This was my first attempt at sweet pastry, it was actually quite simple and tasted amazing. I was making a bakewell tart. (recipe to follow)
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cool
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg
Splash of milk
Sieve the flour and icing sugar into a bowl
Chop the butter into cubes and gently work it through the four mixture so that it resembles breadcrumbs
Beat the egg with the milk and vanilla essence, add to the flour mixture and bring together to create a ball of pastry. Do not over work.
Sprinkle a little flour onto a work surface and flatten pastry to about 2.5cm thick, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Using a 25cm spring form tart tin, lightly oil all over.
Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to about 1/2 cm thick. Using the rolling pin wrap pastry around and unroll over the tart tin. Ease the pastry into the tin pushing to the sides. Trim of any excess pastry.
Prick the base with a fork and put in freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove and line baking paper over the pastry, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 10 minutes at 180 deg. Remove the paper and beans and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool.
Another home comfort food dish, delicious for lunch or dinner, hot or cold.
Butter for greasing tin
1 Roll ready made shortcrust pastry
1 bunch of asparagus spears
250g Spinach leaves
3 large eggs
150ml double cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
10 small cherry tomatoes
handful fresh basil, chopped
40g grated cheddar cheese (or you could use parmesan)
Salt & pepper
Pre heat oven to 190 deg on convection bake setting.
Grease a 10-12 inch tart tin with the butter, roll out the pastry and line the tin, trimming of excess.
Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for about 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven to 180 deg.
Meanwhile, bend the asparagus spears until they snap and discard woody bases.
Bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil and blanch the asparagus for 1 minute, remove. Using the same water put the spinach in then remove immediately. Drain well and squeeze excess moisture out.
Mix the eggs, cream & garlic together in a bowl and season with salt & pepper.
Lay the spinach into the pastry case, then the asparagus and tomatoes cut side up, sprinkle with the basil. Pour the egg mixture into the case and sprinkle the grated cheese over evenly.
Transfer to the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, remove and leave to cool to room temperature, serve.
I know, I’m going to tell you all about my Crisperplate again….lol! Just 7 minutes bake time for these quick and easy puff pastry pizzas, compared to an oven bake (20 mins), the Crisper does it in more than half the time with the same results.
One my own this afternoon I just wanted a quick lunch, so this was perfect. I decided to use up things in my fridge, so I went for this combo, but you can make any combination you like. (times may vary)
1 roll puff pastry (use half if making 2) – cut in half or quarter if making 4
2 tbsp tomato paste
Mushrooms – I used Chestnut
Little olive oil
Pre heat your crisper plate for 2 minutes
Roll out pastry and with each half, score a 1cm border all the way around.
Score a couple of diagonal lines in the middle (do not go right through) then place onto crisper plate.
Place grated mozzarella into the middle, evenly but not too thick. Season.
Then place the mushrooms in a layer evenly and drizzle a little oil over. Season
Cook on Crisper setting for 7-8 minutes or until your desired brownness level.
I had some pastry left over and decided to give these quick little bites a try, the flavour was amazing so sweet. I drizzled with a little Maple Syrup and I have to say it went really well, but so would chocolate…Mmmmmmm!
I used my little Crisper plate to bake and it only took 5 minutes……..what could be better? 5 minute bites!
1 sheet puff pastry
5 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 egg for wash
Mix the caster sugar & cinnamon together in a bowl (you can use quantities to your own taste)
Lay out the pastry and sprinkle the sugar mix all over, then fold in half lengthways, seal with a little water
Cut the pastry with a sharp knife or pizza cutter into long strips about 1cm wide
Take both ends of strip and slowly start to twist, not too tightly or the pastry won’t puff up.
Then gently wrap around into a swirl shape and seal the end underneath to the centre. Make sure to seal tightly or they will unravel as some of mine did while cooking. Brush with the egg wash and place onto the preheated crisper plate. Cook onto Dynamic crisp for 5-6 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Looking for something nice to have with a coffee this afternoon, I decided to have a go at Choux Pastry again. The first time I tried they didn’t puff up, so I was so pleased when these came out lovely and airy. Thought I would try doughnut shape instead of the traditional way. Very tricky to eat this way but then again I did make extra large man size ones……lol! They were absolutely delicious. Perfect for our afternoon coffee.
115g Strong Flour
4 tbsp milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of caster sugar
55g unsalted butter
3 medium eggs
300ml double cream
100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavouring you wish)
100g Chocolate (if using on top)
Preheat your oven to 200 deg.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and flour
Put the water, milk, salt, sugar and butter into a pan and bring to the boil on a medium heat until the butter is melted.
Remove from the heat and sieve in the flour and beat vigorously until it forms a dough then cook on a very low heat for 5 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs then add in little at a time beating well between each egg. You want a smooth glossy finished dough.
Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe 4 rings, approx 4 inch diameter onto the baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200 deg then turn down to 170 deg for 10 minutes or until they have risen well and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, pour the cream and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until just slightly thickened, then add the icing sugar and continue to whisk until desired thickness. Spoon into a piping bag with the star nozzle.
Cut the cooked Choux in half and pipe the cream into the middle then place the top on. Dust with some icing sugar. If using chocolate, melt chocolate in a microwave for 2 minutes then spoon on top and refrigerate to harden (about 10 minutes). Serve.
This was a quick throw together breakfast this morning. Being out the night before, we woke quite hungry and a simple bowl of cereal or toast was not going to cut it….lol! It’s amazing sometimes what you can put together when you just take 2 minutes to look in your fridge and cupboards! Using my crisper plate these little tartlets baked in just 8 minutes.
1 Roll of Puff Pastry
4 Chipolata Sausages or Wee willy winkies (cocktails sausages!)
4 tsp tomato pasta with Chilli
4 medium eggs
handful of tomatoes (small) halved
8 rashers of smoked bacon
Salt & pepper to season
Preheat the crisper plate for 2 minutes.
Place bacon and sausages onto plate and cook for about 3 minutes
Meanwhile, cut the pastry into squares and with a sharp knife score a 1cm border around the pastry, like a picture frame. Do not cut all the way through.
Remove the bacon and sausages to a plate and wipe dry the crisper plate
Spoon 1 tsp of tomato paste over the centre of the pastry.
Chop the cooked bacon and sausages into small pieces and place onto the tomato paste, leave room in the middle for the egg later.
Place onto crisper plate and bake for 6 minutes, the edges will start to puff up.
Remove plate and crack the egg into the middle of the pastry, add the tomatoes and season. Bake for a further 2m 30 secs. or until desired egg setting.
Oh yes, its that time of year when the apple, cinnamon and warm comfort food come out. Thought I’d try a warming pastry using my little crisper, amazing, this would normally take about 40 minutes in an traditional oven, but on the crisper……just 16 minutes…YES! 16 minutes. Amazing.
Makes 6-8 servings
1 pre rolled puff pastry (all butter)
1 orange (peel only)
50g walnuts – chopped
50g pine nuts – chopped
1 tsp cinnamon powder
50ml dark rum
50g light brown sugar
1 egg and 50ml milk for brushing
Icing sugar for decoration
Soak the sultanas in the rum (preferably overnight or at least 4 hours)
Peel and slice the apple, then mix them with the walnuts, pine nuts, sugar, cinnamon and orange peel, mix well.
Add in the sultanas and breadcrumbs to the apple mixture and mix
Roll out the pastry
Pour the apple mixture onto the pastry then roll up lengthwise. Seal with egg and milk and press with either finger or fork to seal.
Preheat the Crisper Plate for 3 minutes on Dynamic Crisp setting, remove from oven and gently place the apple roll onto he plate. Brush the roll with Egg wash mixture and make a few small cuts on top of pastry to allow steam out.
Bake on the Crisper setting for about 16 mins, if you feel it is browning too quickly cover the top with some baking sheet.
Oh it’s that time of the year where cinnamon is a staple ingredient in your household and no better way to use it than to make cinnamon glazed swirls……oh so yummy!
For the swirls:-
1 puff pastry sheet
spoonful of butter melted
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
For the Glaze:-
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Pre-heat oven to 190deg
Roll out pastry sheet, brush with butter then sprinkle sugars and cinnamon evenly over pastry sheet
Carefully start to roll the pastry up not too tight but not too loose
Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into 6 or 7 sections evenly.
Grease a baking tin or tray and place the swirls upright leaving a little space between each to allow for expansion of pastry.
Bake for approx 20-25 mins until golden brown
Meanwhile to make the glaze, mix the milk and vanilla essence with the icing sugar until you have a thick but not too thick consistencey, if too runny just keep adding more icing sugar. Using a spoon drizzle over swirls once removed from oven, allow to harden and serve……oh so yummy!
With some puff pastry left in the fridge and looking for a tasty Sunday brunch thought I’d have a go at a puff pastry tart. Such a simple and easy yet tasty delight. The fillings are endless too, I now have so many ideas going on in my head for next time…….goats cheese being one of my favourites.
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg whisked for the wash
2 egg yolks
handful cherry tomatoes – halved
handful of spinach
salt & pepper to taste
Firstly cut your pastry into a square, about 5″ x 5″, using a sharp knife draw a square around the pastry about 1 cm in, be careful not to cut right through.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash.
Place the spinach in the square then the cherry tomatoes around the edge.
Place into a preheated oven at 190 deg for approx 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, pour the remaining egg wash into the centre and then place the egg yolks in the middle, put back in oven and continue to cook for approx 10-15mins.
So Rio 2016 is upon us, to help celebrate I decided to try my hand at a Brazilian themed dinner. I was so pleased with my results, so tasty! Here you are, my recipes:-
Empanadas are little pockets of leftovers, I filled mine with Soffritto, Mince and Black beans filling.
Traditional Empanada dough is made a bit like an unsweetened tart crust: flour, salt (and any other seasonings), and butter are mixed to combine, then eggs and water are added until the dough comes together. However, I cheated for quickness and used shop bought ready rolled shortcrust pastry.
For the Soffritto:-
3 celery sticks
1 large white onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Chop all the ingredients into very fine pieces (cubes).
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until translucent and slightly browned. Then add in the carrot and celery, reduce to a low heat and cook for approx 1 hour until its all browned. The flavour that comes from the vegetables is amazing and almost caramelised like.
At this stage you can eat it on its own or add any other meats or flavourings.
For my filling for the Empanada’s I added to the Soffritto mix:-
200g Browned mince
200g Black beans
2 tbsp Chopped Chilli
1 tsp salt & pepper to season
When the filling is ready, you are now ready to make your Empanadas
Roll out your pasty into circular shapes, I used a 4″ pastry cutter.
Take a dessert spoonful of the filling and put onto pastry
Wet you finger and wet the edges of the pastry, fold over the pastry into a half moon shape and seal with your finger or a fork.
Place on a greaseproof paper baking tray and brush with either milk or egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg for 25 minutes.
Also check out my Brazilian Cheesy Bread here:- https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2016/08/06/brazilian-cheesy-bread/