"When it comes to brunch menu planning, take a hint from fancy restaurant degustación - that being, small food on big plates."
Unless the earth falls over and flips around its own axis, we will never have a White Christmas on this side of the hemisphere. A blazing, summery sunshine-filled one is more like it (well, one could hope).
But 2020 has been dull and gloomy at most, so we should liven it up before the year ends, and aim for a Golden Christmas. Furthermore, let our meals with our loved ones be suffused with joy, warmth, and edible sparkly stuff. Because nothing amplifies feasts more than shiny things on the table.
And speaking of feasts, is there anything more festive or fabulous than High Tea? A DIY High Tea at home on Christmas day with accents of gold can really elevate the dining experience up a few notches from bland to exciting. The keyword here is “accent”. Go for muted, simple, and elegant as a theme. Don’t replicate Tutankhamun’s throne room at the Cairo museum. Too much gold is gaudy.
A high-impact or low-key Golden Christmas would work either way, but stick to monochromatic and neutral tones, that would highlight the lustrous yellow metal. This guideline appertains to food, cutlery, and decor.
When it comes to brunch menu planning, take a hint from fancy restaurant degustación - that being, small food on big plates. All that negative space on bone china or stoneware really makes food pop out in a classy way. If people are wanting more, there’s always room for seconds, or perhaps thirds at the dining table. It’s the season for extra calories, after all.
Dessert is a delightful conclusion to every satisfying meal. And beautiful, golden treats augment the refined grace of a tastefully laid out banquet. It could also rekindle the already satiated appetite of diners.
I personally love chocolate. I suggest enhancing pastries with edible gold-painted chocolate leaves, silicon molded chocolate balls or bells, and chocolate wax seals. Transfer sheets with gold prints are another way to enhance chocolate decorations.
If chocolate work is not for you, there’s always fondant, which is easier to manipulate. Cut out shapes like snowflakes, leaves, flowers, or whatever else you fancy, then paint or dust them with edible gold powder for that glittery effect on tarts or cakes, even pies.
Store-bought wafer flowers are another option that you can spray with gold. And if you can't buy them, just get plain wafer paper and use punchers to stamp out different outlines. Then place them on top of muffins, pancakes, and danishes.
Gold cachous sugar pearls can be combined with any of the three ingredients above. Play around with designs and you’ll be surprised how creative you can get, and how much fun you can have. I found out I like attaching them to shortbread trees and even just sprinkling them on top of yoghurt in dessert glass cups.
If out of time, simply rip out tiny pieces of gold from gold leaf sheets with a tweezer, and set them on macarons, or any other petit fours. You can also use gold leaves, flakes, and glitter on savoury food like canapés or hors d'oeuvres, even in drinks. I utilize them frequently on cakes with mirror-glazing, which is undoubtedly, the ultimate in light-catching desserts.
Apart from consumables, other shiny objects can be wonderful table pieces that reflect the spirit of a golden yuletide celebration. Re-purposed glass jars are a fantastic container for fairy lights. This adds a certain magical atmosphere. They are also a nice vessel for homemade truffles, which are wonderful take-away gifts for guests.
Anything from gold napkins, forks, ribbons to gift tags can find a place on your High Tea brunch table. A plethora of sparkle to brighten the dining room, and grace this year’s Christmas table and our hearts.
Have a Merry Christmas, bakers!