Ryland, Peters & Small, £19.99
Afternoon tea has become such a popular meal to be enjoyed out - particularly to celebrate a special occasion - that the likelihood of creating a marvellous spread at home has somewhat diminished. For many people, afternoon tea can provide a taste of some of the UK's glitziest establishments at a fraction of the price of another meal.
Whether you work in a tiny tea room or a grand hotel, my advice would be to grab a copy of Torrent's book and be inspired. While the first chapter focuses on the classic afternoon tea, featuring the ubiquitous cucumber sandwiches and scones which Torrent does exceptionally well - drawing on his credentials as a former Acorn Award winner and Young Chef of the Year in the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2009 - the best bits are the seasonal menus which follow.
Spring offers the delights of Bloody Mary shrimp sandwiches made with avocado butter, followed by beehive tarts, featuring layers of honey caramel, chocolate and lemon curd.
For summer, why not introduce a sandwich alternative, such as crab mayonnaise, along with éclairs and a refreshing Prosecco, lime and mint jelly?
In autumn, the selection includes red wine-poached pears, Stilton and endive on walnut bread, and malty egg custard tarts. In winter it is about comfort food, offered by the likes of treacle tarts with ginger cake and orange, and spiced chocolate domes with brandy soaked raisins and cacao nibs.
There is plenty here for the professional pastry chef, and the keen home cook, to enjoy.
By Janet Harmer
If you like this, you may enjoy these
- PÁ¢tisserie at Home Will Torrent
- The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea Helen Simpson
- The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book Antony Wild & Carol Pastor
â- Afternoon Tea at Home is available to the readers of The Caterer at the special price of £14.99. Phone Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quote the reference GJ5.
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