Exploring Cape Town: High Tea
High teas at hotels have been my sister’s favourite way of celebrating milestone birthdays and events in the life of our family. So, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the decadence and delight of high tea at four top hotels over the past few years.
This past weekend my family and I had the pleasure of Tea by the Sea at the 12 Apostles hotel in Cape Town thanks to a voucher I bought on auction at the Cookie Swap in August. The kids were beside themselves to walk on plush carpets and see the sparkling Atlantic Ocean from the balcony of the Leopard Bar. They were on their best behavior and it was a fantastic way to finish off a sunny, Sunday afternoon.
I firmly believe that kids need to be exposed to a wide range of experiences and learn to behave in a manner appropriate to the occasion so this tea experience gave us an opportunity to teach them not to bang their teaspoons on the edge of their tea cups and to use their “inside voices” so that they didn’t disturb other diners. Our waitron was fantastic and answered all their questions and offered to take a family picture to commemorate the occasion (something we have too few of as usually one of the grownups find themselves behind the lens).
It is interesting to note that The Mount Nelson Hotel and The Table Bay Hotel offer their high teas as buffet options while The Cape Grace Hotel and 12 Apostles Hotel offer individual stands per person or couple groaning with a selection of savoury and sweet treats. This is great for people who find taking trips up and down to the buffet area to be overwhelming and prefer to just relax and chat at their table or couch.
While sleeping at these hotels are usually too pricey for those of us who earn in Rands, experiencing a High Tea gives you a taste of the sumptuous decadence offered to tourists in our country and gives us an opportunity to introduce our families to the finer things in life. Booking is essential at all these hotels and I have provided links to each site which you can access by clicking on the hotel names in the paragraph above.
**BONUS** I attended Taste of Cape Town earlier this year and watched 12 Apostles Hotel Pastry Chef Nathan Jacobs demonstrate making macarons. He gave his permission for me to share his recipe with you.
250g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
200g egg whites
200g caster sugar
1tsp food color ( water based ) orange
- preheat oven to 140’c.
- prepare a small baking tray with wax paper to fit the tray.
- Prepare a piping bag with a small plain nozzle.
- place ground almonds and icing sugar in a blender and blend for 30 seconds.( TPT )
- Now sieve the tpt ( tant pour tant ) into a clean mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place egg whites in a small stand mixer attached with a whisk, turn on high speed and whip for one minute, the egg whites should be at stiff peak.
- Now turn the speed down to medium and slowly add the caster sugar within 1 minute. Turn the machine off
- Now add your food color and whip on high speed for 1 minute.
- Your meringue is now ready.
- Place the meringue in a clean mixing bowl and in 3 stages add the T P T ad fold in gently.
- Fold until the mixture is shiny.
- To know when the mixture is ready to pipe on your tray, place a little mix in a piping bag and pipe onto your prepared tray, it should smooth out by itself.
- Now you ready to start piping. Pipe small rounds on the tray until all the mix is used.
- Rest the macarons at room temperature until a skin forms around the macaron. About 30 min.
- Bake for 11 min at 140’c.
- Remove from the oven and rest at room temperature until cool.
- Now fill macarons and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- 100g heavy cream
- 50g glucose
- 1 orange, peel only
- 550g 70% dark chocolate( lindt )
- 100g butter, room temperature.
- place cream, glucose and orange peel in a small pot and bring to the boil, remove from the heat and steep for 15 min for orange flavor to enhance.
- After 15 minutes, bring cream back to the boil and strain over chocolate, stir unti chocolate is melted.
- Set at room temp until firm, about 6 hours.
- Prepare a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle.
- Once ganache has set, place in the piping bag and fill macarons.
- Its best to do the filling the day before making the macarons, you can leave the ganache at room temperature overnight.
What is your favourite way to celebrate milestone occasions in your family? Have you had a fabulous dining experience that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below! 😉