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Afternoon tea - maroque style

Afternoon tea - maroque style

Contents
 

1 Occasion

2 Menu

3 Wine notes

4 Planning ahead

5 Setting the scene

6 Recipes

 

Occasion

There is something genteel and oh-so-English about the tradition of afternoon tea.  Perhaps it's the luxury of taking time in the middle of the afternoon to relax, sip tea, eat fancy nibbly bits and enjoy people's company.

I thought it would be quite fun to add a Moroccan twist to the English tradition: the Moroccans have the most divine sweet pastries, and mint tea is an excellent alternative to Earl Grey.  I hope you enjoy my choice of Maroque-style afternoon tea.

Menu

A glass of Champagne

Palmiers with a touch of harrisa

Toasted almonds with coriander

~~~

Briouates of goat's cheese, sundried tomato and coriander

Smoked salmon sandwiches with preserved lemon mayonnaise

Tahini dressed chicken and baby spinach sandwiches

Saffron scented mini brioches with egg and cress

~~~

Baby gazelle's horns

Marrakech kisses

Dates stuffed with honeyed almonds

Sultana and orange scones, served with clotted cream and fig jam

Served with glasses of fresh mint tea

~~~

Wine notes

Chilled Champagne, is there anything nicer on a warm balmy afternoon?  And fresh mint tea, lots of tea.

Pimms can be a nice alternative or fresh homemade lemonade.

Planning ahead

The palmiers can be made in the morning.

The nuts can be prepared and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

The uncooked briouates can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours or frozen for 2 weeks.  Bring to room temperature before cooking.

The sandwiches really need to be made at the last minute.

The saffron buns can be made in the morning, or the cheats version is only a two minute assembly.

The gazelle horns can be made in the morning, although they do keep for a few days.

For Marrakech kisses, the meringue part can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week.

The honeyed dates can be made and stored, covered for a couple of days.

Scones, however, are really best eaten within a few hours of being made.

Setting the scene

Make an occasion of your afternoon tea: get the tablecloth out; dust off the pretty side plates; choose some dainty tea glasses; and assemble the cake stand that has been in the loft for too many years to mention.

Use the occasion to buy yourself some pretty flowers for the table and have a grand afternoon - take the table outside if the weather's good and enjoy a decadent few hours!

Palmiers with a touch of harrisa

These moreish nibbles need just a little bit of heat: you can add more if you're serving them as-pre dinner nibbles, but for afternoon tea I find it's best to keep the spice on the light side.



250g puff pastry (the ready rolled makes life even easier)
3 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp harissa paste (I like Seasoned Pioneers' mix that is made up as required with fresh garlic)
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Pre heat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. Unroll the pastry on to a lightly floured surface and trim to a 20cm x 25cm rectangle.

2. Combine the harissa, oil and cheese to form a paste. Brush 3/4 of the paste all over the pastry to give an even coating.

3. Fold both long sides of pastry in to meet in the middle, spread over a layer of the remaining paste and fold the pastry in half lengthways. Press down firmly. You should have a long thin sausage shaped pastry. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes. I find it makes cutting them easier.

4. Using a sharp knife cut into 24 thin slices and transfer, cut side down, to two greased baking sheets.

5. Bake for 10 minutes and turn over and bake for a further 3 to 4 minutes until the pastries are crisp and golden. Cool on a wire rack: best eaten the same day.

Makes about 24

Toasted almonds with coriander

Excellent with a glass of fizz



3 tbsp olive oil
100g blanched almonds
1 tsp ground coriander
Sea salt

1. Heat the oil in a small heavy based frying pan, add the nuts in several batches and stir fry over a medium heat until evenly browned.

2. Using a slotted spoon transfer the nuts to a bowl and add the coriander and plenty of sea salt. Stir well to coat the nuts, and allow them to cool. Serve with a glass of fizz. Will store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Serves 4

Briouates of goat's cheese, sundried tomato and coriander



170g mild soft goat's cheese, at room temperature
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp of fresh chopped coriander
2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
12 sheets of filo pastry
olive oil for brushing

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5. In a small food processor mix the goat's cheese and the cream, then add the chopped coriander, chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper. Mix until well blended.

2. Place one sheet of filo on a dry work surface (keep the others covered with a damp tea towel to stop them drying out). Brush the sheet with oil and cut into strips about 10cm wide by 35cm long.

3. Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling at the top right corner of a strip. Fold the corner covered with the filling down to make a triangle. Continue folding the triangle down the length of the strip, to make a briouate. Brush the finished briouate with oil and set aside. Repeat the above until all the filling is used. I make half of the mixture into filo cigars, as they can be a little less fiddly. Use the same size of filo, add a heaped teaspoon of mixture at one end, roll halfway down and fold in the edges on each side and continue to roll. Brush with oil and add to tray.

4. Place the finished briouates on a lightly greased baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

5. Serve warm. The uncooked briouates can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours or frozen for 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Makes 12 briouates

Smoked salmon sandwiches with preserved lemon mayonnaise

Allow one or two fingers of each sandwich type per person if serving as part of an afternoon tea. Each of the sandwiches makes two whole or six fingers.



4 rounds of white bread
butter for spreading
4 slices of smoked salmon, with any brown meat removed
1 preserved lemon
3 tbsp mayonnaise (your own is best, but a good quality full fat jar is fine)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the preserved lemon into quarters and remove the inside. You only need the rind for this recipe. Chop the lemon rind into little bits and mix 2 tsp of chopped lemon into the mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. The lemons will be salty so go easy on the salt.

2. Lightly butter the bread and remove the crusts.

3. On one side of the buttered bread place a layer of smoked salmon. On the other piece of bread spread a layer of mayonnaise, place on top of the smoked salmon, and cut into three fingers with a very sharp knife.

4. Serve as part of a sandwich selection.

Makes 6 fingers

Tahini dressing



3 tbsp of tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove crushed
2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl mix the tahini, lemon juice and garlic together and season with salt and pepper to taste. This should have the consistency of pouring cream. If it is too thick add a little more water.

2. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes and add more water if needed. Serve with a selection of raw vegetables and warm bread. This dip also makes a great dressing for chicken.

Serves 4

Tahini dressed chicken and baby spinach sandwiches

Allow one or two fingers of each sandwich type per person if serving as part of an afternoon tea. Each of the sandwiches makes two whole or six fingers.



4 rounds of wholemeal bread
butter for spreading
2 to 3 tsp of tahini dressing
1 roasted chicken breast, cut into strips
handful of washed baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the chicken strips with a couple of tablespoons of the tahini dressing and combine well.

2. Lightly butter the bread and remove the crusts (this is afternoon tea, after all).

3. On one side of the buttered bread spread a layer of dressed chicken. Add a layer of spinach leaves on top and then cover with a piece of buttered bread. Cut into three fingers with a very sharp knife.

4. Serve as part of a sandwich selection.

Makes 6 fingers

Saffron scented mini brioches

These delightful little rolls are a real treat. As with all bread making, this is great to do when you have time on your hands, if not see cheat's version at the end.



To make a yeast batter:
2 tsp dried yeast (not quick acting) or 15g fresh yeast
3 tbsp milk, hand hot
1tsp sugar
25g strong white flour

Other ingredients:
200g strong white flour
Large pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
50g butter
2 eggs + 1extra for glazing
Small pinch of saffron threads

1. To make the yeast batter, stir the yeast into the warm milk (if using dry yeast leave to stand for 5 minutes). Mix in the flour and the sugar and leave in a warm place until frothy, about 20 minutes.

2. In a small bowl beat the eggs and mix in the saffron strands and leave to stand until the yeast batter is ready.

3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and sugar together and rub in the butter.

4. Mix the beaten eggs and yeast batter together, add to the flour mixture, and work to a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.

5. Put the dough into a lightly greased large bowl and cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Grease a tray of small muffin tins, turn the risen dough back onto the side and knock back.

7. Heat the oven to 230C. Divide the dough into 12 equal sections, roll and place into the greased tins. Glaze with beaten egg, cover with lightly greased cling film and put in a warm place to rise, about 40 minutes.

8. Bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack: they should be cold before filling with the egg mixture.

9. Cheat's version - Buy some brioche fingers and cut into small sandwiches to fill with egg and cress. No saffron or wonderful smells of baking bread, but much quicker.

Makes 12 small brioches

Egg and cress filling for brioche rolls



2 eggs
1-2 tbsp of creme fraiche
1 spring onion, chopped
cress to serve
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil water in a pan and gently add the eggs, return to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Cool the eggs under running cold water, peel and mash in a small bowl.

2. Mix in the chopped spring onions and 1 to 2 tbsp of creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Split the brioche rolls and spread the egg mixture in the middle. Add a little cress on top of the egg mixture and close the roll together.

4. Serve as part of a sandwich selection.

Serves 4

Baby gazelle's horns

These very sweet Moroccan pastries are called Kabb el Ghzal and are excellent with a glass of sweet mint tea. The biscuit shell pastry encases a rich, soft, sweet marzipan filling.



For the pastry:
300g plain flour
20g butter, melted
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp orange flower water

For the almond filling:
150g ground almonds
45g icing sugar + extra to serve
1 1/2 tsp orange flower water
1/2 egg white beaten20g butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract

1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a large bowl, add the melted butter, egg yolk, orange flower water and 30ml of cold water, mix to form a rough pastry.

2. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth: this can take a little while and effort. Divide in two and wrap each half in cling film and rest for 20 minutes.

3. To make the almond filling, mix all the ingredients to form a stiff paste. Shape into balls of about a teaspoon each, roll these to form torpedo shapes about 4cm long. Place on a baking sheet and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.

4. Roll one ball of the dough out and trim it to form a rectangle 25cm x 35cm. Lay 3 almond shapes along the bottom edge of the pastry about 3cm from the bottom edge and about a 3cm gap between each. Lightly brush the pastry edge and between the filling with water. Turn the bottom edge of the pastry over the filling and press down firmly to seal.

5. Cut around the filling with a flutted pastry wheel to form a half moon shape. Place on a greased baking tray and gently bend upwards on the filling side to form a crescent.

6. Trim the remaining pastry sheet to give a straight edge and repeat the process, until the sheet is used. This should give you 12 pastries: repeating with the second sheet should give you 24 pastries in total.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly coloured. Transfer to a wire rack and dust with icing sugar while still hot.

Serves 4

Marrakech kisses - rose petal meringues with rose cream



For the meringues:
4 large free range egg whites, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
1 tsp dried rose petals, chopped

For the rose filling:
200ml double cream
1 tbsp rose syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a couple of baking trays with non stick silicone baking parchment.

2. Tip the egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Beat them on medium speed with a electric hand whisk until they stand in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

3. Pour in about half the sugar and whisk until the mixture becomes very thick, firm and shiny. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until thick firm and shiny: all the sugar needs to dissolve. Stir in the rose petals.

4. Carefully spoon the meringue into a piping bag and pipe onto your lined baking sheets, 20 rounds about 5cm across and 3 layers high. They will spread a little as they cook, so leave enough space between each one.

5. Bake the meringues for 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 120C and bake for a further 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, they should easily peel away from the parchment and cool on a wire rack. They can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week.

7. For the rose filling

8. In a bowl add the cream and rose syrup and whisk to form soft peaks.

9. Sandwich two halves of the meringue together with cream and serve.

Makes 20 kisses (40 meringue halves)

Dates stuffed with honeyed almonds



20 dates
20 almonds
2 tsp honey

1. In a small pan add the almonds and warm over a gentle heat until starting to colour, take off the heat add the honey, letting it bubble in the pan, return to a gentle heat and bring back to bubbling until beginning to caramelise: be careful not to burn the almonds or the honey.

2. While they are still hot, tip the almonds onto a piece of baking parchment and separate them carefully (they will be very hot, but will set into a single lump if you don't separate them). Allow to cool and go very sticky.

3. Split the dates lengthways and remove the stone. Add a sticky almond in the split of each date and lightly press the date together. Serve with mint tea or strong coffee.

Makes 20 filled dates

Sultana and orange scones, served with clotted cream and fig jam



225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50g soft butter
25g sugar
50g sultanas
25ml fresh orange juice
125ml milk + extra for glazing
fig jam
clotted cream

1. Soak the sultanas in the orange juice for about 30 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

3. Cut the butter into small chunks and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4. Drain the sultanas, reserving the orange juice. Add the sugar and sultanas to the flour mix. Gradually add the milk and orange juice, mixing to a light manageable dough, using a round bladed knife.

5. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll out to a thickness of 2cm. Cut out the scones with a fluted 5cm pastry cutter. Re-knead the trimmings lightly to cut out more scones.

6. Brush the tops of the scones with milk and put on a lightly greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve still slightly warm with clotted cream and fig jam.

Makes 12 scones

Mint tea



300ml (1/2 pint) water
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp Maroque mint tea blend
 
OR
 
300ml (1/2 pint) water
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp green tea
bunch of fresh mint leaves

1. Bring the water to the boil.  Put the sugar and the mint tea (or green tea with fresh mint leaves) in a small traditional Moroccan tea pot, and add the boiling water.

2. Leave to steep for 5 minutes, serve hot.

Makes enough for 2 glasses

printed from www.maroque.co.uk

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