Sophisticated soufflé inspired by afternoon tea
With baking enjoying such a revival, it shouldn't come as any real surprise that afternoon teas are back in vogue, too.
With life being so busy and frenetic, a proper afternoon tea is the perfect excuse to stop for an hour, dust off your favourite vintage tea set and indulge.
At The Square Hotel in Clifton's Berkeley Square, traditional afternoon teas can be enjoyed in the lounge or on the tranquil and enclosed garden terrace.
But why restrict this quintessentially English treat to a small window of opportunity in the afternoon? After all, not many of us can really take time out for a pot of Darjeeling and a slice of Victoria sponge.
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The Square's head chef, Gavin Lewis, has come up with a dessert that may have been inspired by afternoon tea, but it's just as enjoyable at lunch or dinner.
Gavin joined the hotel last year and since his arrival, the Square's menu has gone from strength to strength, with the restaurant recently making it to the finals for Best British category in this year's Good Food Awards.
Gavin says: "The inspiration for this recipe came about over a cup of tea as I was developing our new set menu, which has a 'Great British' theme running through it.
"I thought 'what could be more British than a well made cup of tea and a biscuit to dunk?' Of course, dunking your biscuit in your tea is not overly elegant so I came up with an alternative.
"In this recipe, traditional Earl Grey has a more sophisticated twist in the form of a soufflé, which can be eaten with a spoon and doesn't require dunking!
"I want people to enjoy this recipe on a lazy Sunday afternoon in a comfortable armchair with a newspaper close to hand."
Put the tea, cream, milk and vanilla in a pan over a low heat and bring to a simmer. Set aside for five minutes to infuse and strain back into a clean pan. Add the honey and heat to simmering.
In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour and half the sugar. Pour over the hot infused cream, mix well and return to the pan. Heat over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens (approximately 4-5 minutes).
Transfer to a container and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Butter espresso cups and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Whisk the egg whites with one tablespoon of the remaining sugar until stiff, then add the remaining sugar slowly and whisk until thick and glossy.
Transfer the chilled tea cream to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth, then gently fold in the meringue.
Fill the espresso cups to just under the top and wipe around the inside of the rim.
Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes, until they are risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.