A French Inspired Tea Party

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Last year a friend of ours hosted a lovely tea party for several of her friends. It was delightful, and it made us wonder why we don’t have tea parties more often.  Well here’s some inspiration today from the tea expert, Ellen Easton.  It’s a French inspired tea party menu, and it includes two yummy recipes for the sweets – mini meringue kisses and petit fours.

~ A French Inspired Afternoon Tea Menu~

By Ellen Easton

 Sandwiches and Savories

Mini Asparagus Quiche

Brie and Fig Spread on Brioche

Smoked Salmon and Dill on Dark Bread

Duck Mousse Truffle Pate with Cornichons on Mini Croissant

Chopped Egg Salad with Dijon Mustard and Chive on Baguette Round

Rose Petal Tea


 Lemon Madeleine’s Crème Fraiche

Mini Spice Bread

Lavender -Mint Tisane



Mini Coffee -Hazelnut Éclair

Orange Pate de Fruit

 French Blue Petit Four

Mini Pink Macaroon

Mini Dark Chocolate Truffle

 Peach Mousse in Shot Glass

Jasmine Tea


MINI MERINGUE KISSES Print This Post Print This Post


  • 2 egg whites
  •  ½- cup superfine sugar
  • 1 -teaspoon pure vanilla extract or flavor of choice
  • Optional: food coloring

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick sheet.  In a clean dry bowl, at a high speed, beat the egg whites; slowly add in the sugar and vanilla until shiny, stiff peaks form. The egg white should form standing peaks.  Either pipe with a pastry bag or spoon into mini peaks in the shape of a “kiss” onto the baking sheet.  Bake for one hour, until crisp.  If the meringue looks too dark, turn off the oven and allow to crisp inside the cooling oven.  Yields: 40

Before baking you can be inventive, add flavorings, cocoa, coconut flakes, chocolate bits, dried fruit bits, edible flowers or nuts to this batter.  You can also add a drop of food coloring to change the color and colored sand sugar to dust the top.

Meringues are also used to make small baskets and cups or finger shapes.  The baskets and cups may be used to hold berries, fillings and ice cream.

The fingers may be served, as is, or they may be filled with jam, chocolate ganache and other fillings and served closed.

Meringue can also be crumbled to sprinkle on top of other desserts or berries.

VANILLA PETIT FOURS Print This Post Print This Post




  • 10 TBS. of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar-sifted
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2-cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites {about 4 large eggs, separated}


In a mixing bowl, at a medium speed, cream the butter. Adding in a little sugar at a time beat together until mixed and creamy. Add sifted cake flour, baking powder and milk and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. In a separate dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks cling to the bowl, not stiff. Fold into the cream batter.  In a greased and floured cupcake pan or a cupcake pan lined with paper liners pour the batter almost to the top. {For Petit Fours: bake in a sheet size cake pan. When cool, cut in to mini squares and cover with icing and decorate.}

In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick wipes clean from the center.  Remove from the oven to cool on a wire rack.  When cool, remove from pan and cover with icing and decorate.

Yield: 24 mini Petit Fours or 12 regular cupcakes

BASIC BUTTER CREAM ICING Print This Post Print This Post


  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • {Use vegetable shortening when pure white icing is needed}
  • 1/4-cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract or other desired flavoring
  • 1 pound {16 oz. boxed} confectioner’s sugar

TO COLOR ICING: pastel food coloring


In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix at a low speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed or the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar.

To create pastel colors, divide icing into a separate bowls, for each desired color, using a toothpick, add one drop of color at a time and mix until desired color is reached.

Yields 3 cups

With a warmed flat knife, ice each individual cupcake.

Decorated with colored sprinkles or design of choice.

Photo, Recipes and Text © Ellen Easton- All Rights Reserved

Ellen Easton an afternoon tea, etiquette and lifestyle authority, in addition to her TEA TRAVELS™ writings as an author, columnist and guest lecturer, is a consultant to the hospitality, food, retail and special event industries, specializing in corporate training, Afternoon Tea, menu planning, recipe development and the design of related products, whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, The Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman.




  • Ellen Easton

    Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

4 Responses

  1. Total savoir faire and delicious refined recipies. Pretty presentation and original combinations

  2. Fran capo says:

    Well written, looks delicious and nice to have it planned step by step in elegant fashion.

  3. Something to treasure today. Make it important time for being civilized and mindful. Tea time can carry messages of anything you want. Time you take back from the speedy world. Ellen knows

  4. Ellen Easton says:

    Thank you for your kind comments. Ellen

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