Creating the perfect Macaron is like finding the Holy Grail for some Cakers. These heavenly little things have driven more people to quit than I can count – just spend a day in a cake group on Facebook and you’ll see exactly what I mean. These little meringue/biscuit hybrids are well worth the effort though, and once you’ve mastered them, they’ll take pride of place at every afternoon tea party.
When you first set out to make these impossible treats you’ll probably read a ton of blogs (like this one), you might even watch a bunch of tutorials. I know I did. In that case you will already know about perfect feet (that’s the bit under the smooth dome!) You’ll also want a smooth top, and a great rise with no cracks. But the fact is, that they only have to taste lovely, anything else is a bonus. Remember that, and you can’t go wrong!
Simply put, a scone is just a type of quick bread. They are versatile little things though, and the variations are almost endless.
They can be sweet or savoury. You can use wholemeal flour, oats, lemonade, sugar, fruit, cheese, and even pumpkin puree in your recipe! And, you can griddle them, fry them, oven bake them, you can even deep fry them.
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, they are also known under a variety of different names. For example, when made with potato they are called Tattie Scones and if you use baking soda and griddle them, they are Soda Farls. In America, they are Biscuits, and they can also be Bannocks or Griddle Scones. We already mentioned the deep fried version in Australia, they call these Puftaloons.
The Collins Dictionary describes Afternoon Tea as a “small meal you can have in the afternoon,” but it is so much more than that. It is the most British of traditions. This is no ordinary afternoon treat.
Not to be confused with the more robust High Tea. So called as it is taken in a high backed chair, and at a table. Afternoon tea is a refined affair, served in low chairs. Unlike High Tea, this is an event that is traditionally reserved for the wealthy. This is a light meal consisting of delicate sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes, and is enjoyed alongside pots of leaf tea.