup' superiority that makes you wonder what all the little people are doing, the chance to gossip with friends, wear something a little dressy for a change, the scent of Earl Grey drifting from fine china teacups, and perfect tiny little morsels to nibble on- unless of course you're one of us InTolerants who just sip tea wistfully and nibble on an apple in the background or steal sandwich fillings when no one is looking....
I don't think Tea occasions should be just for those special times or just for those non-InTolerants who can eat out without fear. Nor do I think it's acceptable just to crack open a packet of biscuits that call themselves gluten-free, but are made of cardboard and sawdust either. That's why I made these little Ginger Kisses.
Ginger Kisses are tiny little sponges of loveliness, slightly spiced and tasting ever so gently of honey. Sandwiched together with buttercream custard marbled with glace ginger syrup.... Yummm...
More sophisticated than a cupcake, more elegant than a slice, definitely not made of sawdust.
Perfect with a cup of tea.
1/3 cup of castor sugar
1 Tabsp Honey
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice - ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
Put eggs, sugar and honey in mixer and whip until tripled in size. We want as much air in this as possible.
Triple sift the dry ingredients, the easiest way to do this is to sift onto a piece of baking paper or flexible cutting sheet then tip into the bowl at the end.
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, again be as careful as you can to keep the little air bubbles in so the cakes are nice and fluffy.
Put small spoonfuls into greased patty tins, just barely filling them. And by the way, aren't these the cutest little tins around? I found them in an old pile of junk that someone was getting rid of and ever so kindly took the tins out of their hands. I'm nice like that.
Bake at 180* for about 12 mins. The cakes should just spring back when gently touched with a finger.
Cool for a minute in the pans, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
When the little kisses are cool, and just before eating, sandwich these together with some custard butter cream, or whipped cream. To keep the ginger theme going I folded through some of the ginger sauce with some of the finely chopped ginger chunks for extra yumminess. This will make 12 complete little kisses, so you need 2 tins of with 12 holes each.
You can find my buttercream recipe back in the blog a bit, or just quickly make up a custard with 1/2 cup lactose free milk, 1 egg yolk, 1 tab gfree custard powder and 1tab sugar. Whisk over heat until thickened and cool.
Beat in 3 tabs room temperature butter and 1/3 cup icing sugar, until it's light and fluffy.
Fold in some ginger syrup and place generous spoonfuls between the sponge kisses.
These should be served with a lovely cup of Earl Grey Tea, with a side of ambiance and gossip!