Teatime: Royally-Inspired Dessert Recipes

tea

This decadent and spicy cookie was featured on the Toronto Shangri-La Hotel’s 2019 Spring Botanical Afternoon Tea. It's soft and chewy with a blood-orange gel centre. Photo: Courtesy of the Shangri-La Hotel

What better way to take a pause than to linger over a cuppa and some sweets?  Pip, pip! Here are five royal dessert recipes to pair with your tea.

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Photo: Courtesy of Shangri-La

1. Chef Emma’s Granny’s Victoria Sponge Cake
From the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London

Sponge Cake
6 eggs
400 g sugar
400 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
400 g butter

Butter Cream
100 g butter, softened
140 g icing sugar, sifted

Strawberry Topping
1 jar (600 g) strawberry jam

Sponge Cake

Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Break eggs into large bowl; add sugar, flour, baking powder and butter. Mix well. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake at 320 F for 30 minutes or until golden and cake springs back when pressed. Let cool.

Butter Cream

With electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar. Spread over bottom of one of the cakes. Top with strawberry jam and sandwich with remaining sponge cake. Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

tea
Photo: Courtesy of Shangri-La

2. Rosemary and Zephyr Panna Cotta
From the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

This decadent white chocolate treat was featured on the hotel’s 2019 Spring Botanical Afternoon Tea. It’s aromatic and fresh with a subtle botanic note. This dessert is made of rosemary panna cotta, apple and celery jelly and coriander granola and is best served in clear glass verrines or dessert bowls to showcase its delicate layers.

Yield: 20, 2-oz. servings

Rosemary Panna Cotta
12 g gelatin
560 g heavy cream
7 g rosemary, roughly chopped
375 g cold milk
300 g Zephyr chocolate or other high-quality white chocolate

Bloom gelatin in cold water as per package instructions; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, bring cream to boil with the rosemary. Let steep for 15 minutes, then mix with a hand blender. Strain with a fine sieve to remove rosemary pieces. Pour hot cream over chocolate to melt; stir and add gelatin. Stir in cold milk. Strain mixture through a fine sieve; pipe into serving glasses until glasses are half full.

Apple and Celery Jelly
9 g gelatin
250 g apple juice
20 g granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon
150 g cold celery juice
Green food colour

Bloom gelatin in cold water as per package instructions; set aside. In a saucepan, heat apple juice until slightly warm (do not bring to a boil). Stir in sugar, gelatin and lemon juice until sugar has dissolved. Stir in cold celery juice and enough green food colour to reach desired colour. Let mixture set overnight. Once set, check colour, adding more colour if needed for a fresh green tone.

Coriander Granola
145 g coconut oil
155 g maple syrup
75 g honey
420 g rolled oats
97 g sliced almonds
105 g sunflower seeds
35 g coriander seeds
1 tsp salt
30 g ribbon coconut

In small saucepan, heat coconut oil, maple syrup and honey until coconut oil melts. In bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix in coconut oil mixture until combined. Spread onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 300 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.

Top each glass with a layer of Apple and Celery Jelly, diced Granny Smith apple and Coriander Granola. Garnish with celery cress or edible flowers.

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Photo: Courtesy of Shangri-La

3. Chocolate and Ginger Cookie
From the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

This decadent and spicy cookie was featured on the hotel’s 2019 Spring Botanical Afternoon Tea. It’s soft and chewy with a blood-orange gel centre.

Yield: 20 cookies

Blood Orange Gel

20 g granulated sugar
6 g agar
1 g salt
50 g blood orange purée (or substitute with 100% pure orange or mandarin juice)

In a bowl, combine sugar, agar and salt. In saucepan, warm the blood orange purée (or substitute); add in sugar mixture. Bring to a boil for approximately 30 seconds. Pour into shallow container to cool. Once mixture has set, blend until smooth using Thermomix or blender. Set aside.

Chocolate and Ginger Cookie Dough

190 g all-purpose flour
20 g cocoa powder
½ tsp ginger powder
4 g baking soda
65 g unsalted butter
40 g almond paste
50 g light brown sugar
75 g granulated sugar
2 g salt
1 large egg, beaten
30 g dark chocolate chocolate chips
6-8 pieces candied ginger, thinly sliced

In bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, ginger powder and baking soda. In separate bowl and using electric mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter, almond paste, brown and granulated sugars and salt; gradually add in egg. Add sifted flour mixture. Once all ingredients are combined, stir in chocolate chips.

Form into 20 g balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake at 350 F for 6 to 8 minutes.

Pipe blood orange gel onto cookies while still warm and garnish with slice of candied ginger.

Photo: Bite Me More

4. Lemon-glazed Scones
From Bite Me More

Moist and delicious, these Lemon-glazed Scones deliver terrific tartness perfect for breakfast, brunch or tea.

Yield: 8 scones

Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream,
to brush on dough

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp melted butter

Scones
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter with your fingers until pea-sized crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk heavy cream, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolk and vanilla extract. • Add to flour mixture and stir until moistened.
Dump onto a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 5 or 6 times, careful not to overwork. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle and brush with 1 tbsp heavy cream. Cut into 8 wedges and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 F for 14 to 15 minutes or until tops are golden.

Glaze
Whisk icing sugar, lemon juice and melted butter. Drizzle over cooled scones.

Photo: Bite Me More

5. Cinnamon Coffee Scones
From Bite Me More

In many ways, not only are these Cinnamon Coffee Scones the perfect baked good (each bite is a mix of cinnamon, coffee and brown sugar mingled with the moist and buttery scone), but they are also extremely easy to make. While the thought of baking scones conjures up British perfectionism, these are the most forgiving pastry, ideal for both beginner bakers and a steaming cup of tea.

Yield: 8 scones

Cinnamon-Coffee Filling
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp finely ground coffee
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

Scones
2½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Egg Wash
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 tsp sugar

Glaze
1¼ cups icing sugar
3 tbsp strong brewed coffee, cooled

Cinnamon-Coffee Filling
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, coffee and cinnamon. Add butter; incorporate until coarse crumbs and set aside.

Scones
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter with your fingers until pea size crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, egg and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until moistened.
Dump onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 to 6 times. • Divide dough in half; pat each half into an 8-inch circle.
Sprinkle Cinnamon-Coffee Filling over one circle; place circle over top. Pinch edges gently together.
Cut into 8 wedges and place each wedge on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Egg Wash
Brush wedges with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 F oven for
20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden.

Glaze
Whisk together icing sugar and coffee
in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled scones.

Royal Etiquette Tips For Afternoon Tea

Not far from the royal borough of Kensington in London, the Sloane Rangers might be spotted having an afternoon tea at the Draycott Hotel in Chelsea. For a most civilized tea, the Draycott offers these five tips.

Know your teas and not just the blends

Given the nuances of British tradition, there is more than one iteration of the ceremony. Cream Tea is simply just tea with scones; Afternoon Tea is tea with scones, sandwiches and cakes; Royal Tea consists of Champagne, tea, scones, savouries and sweets; High Tea is deemed as an early evening snack, traditionally served at the formal dining table later on in the day, between 5 and 7 p.m. and made up of tea and savouries.

Which first, cream or jam?

Afternoon tea enthusiasts are yet to agree on which goes first when accompanying a scone. The Devonshire tradition is cream, then jam; the Cornish, however, believe in jam, then cream. The conclusion? Either taste just as good to us!

No pinkie, please

Many believed this was first done to offset the balance of the cup and make it easier to drink. However, try this for yourself, and it’s obvious this is not necessary

Pour the milk last

One should first add sugar (if required). This should then be followed by tea in order to check the strength meets your preference. After this you should add milk (again, if required).