Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Mad as a Hatter for Marvellous Macaroons Part II

What is the most logical thing to do after learning the art of making perfect Parisian macaroons!? Well, that would be to showcase your ‘baking talents’ at an event, thus Anna and I planned our first Mad Hatter Tea Party!

Two weeks before the party…
Our imaginations ran wild when we started compiling a list of the sweet and savoury treats we wanted to make. The initial draft included mini varieties of every dessert and baked good you could possibly think of (with the help of about 20 different cook books!) ranging from mini banoffee pies to classic cream and jam scones to woopie pies! Obviously, with only 2 pairs of hands doing the cooking, we had to cut the list down to ten items – five each.

The venue, date and time was set and the invitations were sent out. (There was no turning back!)

One week before the party…
With a week to go, the final menu was sent to our guests to get everyone's taste buds tingling and mouths watering!...

For the Sugar Daddy:

- Macaroons: Lemon Buttercream and Chocolate & Coconut Ganache
- Lemon Bars: Sticky Lemon Goo on a Shortbread base.
- Cupcakes: Double choc & Vanilla, with a Jam filling and Fudge icing.
- Profiteroles: Choux pastry puffs filled with Mascarpone Cream, topped with Chocolate.
- Raspberry & Almond Cake with a Vanilla glaze.
- Homemade Scones, Jam & Clotted Cream.
- Ginger & Lemon cake, with drizzle topping and a Lemon Buttercream.
- Choc n’ Choc Cookies.

For the Yummy Mummy:

- Sandwiches: Tuna & Cucumber, Salmon & Smoked Cheese, Egg mayo, Cheese avec Cheese
- Cheese twists

A selection of Teas & Coffees

Day before the party...
Even with all the ingredients bought and ready, I had completely underestimated the amount of time and effort it took to make multiples of five different tea party foods. I was in charge of the macaroons, profiteroles, double chocolate cookies, the raspberry & almond cake and all the sandwiches!

My best plan of action was to start with those that were the most time consuming to make and so at noon, I began with the macaroons. After a full day of manic multitasking, I successfully finished the macaroons, cookies and the raspberry & almond cake. However, through my fatigue in the evening, the profiteroles weren't such a success. They left the oven as solid savoury biscuits instead of light and airy puffs! In light of this, I decided it was time to sleep!

Day of the party...
It was fortunate that my final attempt at making choux pastry in the morning went well as there were few hours left until the start of the party. Once I added the finishing touches to the profiteroles by piping mascarpone cream into the choux pastry puffs and drizzling chocolate sauce over the top, I made four trays of sandwiches and was ready to go! I thankfully arrived at the venue just in time to finish laying the table before the majority of the guests arrived. Nothing could beat the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction once the table was fully laid…

Yes, Mad Hats were mandatory!

There was a fantastic turn out of almost thirty of our family and friends and the party continued well into the evening…with everyone leaving gleefully glutted! After the whole experience, I would definitely recommend throwing your own Mad Hatter Tea Party as an alternative social event.

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