Afternoon Tea Cooking Class

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Hello CC! – photo credit Sarah M. Bélanger

My wonderful sister was nice enough to take me to a cooking class taught by CC Fridlin of Cooking with CC.  His classes cover all types of subjects but this one was afternoon tea so I was tickled to go.  He taught this class in his own kitchen so it was easy to see what he was doing in a warm and friendly home.

Our menu for the day was:

  • Cream Scones
  • Lemon Curd
  • Pastry Crisps
  • English Tea Cake
  • Smoked Salmon Herb Cheese Triangles

The best part about the cooking class is you get to eat what CC makes.  Yummy.

I always enjoy actually making a recipe with someone much more than just reading the instructions.  You can pick up tips and tricks that you wouldn’t have known otherwise.

1Y2B6438Cream Scones.  1Y2B6465You must have scones with your afternoon tea.  I’m pretty sure it’s the law.  And so we had scones first on the agenda for the day.  Cutting scones into triangles is an American convention.  In England you will find them in a round biscuit-like shape.

Pastry Crisps.  These were good little basic cookie-type things that were a cross between sugar cookies, shortbread and a pie crust.  They are not as sweet as sugar cookies and are sturdy enough to carry your favorite topping.

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Another option with these is to make pastry cups rather than flat crisps.  All you have to do is take the cut out circles of dough and press them into a small mini-muffin pan.

Lemon Curd.  The ingredients are simple enough.  It’s just lemons, eggs, butter and sugar.  However, the blending and cooking looked a little tricky.  CC said to be careful not to get it too hot on the double boiler because you’d end up with lemony scrambled eggs so be sure to stir the whole time.  Deidre was kind enough to provide stirring services for the class.

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Then we took a little break to taste what he’d been cooking:

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Pastry Crisp topped with Lemon Curd. Dollops of Lemon Curd, Strawberry Preserves and Raspberry Jam to go along with the Cream Scone

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1Y2B6495And of course, we had some tea to go along with our goodies.  CC did a good job with the tea. He said he contacted his friends at Tea Trekker and they recommended 2 teas to try.  We had Ceylon Fancy Silver Tips FOP from Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.  It was a very good clean tasting black tea.  He stepped it up even more for our next tea selection we had Assam Tippy Breakfast TGFOP from Assam, India – organic 2014 First Flush. Wow!  Like any good breakfast tea it was very stout and was enjoyable straight up or with a little splash of cream.  The whole class agreed that they preferred the breakfast tea to the Ceylon tea, although both were very good.

I knew we had good teas when the packages carried the letters for the grades of tea and where it was grown.  If you’d like to know more about the letter codes click here.

CC brewed his teas in a french press which is a fine and dandy idea as long as you don’t mash down too hard on the leaves.  If you do, you might get a little too much bitterness from the bruised leaves.

1Y2B6479Smoked Salmon Herb Cheese Triangles:  After we were done snacking.  CC kept right on cooking.  We all know you must have little fancy finger sandwiches with your afternoon tea.  The tea sandwiches he made were double-decker sandwiches with one layer a salmon, cream cheese, dill, capers and scallions combination and the second layer a mixture of cream cheese, garlic, red bell pepper and parsley.

sandwiches in the making   sandwiches made

English Tea Cake:  (how appropriate)  This was actually my favorite of everything he made for us.  It’s a sheet cake sweetened with chopped dates and brown sugar.  The topping of (more) brown sugar, butter and whipping cream is what made it outstandingly gooey.

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So once again we sat down to eat what CC made and enjoyed every bit of it.

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All in all it was delightful and CC worked very hard for over three hours.  As you can tell, I enjoyed the tasty offerings immensely. I appreciated all the tips and techniques that he worked into the class as he went along and he was very good at answering our off-the-wall questions.

If I had to say there was anything to improve it would be the Chinet plates.  I certainly understand the convenience, especially after working so hard chopping, mixing, stirring, blending and baking.  I know he already had plenty of dishes to wash and clean up after but his food is so lovely that it would be nice to have it served on a real plate.  Especially if there’s a sauce, you don’t want it to soak into the paper rather than end up in your tummy where it belongs.

I’d like to thank Ms. Sarah M. Bélanger.  She shared her pictures of the class with me and I’ve used many of them here.  You can tell which ones are hers – they’re the good ones.  She is an extraordinarily talented photographer.  (I know a few.)  She has her own blog called “The Jealous Crumpet” and her specialty is food photography.  If you’d like to read her post on this same class click here. I enjoyed reading it and I bet you will too.

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