I consider myself to be a cake enthusiast, I buy a lot of it, I eat a lot of it but I don’t make a lot of it, because despite the name of my blog, I find baking highly stressful and I’d rather leave it to the experts.
Kate Henry, is definitely an expert, eversince she took part in GBBO and was runner up I’ve had a girl crush on her of epic proportions. I’d like to say I played it cool the first time I met her, but I didn’t, I squealed in an uncool fashion and got a selfie which I shamelessly plastered all over my various social networks.
Since then I’ve met her a few times, and now I actually know her, I love her even more, and was thrilled to be invited* to her afternoon tea event at The Polygon pop up, and intrigued to see how she was going to make it delicious, with line up almost entirely devoid of sugar, gluten and carbs… AKA all of the good shit!
Kate had partnered with Lewes based tea company, VRAC to create a ‘perfectly paired’ afternoon tea with three different brews, matched to each of Kate’s bakes.
I am not a lover of flavoured teas, I try with them, but I’m just not a fan (super-strong Yorkshire gold with milk no sugar FYI), so I was looking forwarded to broadening my horizons further and finding one I could love, or at least vaguely enjoy – and I actually did! The tasting notes are detailed on the menu pictured above, and I’d say those descriptions were pretty spot on. But then, they are the experts, not me.
Black sesame cake with raspberry and matcha
This was a work of art. This picture makes it look as if the cake was bitty in texture, but it wasn’t, just lovely and light, a bit denser than your average sponge cake, which had slightly smoky and nutty taste. The frosting wasn’t cloyingly sweet and both the matcha and raspberry flavours made their presence felt. Even the white chocolate disc atop the cakes had no added sugar – mind blown.
Sweet vanilla swirl & orange blossom honey-cream (for your dipping delight)
If a biscuit and a churro made sweet sweet love and had a baby, I imagine this being the result. I was amazed to find out that they’d been fried in ghee (clarified butter), as there wasn’t even a hint of grease, or sogginess. The honey-cream, had an custard-like consistency and was flavoured with orange blossom water – giving it a vaguely floral undertone, which for me, only added to its deliciousness.
Chocolate mousse with cardamom & coffee mascarpone & toasted pistachios
I think most normal humans would have been getting full at this stage but I was still raring to go. The base was a dense, yet fluffy, chocolate mousse, which tasted so decadent you truly wouldn’t notice, or indeed care, about it’s low sugar content. The cardamom definitely came through in the lightly whipped mascarpone, and complemented the coffee flavour rather than dominated it, as I’d feared it might. The pistachio nuts gave it a lovely crunch which brought it altogether,beautifully.
Sidenote: Just looking at this makes me rue my own complete and utter ineptitude when it comes to piping bags. There was a nasty incident a few years ago, I attempted to make meringue ghosts for a halloween bake off at work… it ended in me flinging the (full) piping bag across the kitchen in a rage, and making sausage rolls instead. Wish me luck for the charity bake off I’ve just arranged at work!!
The recipes for all of the bakes at the pop up can be found on Kate’s rather beautiful website, so definitely check that out. She’ll also be demoing at OctoberFeast in Lewes on September 17 and keep your eye on the Tabl website for future pop-up dates. I can, and do, highly recommend.
Have you been to any events at The Polygon pop-up? What are your thoughts on a low sugar/carb/GF tea party? Post in the comments section or hit me up on my social networks (links below).
*any meals which were free of charge are clearly stated or marked with an asterisk, you can read my full disclaimer here.