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TND – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Recipes (Sweets)

May 21, 2012

SWEETS

Cream Scones
(makes 8-12 scones – depending on how you cut them)

In England scones are generally served with clotted cream (which is the food of the gods), but that’s hard to find here in the heathen United States and while it is possible to make it it’s more complicated than I wanted to get (given how complicated the rest of the menu was). So, whipped cream + fresh strawberries, jam and lemon curd had to suffice instead. I don’t think anyone complained.

I made two batches of this recipe – one plain, and one with chopped dried cherries. Oddly the one with the cherries in it came together so much more easily than the plain one, I’m not sure if that was just a fluke, or whether there’s actually something about including dried fruit in the dough that makes it easier to work. Either way, both versions were tasty and baked up tall and golden and decadent.

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
5 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ¼” cubes
(optional) ½ cup currants (or other dried fruit of choice, chopped to a similar size)
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants (if using)

Stir in heavy cream with a fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together.

Pat the dough into an even layer in an 8” round, or 8” square baking pan. Tap the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (you will need to tap quite firmly). If you’re using an 8” round cut the dough into 8 equal wedges. If you’re using an 8” square, cut the dough into 6 equal rectangles (3 across x 2 down), and then cut each rectangle in half diagonally for a total of 12 triangular scones. Alternatively, roll the dough to a ¾” thickness and cut rounds using a biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps. If you choose to roll your dough, the scones made from the rerolling will probably not bake up as tall and fluffy.

Place scones on an ungreased baking sheet (I also used parchment paper because my oven bakes hot and I wanted a little added insurance against burning the bottoms of the scones). Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk (or cream) and sprinkle with some coarse sugar (optional – but pretty). Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes (usually I skip this step, but these scones really need the cooling time to firm up a little because they come out of the oven very tender and crumbly).

Majestic Honey Cake
I made ½ the recipe in a large loaf pan. The original recipe suggests that you can make the full recipe in a tube or bundt pan. I personally would not try this in any pan that you cannot put a parchment sling into, but if you have nerves of steel you could try it in a bundt pan. I also highly recommend setting whatever your baking vessel of choice is on a double stacked layer of baking sheets to help mitigate the risk of burning the bottom of your cake.

Recipe previously given: Baby Shower Recipes

Rhubarb Devonshire Tartlets
My roommate’s mother introduced me to this wonderful dessert called a Strawberry Devonshire Tart where fresh strawberries sit on top of a thin layer of cream cheese mixed with sour cream, and are then topped with a thick glaze made of pureed strawberries cooked with sugar. It’s excellent and looks spectacular.

However, strawberries aren’t quite in season here yet, but rhubarb is and I do love me some rhubarb. So I made a variation on Strawberry Devonshire Tart, only smaller and with rhubarb in place of the strawberries. It was maybe a little messier, but still tasty.

Tart Shell(s)
Blind bake either 1 large tart shell, or many mini tartlet shells until golden brown and cooked. Allow to cool before proceeding.

Devonshire Filling
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp sour cream

Whisk together until smooth. Spread in the bottom of the baked tart shell(s). This will be a fairly thin layer.

Rhubarb Topping
1 ½ lb rhubarb stalks
¾ – 1 cup dark brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like your filling – I went with the lesser amount)
½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
(3-6 drops of red food coloring – optional, and for aesthetic value only)

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim the very ends. Cut them in half lengthwise (unless they’re very slim) and then on the diagonal into ¾” chunks. Add the brown sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pods and turn the heat to medium low. (You want to start at a low temperature to encourage the rhubarb to release its liquid.)

Cook the rhubarb mixture, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is saucy. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium, cooking an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down and very thick (enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan – may take more than 20 minutes). Discard your vanilla bean pod. Allow the compote to cool.

If you want to you can add a few drops of red food coloring at this point. It really only serves the aesthetic purpose of making your filling a deep reddish color. For the record, I did add food coloring.

When the filling is cooled spoon on top of Devonshire filling (you may have more filling than you need – keep the rest for yogurt or ice cream). You can leave it as is, or top with a halved blackberry if you’re feeling extravagant.

Dark Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles
(makes about 20 small truffles)

Confession? I don’t particularly like truffles – neither the variety that gets foraged for under oak trees or the variety that is made of dense chocolate. I do, however, quite like goat cheese and I have proof (in the form of an insanely good chocolate goat cheese cheesecake at a local restaurant) that goat cheese and chocolate is a surprisingly excellent combination, so these truffles sounded like they might be the exception to my rule. Dear reader, they were.

I actually didn’t make these, because I find working with chocolate fiddly, so I outsourced to my roommate who likes making fiddly things. The only thing we might change for next time is to use a little more black pepper because the flavor got a little lost in the chocolate and goat cheese.

4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 z fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Coarse sea salt

Place about 2 inches of water in a small saucepan, and place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water to melt the chocolate. Once chocolate is melted, remove bowl from the pot and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together goat cheese, melted chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and peppercorns until fluffy and well incorporated. Cover the mixture in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Once firm, portion a heaping teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture into clean hands and roll into a ball. Coat the bottom half of the ball in cocoa powder, place on a cookie sheet, and top with a few flakes of coarse sea salt. Serve slightly chilled.

Truffles will last, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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One comment

  1. […] Recipes can be found here. […]



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