Honey Afternoon Tea (Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam)

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Last week, I went to the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam to try their Honey Afternoon Tea. When the name Waldorf Astoria comes to mind, I think of opulence and grandeur. And with a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant under its belt, I knew I was in for a treat. This was a especial afternoon tea, since we got to visit the beehives located on the roof of the restaurant Librije’s Zusje.

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The declining bee population is nothing new. Honeybee pollination plays an important role in the environment and our food supply. Their loss of habitat, climate change and use of pesticides are weakening their population. The hard working bees fly 150,000 kilometers and visit about 50,000 flowers in order to make one dessert spoon of honey. By having these beehives, the Waldorf Astoria supports the foundation Beelease.

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During the month of June, the afternoon tea gets a touch of honey. It includes a madeleine with honey & pecans, a honey canelé, a macaron with honey & lemon thyme, a pofiterol filled with swiss cream, strawberry, lavender & honey and a mini tart of raspberry, honey & caramel.

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Among the savory treats were a duck liver lollypop, a quiche with pine nuts, blue cheese, leek & smoked chicken, a cucumber wrapped sandwich with goat cheese, honey & walnuts, a cracker with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives.

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Every treat was a pleasure to eat and the service was outstanding. To spend the afternoon enjoying some delicious tea and treats, while overlooking the garden on a beautiful spring day. That is hard to beat!

You can enjoy the Afternoon Tea daily from 15:00 to 17:00.

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam

Chamomile & Lemon Loaf Cake

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This is a delicately flavored cake. Chamomile used to be my favorite tea as a kid; I still love it but now I’m more of a green tea person. But it still reminds me of those times when my mom would make me tea. The chamomile is very subtle but you can taste/smell it a bit at the end. I used tea bags to infuse the milk with chamomile. It is a very simple one bowl cake and perfect to take if you go to a picnic for example. I am longing for spring weather and going biking through the flower fields and forest. And when we do that, I always make snacks like this to take with.

This recipe is for a 25cm loaf pan.

Ingredients:

90grs of butter, softened

30grs of sour cream

Zest of 2 lemons

1 ½ cups of sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups of self-rising flour, sifted

½ cup of milk

6 chamomile tea bags

Pinch of salt

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper.

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the chamomile bags. Press each tea bag a bit with a spoon so they get soaked and release the flavor. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, strain the milk with a fine mesh sieve. Allow the milk to cool down.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest.

Then add the eggs one by one. Then fold in the sour cream and salt. Finally fold in the flour alternating with the milk. Once it’s all combined, pour it into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, till golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Royal Afternoon Tea – Conservatorium Hotel

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Last week I was invited to try the new Royal Afternoon Tea menu at the Conservatorium hotel. I had just been there a few days before to try Taiko for the first time and it didn’t disappoint. So of couse I was really excited to go back. The afternoon started with a glass of champagne, and Chef Schilo van Coevorden and the Pastry Chef Gino Gebhard welcoming us.

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The menu was created in collaboration with the East India Company. We were explained how to taste the tea and learned a few things about how to properly make it.

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How you should steep it for 3-5 minutes otherwise it becomes bitter, and how it is very important to always make your tea with freshly boiled water.

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And then all the treats came. Different kinds of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and marmalade, and of course some sweets. It was an afternoon of true delight. This high tea is perfect to celebrate something special or to just to treat yourself.

The Royal Afternoon Tea is served at The Brasserie from 15:00 until 17:30.

 

Brasserie, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

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Baked Green Tea Pork Meatballs

Pork meatballs

This is a very simple weeknight meal. The meatballs are baked for 20 minutes and come out juicy and tender. I like to eat them with coconut rice and some parsley or coriander tossed with lime juice, olive oil and salt.  This recipe makes about 15 meatballs.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

500gr minced pork

1 red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 egg yolk

2 bags of green tea, cut open and emptied

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/3 cup of panko

2 tablespoons of cornmeal

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of hoisin

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and brush it with some vegetable oil.

In a small pan, add the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened.

In a large bowl, add the minced pork, onion mixture, green tea and the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and start to form the meatballs and place them on the greased oven tray.

Bake them for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked, start making the glaze. Add all of the ingredients to a large pan and stir over medium heat. Once the glaze is warm and well combined, add the cooked meatballs. Toss until they are evenly coated in the glaze. Serve with coconut rice and a parsley or coriander salad.