Baking the perfect afternoon tea

Discover these delicious recipes courtesy of Bristol cookery school, Little Kitchen

Whether you’re planning a surprise Mother’s Day afternoon tea, organising some spring afternoon entertaining, or perhaps just looking to get creative in the kitchen for the sheer joy of it – these delicious recipes courtesy of Little Kitchen, a specialist cookery school based in Totterdown, will help bring the wow-factor! For more information visit www.little-kitchen.co.uk.

Chocolate mille feulle

[Pictured above in main image] 

Ingredients

For the crème pâtissière

375ml whole milk
50g egg yolks
40g caster sugar
25g corn flour
75g quality dark chocolate  
320g All-butter puff pastry
Icing sugar for dusting

Method

1. Pre heat oven to 220C/ Fan 200C. 

2. Place onto lined baking sheet, dust with icing sugar and top with another sheet of baking paper and another baking sheet to weigh it down. 

3. Place the pastry into the pre-heated oven for around 16 minutes, when golden take it from the oven, . Place back into oven and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until lightly caramelised and the pastry has cooked through.

4. To make the crème pâtissière: Scald the milk in a small pan, cream together the sugar and egg yolk with a little milk, when pale mix in the flours. Pour in the rest of the milk and stir well.

5. Return mixture to the washed out bowl, bring it slowly to the boil and continue to stir it (it will go lumpy to start with but keep stirring!) 

6. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla or chocolate.  Cover with cling film, to stop a skin forming and leave at room temperature.

7. Once firm, pass through a sieve to make smooth. Spoon into a piping bag and secure the end with a peg.

8. Using a large chefs knife, cut the puff pastry into 24 equal sized rectangular pieces, using a ruler to help with accuracy. You will need 3 equal sized pieces per serving. 

9. Pipe large beads of the crème pâtissière onto the tops of 8 puff pastry pieces, place another piece of pastry on top and repeat. Top with the remaining layer of pastry, making eight mille feuille with three layers each.

Ricotta and lemon pancakes with blueberry & cardamom compote

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

250g ricotta cheese
90g self-raising flour with a pinch of salt
30g/ 6 tsp caster sugar 
1 lemon, zested
3 Large eggs, separated 
30g unsalted butter, melted  + extra 5g
3 tbsp milk

Blueberry and cardamom compote:

200g Frozen or fresh blueberries
3-4 cardamom pods lightly crushed
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp water
200g Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped pistachios

Method

  1. Place the blueberries into a small saucepan with the sugar, water and pods. Heat on a medium- high temperature until the fruit starts to soften and most of the liquid has evaporated. Leave in saucepan for the cardamom pods to continue to infuse.

2. Melt the butter in a large heavy based frying pan.

3. Combine the lemon, ricotta, egg yolks and milk in a bowl, mix then add the butter. Sift in the flour and salt. Beat together with a wooden spoon until combined.

4. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl to stiff peaks, fold in with the other ingredients.

5. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry 4 pancakes at a time (making 12 in total), using 2 dessert spoon of  mixture per pancake, and fry for around 3 minutes on each side, until the pancake bounces when tapped with your finger. Keep warm in a clean tea towel.

6. Add the remaining butter, once melted and frothing, repeat with the remaining mixture 

7. Remove the cardamom pods and serve the pancakes with a dollop of yogurt, the blueberry compote and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

Orange mini cakes with a cardamom frosting

Ingredients
For the cakes:
2 oranges
2 medium egg, at room temperature
70g caster sugar
70g ground almonds
1/8 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Vegetable oil for oiling

For the cream cheese frosting:
40g unsalted butter, cubes, softened
20g cream cheese
80g icing sugar
2-3 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
Small handful of pistachios, roughly chopped

Method
1. Fill a saucepan 2/3 full with water, place the oranges in the water, cover and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 hours and keep checking water levels.

2. Remove the orange from the saucepan and allow to cool. Chop into 1/8s, removing and pips. Put into a food processor and blend to a puree. Reserve 120g for the cakes and freeze any remaining for up to a month.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C.

4. Brush a 24 hole mini muffin tin generously with vegetable oil.

5. Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy and increased about three times in volume.

6. Fold in the orange puree, followed by the ground almonds. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe the mixture into 20 of the holes.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to fully cool on the wire rack.
Make the cardamom cream frosting by beating the butter, then folding in the icing sugar, beating again until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat again. Fill a piping bag with the frosting.

8. Use a table knife or small pallet knife to remove cakes from the tins and up turn so the wide top is now the base.
Snip a ½ cm hole in the piping bag and pipe a mound of the frosting on each of the cakes.
Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.

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