Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Several months ago, a lovely friend of mine was expecting her first baby girl (after three boys) and was in need of a baby shower. We went crazy with the theme of a Mad Hatter 'super-girly' tea party. Here is the Cake:

An amazing photographer and friend, Tamera Orduna Photography, was in attendance and snapped a couple photos of the refreshments and decorations. I love how she made even the simplest things look epic!

Traditional crustless tea sandwiches:
Chicken and Thyme was served on buttered white bread with a filling of chicken breast, mayo, dry mustard, lemon juice, worcheshire, thyme, and salt & pepper.
Cranberry Chicken was served on lightly toasted raisin bread and spread of homemade cranberry cream cheese. The filling is chopped sauted chicken, toasted pecans, craisins, alfalfa sprouts, and a small amount of mayo to bind.)

Petite Cucumber sandwich requires only whole wheat bread, cream cheese, Major Grey's mango chutney and cucumber medallions.

These Fresh Fruit Tea Tarts have a crust of pate sucre (3 c. pastry flour, 1 c. butter, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 eggs, salt and vanilla) and a filling of lemon curd (12 egg yolks, 2 c. sugar, 1 c. lemon juice, and 1 c. butter). A little fresh fruit and glaze completes the treat.

Tea was served, of course (don't you just love these cups!?)

The decorations, not provided by myself, were gorgeous and sooo fun! These centerpieces and hanging orbs were made from tissue paper.

Alternatives to Cupcakes

After a long silence, I am posting a couple of the tasty things I've made in recent months. WhenI had the business, I was often asked to provide gluten/dairy/or egg-free desserts. I don't particularly enjoy using cake-y substitutes for flour and dairy like 'garbanzo starch' or 'soy silky dream'...they never quite taste like the thing they're pretending to be. Instead, it is fun to make a 'safe food' cleverly disguised to look like festive birthday fare.

This little cupcake is made out of jello. Following the recipe for "Jigglers", I layered the various flavors to make a fun rainbow. The reusable silicone cupcake wrappers that you can find at any cake store or craft store featuring Wilton products work well, and can be unmolded easily after properly chilling. The icing is a non-dairy whipped topping, sprinkled with dark chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

These cupcakes served along side their egg, dairy, and gluten filled counterparts were actually the first to go.

These little morsels are made using chocolate and ice cream. One could easily substitute sorbet or fresh fruit, and not non-dairy whipped topping to accommodate other allergies.

To make the pho-cupcake base, use melted chocolate chips (in this cake dark chocolate) and apply with a pastry brush to the inside of parchment cupcake liners. All to harden in the cupcake tin to keep the form consistent. When solidified, peel away paper. Now the form is free to fill with ice cream, mousse, fruit, or sorbet, and top with something creamy. In this example I used heavy whipping cream and raspberry jam, accented by upside down chocolate chips for polka dots.