The New Bakers Dozen
Finger Sweets/Tarts/Pastries for Tea Tray

The The Bakers Dozen: Finger Sweets/Tarts/Pastries for Tea Tray
By Sherry (Sherry) on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 11:13 am: Edit

I am in search for some nice looking/tasting desserts to put on a tiered tea tray for tea room presentation. I'm looking for something other than the standard lemon bars/brownies some do as sweets for tea. I have done a black forest tart piped with whipped cream like frosting and a meringue shell filled with lemon/lime curd. The desserts do not have to be complicated recipes (but that's ok too) but beautiful/tasty additions to my tea tray. Something most people wouldn't whip up at home. Any ideas or sources appreciated.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 12:40 am: Edit

Madelienes, nut cups, fruit breads, small cookies, any cookie bar cut nicely, biscotti, rugelah (I can't spell it tonight) are a few ideas. Check out Godiva chocolates web site they have many recipes posted from chocolatier magazine.

By Raine on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 03:40 pm: Edit

Baklava, (I loooove baklava),mini ecliars,scones (of course),mini muffins,almond cresents,petit fours.
Definately look at Godiva. I made their white chocolate mille-feuille. It was to die for. Very easy.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 11:30 pm: Edit

Raine I think it was at Godiva that I got a recipe for a banana baklava...have you tried that?

By Raine on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 10:35 am: Edit

No, not yet ,looks good. Must have missed that one, but would use different nut, perhaps pecans.
My neighbor went to Georgia, and brought back 4lb of pecans. Still looking for different recipes to use them in. Thought I'd try the pecan cake w/chocolate icing. Do you have any ideas?

By W.DeBord on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 01:34 pm: Edit

To use alot of pecans, pralines are my favorite then pecan pie or tarts.

By Raine on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Did a pecan pie already. Was looking for something more unique. Will make the peacan cake today. Perhaps the baklava tomorrow. Will post results.

By tj on Sunday, May 28, 2000 - 09:35 pm: Edit

i like to put some unusual stuff in petit four trays like that. i like middle eastern stuff mixed with french style petit four. i make a few baklava based on fillo dough and also something called basmah, which i learn to make in mecca.its a sheet cake made from a mixture of semolina,sugar,brown sugar, cinnamon and yogurt.its baked in a slow oven, and after taking it out, you pour a hot sugar syrop all over it mixed with rose water and a little lemon juice and wait untill it is all absorbed.and cut in to small bars,it keeps for a very long time .i can eat a whole tray myself, its great!

By Raine on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 01:45 am: Edit

The pecan cake was okay, some what bland. It definately needs some tweeking, would almost have to double the spices and tone down the icing. Did not impress me enough to consider for retail sale.

Basmah, now that sounds good!

By tj on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 12:29 pm: Edit

not only good, its better than good...
here is how you make it(its simple):
120 gr clarified butter melted
120 gr fine chopped almonds(not to a meal)
120 gr yogurt
180 gr sugar
1 table spoon brown sugar
240 gr medium size semolina
5 gr baking powder
5 gr vanilla extract
10 gr good quality cinnamon
240 gr sugar
80 gr water
juice of 1/2 lemon(boil all 5 minutes)
1 tbs rose water or almond extract.
fry the butter with the chopped almond bits until slight brown.let cool in butter.
mix yogurt+sugars+semolina+almonds and their butter+baking powder+vanilla for 2 minutes.let rest 1 hour.spread in a 9x9x2 buttered pan.bake at 380f. 30 minutes.until golden brown.pour over it (while hot)the syrop that you made ahead.cut to bars, and put back in oven for 5 more minutes.
the final step is optional but i recomend it,melt 100 gr clarified butter and spread over the basmah
before serving.stick 1 whole blanched almond on each bar.enjoy!

By tj on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 12:32 pm: Edit

the same recipe work exeptionaly well with pistachio or pine nuts instead of ,or together with the is also known in the middle east in several areas by different names:basmah=basbousah=namoorah....(i dont know why)

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 08:44 am: Edit

Sounds great I'll make it next buffet! What other baklava type items do you make?

I make a Greek pastry much like baklava (I can't begin to spell the name) but in place of the nut filling it's a baked custard with farina in it, then the syrup over it. I gorge my-self on that!

I'm not totally supprised the pecan cake wasen't the best...I've had some misses from them too. Try the pecan cake in Martha Stewarts dessert book (I can't think of it's title, but it's more recent soft cover looks like a magazine). I've tried almost all of them in that book and there are some really great recipes and ideas (whether you like her or not)!

By Raine on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 10:28 am: Edit

I lost faith in M. Stewart after seeing a show where she stuck flower stems directly into a cake without giving any poison warnings. Pictures flashing through my head of some poor misinformed person cramming an ivy stem covered in pesticides inside a cake. I wonder how many lawsuits she got for that. But her recipes are usually good, and will check it out -sans the decorating ideas ;)
Wow, tj. Ditto on W.'s comments.

By tj on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 08:12 pm: Edit

i am interested to find out if you guys like it...
and also your customers!
let me know...
may be i`ll add some more of my favorite 1000 arabian nights recipes (some of them are quite strange but very good)

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 07:42 am: Edit

tj I tell you on Monday if it was well recieved.
Your 1000 Arabian nights recipes...are those your notes or a purchased book?

Different is o.k. if the words "very good" are its' description. When an item looks sort of plain/understated they tend to try it vs when it's elaborate and unknown that's when they really shy away from tasting.

By tj on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 02:49 pm: Edit

no, i only have scattered notes i keep with me from my touring years....i have collected quite a strange selection of very unusual favorite "unusual" sweets are from the mid east, and from the far east.i think you can find recipes like that in oriental or mid east cook books , only mine i have already made many times and they work well.

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