Sunday, August 30, 2015

Alice's Tea and Simple Scones

How much of the Mad Tea-Party chapter do you remember from Alice in Wonderland? It's so ridiculous, much like the rest of the whimsical book. Still, the idea of such an insane tea party endures and people are still fascinated by Alice and the Mad Hatter (who will forever look like Johnny Depp to some people and not the stunted, rude Hatter depicted by Sir John Tenniel). The fascination with the Tea Party has lead to the creation of all sorts of Alice related tea paraphernalia and even whole stores devoted to Alice's tea party. Even in San Antonio, we have a strange (but wonderful) place called Mad Hatter's. And in New York apparently, a sweet little shop called Alice's Tea Cup.

I'm crazy about these purple roses. Incredibly delicate and very beautiful.
A really sweet friend of mine gave me a bag of the Alice's Tea from Alice's Tea Cup. This is their own blend, a black and green tea blend with rose petals and a strong vanilla scent. It smells really beautiful, sweet but not overpowering. Once brewed, the aroma stays sweet. It tastes like any black tea and has strong floral and vanilla tones. It does has a tart aftertaste with more vanilla. I think a lot of people will like this tea with milk. I will definitely serve this at my next tea party. 

A few weeks ago I purchased more of my favorite fruit preserves from Dean and Deluca so I wanted some plain scones. Here is a recipe for plain scones that I used. 

Ingredients (adapted from Nigella Lawson's Buttermilk Scones)
3 1/3 cups of All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Cream of Tartar
2 Tsp Sugar
7 Tablespoons of butter (unsalted, cubed)
1 Cup of buttermilk + 1/4 Cup of buttermilk for washing the tops of the biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
1.Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to incorporate evenly.
2. Add cubed butter into the flour mixture. Using your hands, mix the butter into the flour well. The dough should be crumbly with chunks of butter.
3. Pour in buttermilk and mix 
4. Flour your work surface. Shape the dough into a disk.
5. Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds out of the dough.
6. Place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add milk wash to the tops of the scones.  
7. Bake for 10-15 mins (depending on size of the scones). 

It is easy to add more sugar to the recipe if you want it sweeter or add sugar on top of the scones. Either way, this recipe is very forgiving so feel free to adjust however you desire. If at any point, your dough is too liquidy, don't worry. The scones may not come out round but they will still taste very good. 

I wonder what kind of tea they were having at the Mad Tea-Party? At any rate, I don't think I would have like to be at that party, the guests were horribly rude and messy. Even Alice agrees, saying "It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life." 

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