This Rye & Stout Soda Bread is an homage to Irish foods and flavors. A thick slice of one of these rustic loaves goes just as easily slathered with butter and preserves with a mug of tea as it does with a bowl of Irish stew.
This gingerbread Mad Hatter's hat is filled with 36 Queen of Hearts Linzer Tarts, perfect for an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. I hope this will inspire you to make your own!
These delicate, crispy, wafer-thin cookies, sometimes called elephant ears, beavertails or shoe soles, are made with laminated dough using a technique called "inverse puff pastry." It creates even lighter, flakier results than regular laminated dough.
Biscotti, meaning "twice-baked," are crunchy biscuits ideal for dunking in coffee, tea, or if you want to be even more authentic, Vin Santo. Mine are studded with candied ginger and flavored with orange zest and cardamom, with chopped almonds for added crunch.
Black Forest cherry cake is made of multiple layers of chocolate cake filled with cherries and whipped cream and garnished with additional cream, cherries and chocolate. My retro interpretation incorporates a chocolate chiffon cake and dark sweet cherries with the traditional German flavor of kirschwasser.
Mary Berry's walnut layer cake features three layers of light, moist sponge with bits of walnut throughout, filled with vanilla buttercream and covered with what she calls "boiled icing" but what I recall from my childhood as "seven-minute frosting."
Madeira cake is lighter than a pound cake but denser than a Victoria sponge. Traditionally flavored with lemon zest, I've chosen to use blood oranges and jasmine green tea for a bright, slightly floral and not too sweet accompaniment to afternoon tea.
The pièce montée was the pièce de resistance for the 2014 season of the Great British Bake Off. I dubbed mine The Magic of Halloween. It features a dark chocolate cake with cherry filling topped with a pumpkin cake, which in turn is topped with a croquembouche. The profiteroles in the croquembouche are filled with orange pastry cream, drizzled with dark chocolate and spiraled with spun sugar. Spiced macarons and gingerbread black cats round out this tower of treats.
Scones, Victoria sandwiches and lemon tarts are all historically British bakes. While this "back to basics" challenge may seem simple enough, it takes a lot of time management skills to juggle all three at once. Mine didn't turn out perfect (bubbles in the custard, scones too pale?), but I was proud of the results. Judge for yourself how well I did!
Made with enriched yeast dough, viennoiserie are often eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I used puff pastry to create my Passion Fruit Curd and Cream Cheese Danish, and Spiced Plum and Frangipane Kites.