Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aphrodisiac Moroccan Afternoon Tea

Moroccan Pastries & Desserts
Le premier verre est aussi amer que la vie,
le deuxième est aussi fort que l'amour,
le troisième est aussi doux que la mort.*

*Moroccan proverb, which translates loosely to:
The first glass is as bitter as life,
the second glass is as strong as love,
the third glass is as gentle as death.

Tea Party of Love
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

Tea Party of Love
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

At long last - photographs and stories from our latest event titled "Light, Love… Action!"
This is my 3rd annual Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Tea Party - which not surprisingly is always very popular and very special.

First thing - I would like to thank the wonderful friends that helped me put together this event: Miriam, Tamya and Shukoofeh for helping me prepare all the Moroccan sweets and the savoury mezze inspired tea sandwiches. Thank you to Nikki for helping me co-host the event and for her wonderful presentation about aphrodisiac candles (see more below). An extra special thank you goes to Miriam who went above and beyond - seamlessly helping me to host as well as photograph the event so those who couldn't make it can get some inspiration and food for thought!

Tea Party of Love
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

Tea Party of Love
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

Nikki will bought her aphrodisiac candles, including “Three Little Words” - a very special trio of romantic candles she created especially to put you in the mood!
"Afternoon Nap" with Black Pepper and Lavender
"Slow Dance" with Sandalwood, Clove, Patchouli
"Sweetheart" with Ylang Ylang, Geranium and Nutmeg

She shared the pure aphrodisiac essences that are used in her candles to demonstrate how they can be used to set the mood for romance. Lighting a candle is an act of inviting passion and romance into your life. It has such a beautiful soft ligth, and with a scented candle, you also get the health benefits of aromatherapy grade essences - purifying the air and also affecting the body, mind and soul in a positive way.
Nikki shared some surprising tips on burning soy wax candles, for example - light a candle before you enter the bedroom to make it smell nice, rather than keep it burning all night long. And also tips on how long a wick should be, how to trim them, and for how long it's recommended to burn each candle.

Aphrodisiac Spice Box

My presentation was about how the aphrodisiacs were incorporated in the menue (see below) and they actually "work". I demonstrated two scents for men (ArbitRary and Orcas) that contain aphrodisiacs, and two feminine perfumes (Immortelle l'Amour and Roses et Chocolat).
And here I am pouring a very special aphrodisiac that I designed especially for the party: a Darjeeling tea scented with mimosa & myrrh!

Pouring Tea
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

The menu was Moroccan inspired – colourful, spicy and flavourful from one of the world’s most sophisticated cuisines!

We all enjoyed Moroccan mint tea drizzled with orange flower water and garnished with fresh sprigs of spearmint. The orange flower water is an old Moroccan tradition, but was a refreshing and new for everyone attending and I was thrilled how much they loved it!
We created an abundance of colourful finger foods and fragrant desserts that are a feast for all of the senses – and all spiked with nature’s best aphrodisiacs, such as cardamom,

Moroccan Mezze (Hors d’Oveurs):
- Pita wedges with roasted bell pepper hummus topped with spicy Moroccan carrot salad
- Roasted eggplants sandwiches with black cardamom & pomegranate (served on Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps)
- Cumin-scented beets with chevre & black olives (on slices of PureBread’s rosemary-lavender bread)

Moroccan inspired scones flavoured with aniseed and malepi (black cherry pit - this is actually a Greek specialty spice but worked so well with the anise that I just had to include it in the menu).
We served them piping hot with clotted cream and real rose petal jam.

Petitfours & Desserts:
Masapan (Moroccan almond paste tartlets)
Stuffed Dates with Rosewater & Coconut
Gheriba (Rose Petal & Semolina shortbread cookies)
Ras El Hanout spiced brownies

There were also two types of handmade truffles for sale:
White Musk Truffles (white chocolate infused with precious ambrette seeds – a botanical musk)
Black Beauty truffles (infused with Lapsang Suchong & black cardamom and smoked salt)

The whole spread!
Photograph by Miriam Kleingeltink

We also gave door prizes including some of our secret aphrodisiac recipes and raffle tickets for a romantic gift box of perfumes, candles and potions that Nikki & I prepared in heart-shaped cookie boxes.

And last but not least - some music from the party (we played mostly authentic Moroccan music, and also some other North African music, such as the wonderful Libyan musician Tinariwen).

This might be the first and the last tea party for 2012, but we'll look forward to hosting a tea party for next Valentine's Day!

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