Afternoon Tea | October 3, 2016 | Food
Autumnal afternoon tea:
Embrace the seasonal flavours
Plump strawberries glistening in fruit tarts or perched, sugar-dusted, on top of fat Victoria sponges may be the quintessential image of an English afternoon tea but where can you find inspiration when the soft fruit season draws to an end?
As the days shorten, a rich abundance of autumnal flavours come to the fore, including plums, apples, pears, blackberries, elderberries and chestnuts. Complement these with ‘seasonless’ flavours such as chocolate and coffee and it’s enough to turn even the least imaginative baker into a creative powerhouse.
We visited three of our favourite foodie sites to see how the season’s flavours inspire their tea-time bakes – and suggest three of Wedgwood’s latest tableware collections to add fresh colour to your autumn afternoon tea table.
Image: The Boy Who Bakes
The Boy Who Bakes is actually Edd Kimber, the first Great British Bake Off winner, and he’s certainly capitalised on the win, clocking up three books, regular features in the best foodie mags and numerous TV appearances.
His blueberry and blackberry tarts include fresh lemon verbena, which adds what he calls a ‘lemon sherbert’ kick to a lightened custard and complement the sweet and sharp fruits.
Wedgwood’s new Tea Garden collection is made up of four fresh designs updated from the brand’s extensive archive, all bringing a contemporary twist to the tradition of taking tea.
The deep purples of the blackberry and apple design make it the ideal foil for Edd’s substantial tarts – and there’s even a fruit infusion to drink alongside your sweet treat.
The collection includes a beautiful brambled tea plate, or you could, as Edd has done, serve your tart neatly on the centre of the co-ordinating saucer, with its understated design, also inspired by the Wedgwood archives.
Image: Call Me Cupcake
Swedish blogger Linda Lomelino (don’t worry, she writes in English and her exquisite still life photography needs no translation) knows all about extending the late summer harvest into cooler days.
This pear cardamom cake with brown butter frosting and chocolate glaze, taken from her blog Call Me Cupcake, capitalises on the well-known affinity between pear and chocolate – but adds cardamom into the mix. The seed is a common ingredient in Nordic baking but Linda’s experiments lend a fragrant twist to all kinds of bakes.
Echo Linda’s effortless style with the new Blue Bird collection, designed to mark the 250th anniversary of Wedgwood’s Queen’s Ware. Inspired by florals from the brand’s archive, this updated range creates a relaxed but striking table that’s perfect for Linda’s impressive cake.
The delights of carrot cake are a welcome familiarity but if you haven’t yet ventured into baking with beetroot, perhaps this chocolate beetroot cake from Delicious will tempt you.
You might want to use rubber gloves to prevent the violet juice of the beets from staining your fingers as you grate them but the rich depth of flavours make it all worthwhile.
Celebrate the bold flavours and rich chocolate depth by choosing Wedgwood’s Vibrance collection. The floral motifs may have been re-drawn from the 250-year archive but punchy colour and modern shapes make this a very contemporary collection.
Stick to one colour – turquoise, pink, orange or yellow – or mix and match to create your own vibrant tea table.
Lead image: Call Me Cupcake