Afternoon Tea | April 8, 2016 | Lifestyle
The Langham’s new afternoon tea with Wedgwood
It seems that Cherish Finden’s moment in the spotlight has arrived.
Langham’s diminutive executive pastry chef has a string of awards to her name but even the finest sweet practitioners have often found themselves in the shadow of those shouty types cooking up the main courses.
But Britain’s secret sweet-tooth is finally being celebrated centre-stage, particularly with the launch of BBC2 series Bake-Off: Crème de la Crème.
The programme sees teams of pastry chefs compete to impress a panel of judges – one of whom is Cherish herself.
What’s more, as the series started, the Singapore-born chef launched a new Langham afternoon tea with Wedgwood, reflecting the lighter flavours of spring and summer.
Behind the Blue Door was lucky enough to go along to the launch and experience the new tea, directly inspired by the themes and designs of Wedgwood collections.
“It’s always a challenge to create the new dishes,” Cherish told us, “It’s about being inventive and creative. The taste is just as important as the look – when I create a new collection, it has to be ‘wow’!”
And ‘wow’ it is.
A pre-dessert of apricot and natural yoghurt panna cotta gives a smooth punch of vibrant fruit flavour before the pastries arrive.
They certainly arrive in style. Let’s have a quick tour of the cake stand…
The Paisley Parcel is your chocolate hit. With added flavours of Kahlua, double espresso and amaretto, this opera slice features white chocolate buttons adorned with a bespoke blue and white pattern inspired by a Wedgwood design.
Cherish explained that she and the team spent two months working on this recipe, “When we develop, we have to think about taste, texture and the look – we must especially make sure the liqueur is not overwhelming.”
The Butterfly Bloom is named after the Wedgwood range of the same name. A buttery shortbread tower with an added kick of salted caramel to balance, this pastry also features two hand-crafted butterfly decorations, invoking spring coming to life.
The Yuzu For You is one of Cherish’s favourite from the current menu. She has worked hard to balance the sweetness of the Langham No.150 chocolate with the acidity of the yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit. A crunchy chocolate sable adds texture – in fact, Cherish described it as ‘dancing in the mouth!’.
The Wedgwood Wild Strawberry celebrates the brand’s best-selling tableware collection of the same name. A wild strawberry pâte de fruit and pistachio cream macaroon is decorated with a tiny blossom flower.
Finally, the Hathaway Rose features Cherish’s grandmother’s lemon Victoria sponge, teamed with a raspberry and lime jam.
The pastries accompany plain and raisin scones as well as sandwiches conceived by Langham, London head chef Chris King and team.
These include a substantial truffled duck egg brioche, an open smoked salmon and asparagus on rye and the more traditional sandwiches of cucumber with cream cheese and chive, peppered beef pastrami with red leicester coleslaw and corn-fed chicken with golden sultanas on carrot bread.
The Langham, London afternoon tea with Wedgwood is £49 per person, or £59 per person including a glass of N V Laurent-Perrier brut champagne or £64 per person including a glass of N V Laurent-Perrier brut champagne rosé. Sittings are at 1pm, 3.15pm and 5.30pm. Click here to book online and for more information.
Bake Off: Crème de la Crème is on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 8pm.