Soft tender peanut butter shortbread topped with crunchy peanuts, rich caramel and smooth creamy chocolate. What’s not to love? I can pretty much guarantee that I will never turn down a piece of caramel shortbread when it’s on offer and these are certainly no exception. […]
Sausage rolls are such a classically British snack. I was always quite surprised that they weren’t more popular in the States given how much they love pork but I guess their sausages aren’t quite the same as a good old British banger.
Back in the far mists of time, when I used to eat meat, I was always quite partial to a sausage roll, although if I’m honest I was always far more in it for the pastry than the pork. This veggie version is spot-on as far as I’m concerned. Crisp, flaky pastry filled with a soft flavourful filling, they’re delicious hot or cold.
320g ready-made, ready rolled puff pastry
1 red pepper, roasted and skinned
1 can of chickpeas
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
salt and pepper to taste
butter or oil for frying
sesame seeds (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment or a silicone mat.
Dice the onion and fry it in a little oil or butter until it is soft and just starting to colour. Roughly chop the red pepper and crumble the feta. Lightly beat the egg. Put everything except the pastry (obviously), one tablespoon of the egg and the sesame seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Whizz it all together until you have something that resembles a thick chunky hummus that holds its shape.
Unroll the pastry and place it with the long edge towards you. Cut the pastry horizontally to leave you with two even sized pieces. Divide the filling mixture into two portions and place each in a line down the centre of each piece of pastry. Brush one of the long edges of each piece of pastry with a little of the remaining beaten egg and carefully fold the dough over to cover the filling. Push down the edge to seal the sausage rolls, if you want to crimp the edge for decoration my top tip is to roll a fluted pastry cutter along the edge.
Brush the sausage rolls with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle them with a few sesame seeds. Cut each roll into eight even sized pieces and transfer them to the prepared baking tray. Bake them 25 minutes until they are gorgeously golden and the pastry is crisp.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner! I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly […]
Oops! Somehow another madeleine recipe has made it onto this blog… These are like my perfect Anglo-French treat. The floral earl grey tea goes really well with the sharp sweet raspberries and the little sponges have a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture. There may have been an […]
I think this post might be my biggest tribute to my Grandmas baking yet. She was a pretty decent cook, although she mostly stuck to the ‘meat and two veg’ type recipes of her era, but my goodness was she a good baker.
This was especially true when it came to pastry. It was always faultless, whether it was sweet or savoury and always perfectly flaky and melt in the mouth.
If she was making pastry then my brother and I would loiter in her kitchen, waiting for the off-cuts to turn into little pasties filled with her homemade jam. The hardest part of making these is waiting for them to cool when they come out of the oven so that you don’t burn your mouth on the bubbling hot jam.
300g plain flour
1/4 nutmeg (grated)
2 tbsp brandy (optional – you can just use water if you prefer)
splash of ice-cold water
150g (ish) cherry jam
75g (ish) mascarpone
egg wash and a little extra sugar to finish
To make the pastry sift the flour and gently rub the cold butter into it until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Whisk in the sugar. Slowly add the brandy and enough water to bring this all together to form a ball of dough. You can do all this in a food processor if you prefer. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before pre-heating the oven to 180°c.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough so that it’s a couple of millimetres thick. Using a small plate or saucer as a guide, cut out discs from the dough, re-rolling as necessary. Add a small dollop of jam and a little blob of mascarpone to the centre of each disc. Try to resist the urge to be too greedy with the amount of filling, it will undoubtedly bubble out so you don’t really want more than a teaspoon in there. Brush the edge of the dough with beaten egg, fold the pastry over the filling and firmly press down the edges. Crimp the edge or simply press around it with a fork.
Brush each little pasty with egg wash and sprinkle them with a little sugar. Arrange on a greased baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until they’re beautifully golden. Leave them to cool a little before enjoying.
Like all good Westcountry folk I certainly appreciate a good cream tea. A light, fluffy freshly baked scone, crisp on the outside and perhaps just a little warm on the inside is key.
These cherry and coconut scones fit the bill wonderfully and the flavours are a perfect pairing. Conveniently enough they also go very well with jam and cream!
For the most tender and fluffy scones possible be sure to use either buttermilk or milk that you’ve turned sour with a squeeze of lemon juice.
500g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
300ml of buttermilk or milk soured with lemon juice
50g desiccated coconut
85g glace cherries
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and place a non-stick baking tray in it to warm up. Sift the flour and the raising agents together into a large mixing bowl and then mix the sugar through. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub this into the dry mix with your fingertips. Add the coconut and stir it through so that it is evenly distributed.
Add the liquid, a little at a time and mix it together with a butter knife to leave you with a nice soft dough. Cut the cherries into quarters and then work them through the dough.
Put this on a lightly floured surface and gently pat it out flat until it is about 1 inch thick. You can use a rolling-pin if you prefer but try not to overwork the gluten in the dough or you’ll end up with tough scones.
One of the tricks to getting well risen scones is not to twist the cutter when you stamp them out. So with this in mind place the cutter on the surface of the dough and give it one quick sharp tap down to cut out the scones. Repeat this, re-rolling the dough as needed, until it is all used and place the scones on a greased baking tray. Brush the top of the scones with a little more milk or buttermilk and sprinkle them with a little sugar. Bake them for 12-15 minutes until they are golden.