On a beautiful spring day, my four girlfriends and I got together for a tea party. Our theme was Alice in Wonderland and we had bought all the props and made all the food to make our friend’s garden as whimsical as possible. This backyard had been unused for quite some time, so we spruced it up by hanging a simple chandelier and decorating the beams with twinkling christmas lights. Our friend watched us as we lay a variety of textured cushions on the chairs, sprawled a tablecloth over the table, decorated with fresh pastel flowers and laid out gold silverware.
By then we had grown hungry, and I finally revealed the little treats I had made at home. On the menu, was Strawberry Rose Macarons, inspired by La Durée, Lavender Scones with Strawberry-Rose Jam, and a Raspberry Pistachio Semi-Freddo. The latter was melting fast so I just had enough time to spread the raspberry coulis before it started melting in the heat. Just one thing was missing before we started: the tea.
We had forgotten the essential part of the tea party! Alas, someone had brought rose, and it therefore became a rose party.
The Raspberry Pistachio Semi-Freddo was a big hit. The trick to cutting through it without pressing and therefore melting the bottom is to use a knife previously placed under hot running water. This will cut through the semi-freddo easily. Pistachio and raspberry go hand in hand and is one of my go to flavors. Because a good dessert is all about texture, I also added crushed pistachios for a little extra crunch. Eat the cake quickly as it will melt fast!
Next we had the macarons. I admit those are not easy to make, they take quite some time and even I had trouble getting the perfect rounded shell we all look for. However, the taste was there! I put a twist on La Durée’s recipe and I also made it less sweet (I’ve had macarons that were so sweet my teeth started hurting). I love adding a bit of rosewater to desserts and again, strawberry and rose complement each other.
And finally, for a blend of sweet and savory, I made Lavender Scones to be paired with Strawberry-Rose Jam. The jam was the one used in the macarons but if you wish to keep it to spread on your morning toast, keep the jam sealed in a jar. I always keep dried lavender in my pantry and I love sprinkling it in desserts. Add a little lavender extract to taste the lavender even more!
As the night fell, we were joined by the twinkling lights above us, which added a lot of ambiance and turned the whole garden into a whimsical wonderland!