Sam Blandford Student number: 21184301 Tutor: Peter Cross Professional Pastry Techniques 1 Title: Afternoon Tea Report Contents Page Page Number Introduction3 Methodology4 Current trends5 The Science of Gluten6 Gluten free afternoon tea7 Conclusion10 Bibliography11 Introduction In this report investigations will be carried out to determine what the current trends in items served in afternoon teas are as well as the way in which afternoon tea is served. Other factors that will be looked at include the changing clientele of establishments that serve afternoon tea.
The range in price and quality of afternoon teas around the country and the type of places that choose to offer afternoon tea will also be investigated. Now, afternoon tea has been around since the early nineteenth century when tea first started to become popular in the UK. It ‘s invention is often credited to the 7th Duchess of Bedford (http://www. teamuse. com/article_001203. html) who it is thought used it to stave off a “mid afternoon sinking feeling”.
This was most likely as a result of it being commonplace in these times to only eat 2 meals a day, Breakfast and dinner with dinner being commonly served as late as 9 in the evening. The solution to this was to have a small pot of tea, with a light snack, usually a sandwich or cake of some sort at around 4pm. This is still the traditional time for afternoon tea to be had and many afternoon teas are very careful to keep to traditional items when serving afternoon tea as it is seen as an important part of British history and culture.
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Some more modern places are keener to adapt and branch out as will be explained later on in the report. Methodology To carry out this investigation research would need to be carried out into what afternoon teas are available and how they vary depending on factors like location, type and price. To this it was concluded a number of establishments would be chosen in cities across the UK and investigate what they had to offer. To do this their websites would be looked at in the hope that they would give me some useful information regarding their afternoon tea menu without me having to visit them in person.
This quickly became a problem as it became apparent that the main players in the afternoon tea market, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Savoy, both of which at the most expensive range of the market had very vague menus for their sweet items on their afternoon tea menus. This could be to so that competitors do not know what they are selling but could also be that because from a business point of view, afternoon teas are a great way to use up anything that is left over.
This could have been quite limiting however, after looking at cheaper places it was discovered that they offered far more detailed menu descriptions such as The Milestone and The Goring. Another thing that was looked at over the course of this investigation was the clientele that visit establishments that are serving afternoon tea. It was discovered that an increasingly large amount of Japanese tourists are visiting afternoon tea establishments. This is because Japanese people are very keen on a sense of history according to the Japan times something that many British establishments excel at providing.
This is according to the Japan Times which says: “What Japanese people tend to appreciate most about Britain is its sense of tradition. The idea of setting aside time in the afternoon for tea is attractive, since it appeals to the Japanese love of continuity” this clearly demonstrates why more and more Japanese people choose to eat afternoon tea, though this could also be down to their superior economy enabling them to have more disposable income to spend on things like afternoon tea. Other clientele areas that are increasingly choosing to eat afternoon tea are the so-called ladies who lunch.
These are the kind of women who are wealthy enough to be able to afford afternoon tea on a regular basis and often do so in a large grop of similar women. However this can have a bad effect on their health as a recent study by Dr Anne McTiernan found that those who regularly eat lunch away from home are more likely to gain weight than those who eat at home as reported in a national newspaper (http://www. dailymail. co. uk/health/article-2172900/A-weighty-warning-ladies-lunch-Those-eat-regularly-lose-fewer-pounds. tml) this shows how the rise in afternoon teas popularity can have detrimental effects on peoples health. Current trends In recent times afternoon tea has had a resurgence in popularity in the UK after a period where it was seen as somewhat old fashioned and out of touch with modern times where fast food establishments are plentiful. It may be difficult to attain the reason for this but retailer Debenhams, who has reported a 119% profit increase over the last 2 years in the sales of china cups and saucers.
This shows a massive increase in afternoon tea popularity fuelled largely by the money of many wealthy Asian businessmen and women enjoying afternoon tea either in the UK or in Asia where many things from British culture are becoming very popular, such as private schooling. For example recently Wellington College in Berkshire was paid to build an exact replica of itself in the Chinese city of Tianjin. This shows how Asian economic growth has helped to popularise afternoon tea again in Britain as many Asian people see Britain as the ideal template for their own country.
Other factors that have helped to encourage the boom in afternoon tea popularity are the increasing number of establishments that offer it now and at varying prices making it affordable for people with less disposable income. For example an afternoon tea at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is only ? 37 compared to ? 85. This shows how the more reasonable pricing of some afternoon teas can be a contributing factor in its booming popularity among both British and Foreign clientele. Something else that was noticed when looking at afternoon teas is the vast array of teas that are now available.
One teashop that was looked researched in Cardiff had 300 teas on offer for service with an afternoon tea. This is different from when the first mention of afternoon tea came about where you were lucky if a handful of teas were on offer. The Science of Gluten. Gluten is a mixture of proteins that is found in many wheat-based products and other grains such as rye or oats. Gluten consists of two proteins gliadin and glutenin, which is mixed with starch in the endosperm of a wheat kernel.
Together they make up 80% of the protein in wheat or other cereals gluten is useful in baking both breads and cakes as it gives the products elasticity and also allows them to keep their shape better. Gluten forms when glutenin molecules cross over creating a web like structure, which contributes to thickness and stretchiness of the dough. If yeast is added to the mixture it produces carbon dioxide bubbles, which become trapped in the structure causing the dough to rise. Baking the dough solidifies the gluten, which along with starch helps to stabilise the shape of the product.
Usually different flours are used in the production of breads to those of cakes and pastries as bread flour has a higher gluten content. This provides the stretchiness needed for good bread and pastry products, it is important to develop the gluten to just the right level or else the bread or pastry will either be too rubbery or too tough or to short, for example when making tartlets or other pastry products it is important not to work the dough too much as this risks developing the gluten too much resulting in a tough and chewy product rather than the more crispy product that is desired.
Gluten is also used in the production of many imitation meat products such as Quorn and tofu as when gluten is cooked in a broth it produces a rubbery meat like texture. Gluten free afternoon tea. In doing this research gluten free afternoon tea options available for those who suffer from coeliac disease were looked at. Many reviewers on online consumer sites found the food to be bland at tasteless particularly at the Ritz where many suggested that the ratio of topping to gluten free bread was far too excessive, many also found the pastry options to be far below the usual high standard that they expect.
Others also commented on the poor quality of the Gluten free options and the snooty vibe of the waiting staff who they felt looked down on them because of their intolerance. However at other places such as Browns the gluten free options has been found to be almost identical to those that contained gluten, particularly the gluten free pastries. This lacking of taste from gluten free products is not uncommon as many products contain alternative flours and other ingredients that do not contain gluten such as potato flour and rice flour.
These have a different taste to conventional flours and also have different properties causing to both look and taste differently and usually inferior to products made with conventional flour. Currently few gluten free products exist that consistently come close to matching the flavour and texture of normal products such as Genius bread and Warburton’s who produce a variety of gluten free cakes. During the course of this investigation a number of products were thought up that were suitable for gluten free afternoon teas. One of these was a champagne jelly with a brandy syllabub cream and a frosted grape topping.
This product was suitable for consumption by coeliac as it contained no wheat based products at all as its ingriedients consisted of 1 pint (570 ml) champagne or medium-dry sparkling white wine| 1 pint (570 ml) champagne or medium-dry sparkling white wine| 2 large lemons| 6 oz (175 g) caster sugar| 4 x 0. 4 oz (11 g) packs powdered gelatine| For the syllabub:| 2 tablespoons of the same wine as above| 1 tablespoon brandy| juice ? lemon| 1 oz (25 g) caster sugar| 5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream| For the frosted grape decoration:| 4-5 oz (110-150 g) seedless grapes| egg white| caster sugar| All these ingridients came to ? 13 for each quantity of ingridient. A rough diagram of this gluten free desert is shown below Champagne Jelly Syllabub Cream Bubbles Conclusion To conclude my report into afternoon teas it has been discovered that afternoon teas are coming back in a big way with celebrities helping to fuel the growth in demand for them. Also they have caught on abroad with Asia showing particular interest in them as they look to grow into a more developed country, perhaps basing that growth on culture much like the British did.
Also it has been looked at the different options available for afternoon teas and how different the pricing strategies are for different levels of establishments. Another thing that has been noticed was the sheer variety of teas offered in some places and also a multitude of different cake and bread mixes as well as sandwich fillings that are available for someone to have with afternoon tea today. Bibliography Tea and tourism: tourists, traditions and transformations (L, Jolliffe, 2007 | | Teas of the world (N,H Woodward, 1980) The rough guide to London (R, Humphreys, B, Chaplin, 2008 7th edition) |
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