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Sausage, Nut and Chutney Wreath

As I said in my this post, this recipe was first published on the Women’s Institute MyWI page as the main course for the ‘Menu of the Month January 2018‘.

Every single Christmas I have great intentions to make sausage rolls. Almost every single year, on boxing day, I end up shoving the sausage meat and pastry into the freezer as I’ve found that I didn’t have time and realistically didn’t need any more food. So come January, I always have sausage meat and pastry to use up. This recipe is a great way of jazzing up the meat and essentially making a showstopper sausage centrepiece! The bowl of whole nuts that everyone has lost interest in cracking can also be used up along with one of the many jars of chutney that languish from the cheeseboard or received as a well meaning gift. The clementine or satsuma clinging to life in the bottom of the fruit bowl can also be utilised. I’d suggest serving with roast or mash potatoes and some simple boiled veg with a light gravy of thickened stock.

I have used shelled pistachios in the recipe but almost any nuts could be substituted, including a mix. I would however perhaps avoid anything too heavily honey roasted or sweet and the larger wetter nuts like brazils, walnuts, peanuts, cashews etc would be ideal. Salt can be rinsed off and the nuts dried if need be.

Any sausage meat can be used but it may be wise to reduce the extra added herbs is using a strong flavoured meat such as Lincolnshire or Cumberland.

Puff pastry is not actually that difficult to make, it is however a bit time consuming, not from time spent making it, but time spent waiting for it to chill between the rolling and folding of layers. Give it a go if you have a chance and if not, there is absolutely no shame in using the shop bought stuff as I did.  I went for a block of pre-made pastry rather than ready rolled as you ideally need a squarer/circle shape than the rectangle the pre-rolled comes in. It does only take seconds to roll out.

The instructions for making the 8-point pastry star sound very complicated when written – it isn’t really so please don’t be put off. Please refer to the step-by-step photos which are included for your reference.

Serves 4

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Ingredients:

1 Large Onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
150g Mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Olive Oil or Butter
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
450g Sausage Meat or Sausages with the casing removed
½ Leek, sliced into thin half moons
1 Large Apple, grated with the skin on and the juice squeezed out in kitchen paper
65g Pistachios or other nuts, quite finely but roughly chopped
1 Clementine, zested and 1 half juiced
1 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
1 tbsp Dried Sage
500g Block Puff Pastry
1 Small Jar of Chutney
1 Egg beaten with a little salt
2 Ripe Figs, quartered length-ways


Preheat the oven to 190c fan oven or equivalent.

Add 1 Large Onion and 150g Mushrooms to 1 tbsp Olive Oil and 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes in a large frying pan. Cook gently on a low to medium heat until the onions and mushrooms are golden brown and caramelised.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine 450g Sausage Meat, ½ Leek, 1 Large Apple, 65g Pistachios, the zest and half the juice of 1 Clementine, 1 tbsp Minced Garlic, 1 tbsp Dried Oregano and 1 tbsp Dried Sage. I use my hands to make sure it is all well combined. Add the caramelised onions and mushrooms and further combine.

Roll a 500g Block Puff Pastry out into a large square – it needs to be about 50 cm across and about 1/3 cm thick. Use plenty of flour to ensure it doesn’t stick to the work surface.

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Lay a 30 cm diameter flan dish or plate in the middle of the pastry and gently score a circle into the pastry using a sharp knife. Make sure to not cut all the way through the pastry. Repeat in the centre with a smaller 10-12 cm diameter platter or bowl. Trim the square into a circle losing as little pastry as possible. You should now have a round of pastry with two smaller circles marked towards the centre – think of a bullseye and outer bullseye.

At this point it is a good idea to move the pastry to the baking sheet it will ultimately be baked on. I used a re-useable non-stick baking sheet on a cookie sheet. The outer circle will hang off the sides of the sheet.

Again using a sharp knife or even better, sharp long nosed scissors, cut the inner circle into 8 sections, like cutting a pizza. Leave the ‘slices’ fully attached to the middle circle. Now visually follow each of the lines towards the outer ring and mark where they would meet the outer edge. Cut 8 triangles out of the outer ring. Flip each triangle around and attach them to the remaining part of the outer ring to create extended points. You should have now created an 8 point star.

Spread 1 Small Jar of Chutney into the middle circle then top with the sausage mixture taking care to spread it evenly around the whole ring – I do this by splitting the mix into 4 ‘sausages’ and placing one in each quarter then squeezing them together at the ends.

Fold each of the outer points into the middle, tucking them in tightly and a little under the sausage meat ring.

Using 1 Egg beaten with a little salt, egg wash the inner circle and bring the inner points up and over the sausage ring. Press to seal as much as possible. Egg wash the entire surface of the pastry.

Take 2 Ripe Figs and place one quarter, cut side up in each gap where the sausage meat is still showing through the pastry. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp Olive Oil.

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Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It is ready when golden brown and there is no pink left in the sausage meat (use a sharp knife to check a little section, maybe under a fig).

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Cheese, Leek and Thyme Risotto with Bacon Topper

As I said in my last post, this recipe was first published on the Women’s Institute MyWI page as the starter for the ‘Menu of the Month January 2018‘.

We’ve all found ourselves having overly enthusiastically bought cheese for a festive cheese board and ended up with all manner of cheese odds and sods languishing in the fridge in January. This risotto is an excellent way to use up almost any hard or soft cheese.

Some notes regarding the cheese – I would recommend removing any cheese rinds and I would probably avoid anything too unusually flavoured; apricot or cranberry studded or whiskey flavoured cheeses are probably best avoided.  The quantities can be easily amended to taste too; maybe use a little less of a very strong hard cheese or a little more of a very mild one.  I would perhaps omit the garlic if using a very garlicy soft cheese such as roule.

I’ve used dried thyme in the recipe, this could be substituted for any favourite dried or fresh herb; sage, oregano or rosemary would work, as would a mixture.

The dish can be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken stock for veg stock and omitting the bacon – you could use ‘fake-on’ or mushrooms instead. Don’t forget that not all cheese is veggie so do check which you are using.

The bacon could also be substituted for any leftover charcuterie; parma/serrano ham or salami will just need 20 seconds to crisp in a hot oil free pan.

Whilst you could easily serve this as a main course by doubling or more likely; tripling the recipe, it is extremely rich and I’d recommend upping the veggie content and using a little less cheese or only quite mild cheeses.

Serves 4

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Ingredients:

700ml Chicken Stock (I used boiling water and 1 tbsp Liquid Chicken Bouillon)
15g Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
½ Leek, cut into thin half moons (about 60g prepared)
Small pinch of Sea Salt Flakes
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 tbsp White Wine or Sherry
1 tbsp English Mustard Powder or any other mustard
1 tbsp Dried Thyme or other herb
100g Risotto Rice such as Arborio or Carnoroli
125g Cheese, cut into small cubes or grated
2 tbsp Cream Cheese such as Ricotta, Mascarpone, Roule or Philly
100g Bacon or Pancetta, cut into small strips or cubes


Start by boiling the kettle for or warming 700ml Chicken Stock in a pan until nearly boiling. Set aside.

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Add 15g Butter, 1 tbsp Olive Oil and ½ Leek into a medium saucepan along with a Small pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Stir over a medium heat until the leek has started to soften – about 3 minutes.

Add 1tsp Minced Garlic and 2 tbsp White Wine or Sherry to the pan and stir over the medium heat until most of the liquid has disappeared.

Add 1 tbsp English Mustard Powder, 1 tbsp Dried Thyme and 100g Risotto Rice to the pan and stir until all of the grains of rice are covered in the butter/oil and are glistening.

Start adding the stock, about 3 tbsp at a time to start with and continue to stir, making sure the stock is fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next lot. As the rice starts to cook, you can add increasing larger quantities of the rice. Keep adding the stock until it is all absorbed and the rice is cooked to taste. You may need a little more or a little less stock than prescribed. This should take around 15 minutes.

Add 125g Cheese and continue to stir until all melted and combined then add 2 tbsp Cream Cheese. Check the seasoning and add more Sea Salt Flakes and any desired pepper to taste. Cover and set the risotto aside off the heat to rest for a moment.

Fry 100g Bacon over a high heat until golden brown and crispy – this should only take a minute or two.

Serve the risotto in the centre of 4 shallow bowls and top each with a quarter of the crispy bacon.

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The Women’s Institute Menu of the Month – January 2018

Late last year I was honoured to be asked to write the ‘Menu of the Month’ feature for the member’s only section of the WI website – MyWI. The given theme was “Christmas Leftovers” which given the January publishing date, I took to refer to store-cupboard leftovers rather than looking for ways to deal with the turkey carcass and leftover sprouts.

If you are a WI member you can access the published (and edited) article here. If you are a WI member and have not yet obtained your MyWI logon, you can do so via this link.  For everyone else, I will republish the recipes here over 3 posts during the next week.

I will also try to do better in publishing other posts – I have been rather lax lately – apologies! I thought a new laptop would help but as my new laptop is slower than my old laptop, that hasn’t gone so well and I need to take a trip to John Lewis!


The forthcoming recipes are as follows:

Starter

Cheese, Leek and Thyme Risotto with Bacon Topper

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Main

Sausage, Nut and Chutney Wreath

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Dessert

Easy Cranberry and Shortbread ‘Cheesecake’

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Cedges Learns – Dim Sum Class – 3 Steamed Dumplings

A couple of months ago, I attended a Dim Sum Course at London Cookery School – It was a 3 and a half hour session for the bargain price of £35 up in Highbury.  We learnt how to make Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor, both thin translucent skinned dumplings with fillings of prawn and pork including the dough and Sui Mai which has a pork and prawn filling but which used a shop bought skin. All of the dumplings were steamed and eaten at the end of the class – there were a lot of dumplings! I would have been wise to save some for later!

The set up wasn’t really what I expected which was essentially proper cooking work stations – instead we had a long table with chairs for 20 and each person’s seat laid out with a few Ikea plastic bowls, a place mat and a few ingredient items in the middle of the table. One wall of the otherwise empty shop front had tables with a row of electric steamers and a little sink area at the back. I felt a little underwhelmed but actually the set up worked well – it would have been nice to not have some of the ingredients quite so pre-prepared but for 3 hours, £35 and the overall outcome, I can’t remotely complain.

We started by making the three fillings, went on to make the translucent dough and then put together the dumplings themselves.  I have provided the ingredients and methods below but I’ve obviously missed out a whole list of tips and tricks we learnt on the day along with tips on the dumpling folding etc so I’d still recommend attending the course.

Most of the ingredients, including the more unusual sounding will be available from any decent chinese supermarket or are likely available online. The dough and fillings are actually super simple to make so don’t be put off by the ingredient lists.

Makes at least 30 dumplings


Ha Gau Filling:

80g Raw King Prawn (de-veined and shelled)
1 tsp Water Chestnut, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1/3 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Tiny Pinch White Pepper

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salted radish (finely chopped)
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Light Soy
1 tsp Sesame Oil
A Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Cornflour
2 tbsp Cold Water

Sui Mai Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
10g Minced Prawn
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Small Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough:
60g Wheat Starch
40g Tapioca Flour
40g Cornflour
1 tsp Sugar
A Large Pinch Salt
120g Boiling Water
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

10 Siu Mai Wrappers


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Ha Gau Filling Method:

Finely mince 80g Raw King Prawns (de-veined and shelled), 1 tsp Water Chestnut and 1/4 tsp Ginger. Combine in a small bowl with 1/3 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour and a Tiny Pinch White Pepper.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling Method:

Combine 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork and 1/4 tsp Baking Powder in a small bowl.  Finely chop 1/2 tsp Salted Radish and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and add to the bowl with 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Light Soy, 1 tsp Sesame Oil, a Pinch White Pepper, 1 tsp Cornflour and 2 tbsp Cold Water.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Sui Mai Filling Method:

Finely mince 10g Prawn and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and combine with 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/3 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour, a Small Pinch White Pepper and 1 tsp Vegetable Oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough Method:

Combine 60g Wheat Starch, 40g Tapioca Flour, 40g Cornflour, 1 tsp Sugar and a Large Pinch Salt in a medium bowl.

Add 120g Boiling Water, mix quickly for only 20 seconds then cover the bowl and leave for 2 minutes – this ‘cooks’ the flour.

Add 2 tsp Vegetable Oil to the dough and knead until very smooth – this doesn’t take long at all.  And it goes VERY smooth.

Divide the dough into two halves, roll each half into a thick sausage and then divide each sausage into 10 equal pieces to end up with 20 pieces in total. Keep the dough balls in a plastic bag with the top kept tightly wound to stop them from drying out.

Making the Ha Gau:

Roll out one of the dough balls to about 1/2 mm thick, then cut out a round with a 3 inch cookie cutter with smooth edge.  Squeeze the cuttings together and place back in the plastic bag.

Add about half a teaspoon of Ha Gau filling to the dough round and loosely fold the dough over the filling. Hold the dough in your left hand and use your right hand to create pleats whilst at the same time pinching the edges together. I can’t possibly describe this any better sorry!

Tip – Even the most gnarly folded ones dumplings looked pretty great after they steamed – and if they taste good who cares – if you want to make them more even, prettier and with longer pleats – I think the trick is just to keep practising it. 

Place the folded dumpling into a steamer basket and continue to repeat with the other 9 balls of dough.

There should be some filling left so squeeze together all of the off cuts and roll them out to form as many extra dumplings as you can get with the remaining dough and filling. I think I ended up with about 14.

Making the Chui Chow Fun Gwor:

Prepare each of the remaining 10 dough balls in exactly the same way as with the Ha Gau.

Add a similar amount of filling to each round and fold in half. Squeeze the edges of the dough together to make a half moon shape – these are much easier than the Ha Gau!

Place each dumpling in steamer baskets and again use up any leftover dough with the leftover filling until all used up.

Making the Sui Mai:

This is the easiest of them all. Take the 10 Siu Mai Wrappers and lay them out of a flat surface. Split the filling mixture between the 10 skins.

Wet the edge of the skins with a little cold water using your finger.

Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger on your left hand. Balance the dumpling skin and filling over the hole in your hand then ease the whole thing downwards through the hole. This will wrap the dough around the filling leaving the top exposed. Firmly press the wrapper together until it keeps its shape.

Repeat with the other 9 dumplings and place them all in the steamer basket.

Steam all of the dumplings for 8 minutes over high heat.

Tip – You can freeze the dumplings on an oiled try before cooking – once frozen, throw them in a ziplock freezer bag.  They will take about 12 minutes to steam from frozen. I’d really recommend doubling or tripling the recipes and doing this for easy weeknight dinners. 

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

I made a double batch of the sweet dough I use to make my Super Garlicky Cheesy Tear’n’Share Loaf and Garlic and Mozzarella Swirl Buns to try making a sweet bread too. After a bit of internet browsing and cookbook perusing I ignored them all entirely and made this up – it worked wonderfully!

A monkey bread is usually made in a bundt type tin and so the balls of dough are more layered than my traybake affair so whether this is in fact ‘monkey bread’ I don’t know. Or care to be honest. It tastes good and its near enough!

I am aware that I have now basically repeated my recipe for this dough 3 times but I find it really quite irritating when following a recipe to have to keep flicking backwards and forwards to different blog posts (the same reason I put the quantity of each ingredient within the recipe so you don’t have to keep scrolling to the ingredient list). So, sorry, not sorry.

Makes about 40-45 golf ball size morsels

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For the Dough:

90ml (6 tbsp) Water
2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast
500g Strong White Flour – I sometimes substitute White Spelt Flour
50g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread
2 Eggs
140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk

For the Filling:

250g Cream Cheese
200g Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Drops/Chunks
50g Icing Sugar

For the Coating:

40g Cocoa Powder
80g Granulated Sugar


To Make the Dough:

Add 6 tbsp of fairly warm (not hot) Water to a small bowl and add 2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast and 50g Caster Sugar. Whisk to combine a little (it won’t combine properly) and set aside.

Measure 500g Strong White Flour and  1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Tip – If you have stand mixer or a processor with a dough hook, this is an ideal time to use it.  Some electric hand whisks also come with dough hooks in which case break those out after the next step. You can stir and knead by hand but why would you if you don’t have to?!

Add 40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread, 2 Eggs, the by now frothy yeast and water mix and 140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk to the flour and stir until a dough is formed.

Tip – The dough will be quite soft and sticky – this is a good thing!

Knead the dough until is it smooth and super stretchy – a good 10 minutes if kneading by hand, if not a bit longer – 5 to 7 minutes if using an electric mixer.

Tip – Knead the dough on a floured surface but try not to add too much extra flour to the dough as this will dry it out. If it feels like its getting a bit dry, knead in a little more milk or water. 

Leave the dough in a large covered bowl somewhere warm for about an hour to rise – it should about double in size.

Tip – You can just leave this on the side in the kitchen but it’ll take twice as long. An airing cupboard or similar is ideal but I don’t have one so depending on the time of year, I usually put one of my ovens onto a super low heat and pop it in there – I’ve been burnt by doing this on occasion by being impatient and its started to cook the dough a little by having it on too high a heat. Don’t do this! You could also warm the oven a little, pop the dough in and then turn the oven off – just don’t keep opening the door to let the residual heat out.

While the dough is rising, make the filling by thoroughly mixing the 250g Cream Cheese, 200g Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Drops/Chunks and 50g Icing Sugar and putting it into the fridge to chill back down and firm up a little.

Prep the coating by combining 40g Cocoa Powder and 80g Granulated Sugar in a shallow bowl. Set aside. 

Once risen, tip the dough out onto a floured surface and give it a quick light knead. No need for electric power here. Split the dough into thirds and roll each third into a long sausage to about the thickness of a 2p piece. Cut each sausage into about 15 pieces. The exact number is not cause for concern.

Roll each piece of dough into a very rough ball and place out on a floured work surface (you could do this in two batches if needed). Press each ball down a little and make a small indent in the middle of each to receive the filling.

Take the cream cheese and chocolate mixture and put about half a teaspoon into the indent in each dough ball.

Tip – I did this en-masse rather than one at a time as I wanted to make sure that my cream cheese mix was evenly(ish) distributed though all the dough balls.

Pick up each piece of dough and wrap the dough around the cream cheese mix so that it is fully(ish) enclosed.

Roll each of the dough balls in the cocoa/sugar mixture and place into a large roasting tray, or two smaller ones, or one smaller one but double layers. Or a bundt tin – whatever you fancy.

Gently cover the tray and leave for about 40-45 minutes in a warm place to rise again.

Meanwhile, add a little boiling water to the remaining cocoa/sugar mix until the sugar has mostly melted and it is the consistency of thick hot chocolate.  Set aside.

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10 minutes before the end of proving, pre-heat the over to 200c or the equivalent.

Remove the cover from tin and drizzle the cocoa and sugar syrup over the balls then put into the oven. Check after 10-12 minutes and removed from the oven when all puffed up and cooked through (check a middle one).

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Serve a little warm.

Garlic and Mozzarella Swirl Buns

This isn’t really a new recipe but a rehash of my earlier Super Garlicky Cheesy Tear’n’Share Loaf.  Its a great way of making savoury bread rolls and they’re just as super soft and moreish as the original loaf.

Also, lets please all take a moment to check out the new board I received for my birthday – all personalised and everything!

Makes 18

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Ingredients – For the Dough:

90ml (6 tbsp) Water
2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast
500g Strong White Flour – I sometimes substitute White Spelt Flour
50g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread
2 Eggs
140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk

Ingredients – For the Filling and Topping:

250g Salted Butter
3 tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
2 tbsp Fresh (Or Dried) Oregano
150g Pre Grated Mozzarella Cheese


To make the bread:

Add 6 tbsp of fairly warm (not hot) Water to a small bowl and add 2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast and 50g Caster Sugar. Whisk to combine a little (it won’t combine properly) and set aside.

Measure 500g Strong White Flour and  1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Tip – If you have stand mixer or a processor with a dough hook, this is an ideal time to use it.  Some electric hand whisks also come with dough hooks in which case break those out after the next step. You can stir and knead by hand but why would you if you don’t have to?!

Add 40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread, 2 Eggs, the by now frothy yeast and water mix and 140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk to the flour and stir until a dough is formed.

Tip – The dough will be quite soft and sticky – this is a good thing!

Knead the dough until is it smooth and super stretchy – a good 10 minutes if kneading by hand, if not a bit longer – 5 to 7 minutes if using an electric mixer.

Tip – Knead the dough on a floured surface but try not to add too much extra flour to the dough as this will dry it out. If it feels like its getting a bit dry, knead in a little more milk or water. 

Leave the dough in a large covered bowl somewhere warm for about an hour to rise – it should about double in size.

Tip – You can just leave this on the side in the kitchen but it’ll take twice as long. An airing cupboard or similar is ideal but I don’t have one so depending on the time of year, I usually put one of my ovens onto a super low heat and pop it in there – I’ve been burnt by doing this on occasion by being impatient and its started to cook the dough a little by having it on too high a heat. Don’t do this! You could also warm the oven a little, pop the dough in and then turn the oven off – just don’t keep opening the door to let the residual heat out.

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While the dough is rising, make the garlic butter and cheese mix.

Take 250g Salted Butter which is room temperature or a little softer and mix in 3 tbsp Garlic Paste, 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano and 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes.

Tip – If you use the microwave to soften the butter, I usually do, I’m not organised enough to take it out the fridge in advance, cut it into small squares first and spread them out on a plate. Blitz for no more than 5 seconds at a time. This way its more evenly softened rather than big block which will melt on the outside and stay solid in the middle.

Stir in 150g Pre Grated Mozzarella Cheese to the garlic butter mix.

Tip – Don’t be tempted to use fresh Mozzarella cheese here, it’ll be far too wet as would cream cheese or any other soft cheese like brie. The pre grated stuff has all the joy and stringyness of mozzarella but it’s quite dry – also best for pizza toppings I think. You could however use something stronger like cheddar or gouda but you’ll lose some of the gooey joy. A mixture would probably work. 

Set the butter mix aside while the dough finishes rising – aim for room temp – don’t refrigerate or you won’t be able to spread it.

Once doubled, take off the covering and give the dough a good punch down.

Cut the dough into 2 equalish size pieces and place one back under a covering for the time being. Roll the first into a rectangle about 1/2 cm thick.  It will fight back, keep going, it will roll out and stay eventually.

Take 1/2 of the garlic and cheese mix and spread over the rectangle of dough – try and make it a fairly evenly spread and right to the edges.

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Roll the rectangle tightly into a long sausage and then using the sharpest knife you have, cut the roll into 9 pieces of equal length. I cut the whole thing into thirds, then each third into three for maximum evenness.

Put the rolls on their ends in a large lined baking tray – I used a really big one, you could use 2 smaller with 9 rolls in each if needed.

Tip – you need to leave much more space between the rolls that you think you need to. They expand much more than you think they’re going to so don’t overpack them or they will end up excessively tight textured. 

Repeat with the second half of the dough until you have 18 rolls.

Lightly cover the tin and leave to rise, exactly the same as before for 1 hour. The dough should puff out and get  closer to filling the tin.

Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Eat warm. I’m drooling writing this!

Chorizo, Mozzarella and Red Onion Chutney Pastry Roses

 Do not be put off my how cool these look! They are SO simple to make – well, assuming you use ready made puff pastry, otherwise they’re going to be a little bit of a labour of love (but so worth it I’d bet!) My recipe and tips for making proper puff pastry are here – its not really hard, it just a bit time consuming.

I created these roses to sell at an East Dulwich WI bake sale after being inspired by these apple roses. I don’t like apple and wanted to make something savoury (and meaty as usual) so thin slices of chorizo seemed like a good idea.

Experimenting to get the cooking time right so that the pastry is cooked all the way through but without burning the bejesus out of the top of the chorizo did take a bit of doing.  After a few attempts, I hit on a method of covering the pastries for the whole (quite long) cooking process. I also abandoned the original plan of baking them in a muffin tin as this didn’t allow the pasty room to expand outwards which made them a little dense. Photos come from various batches I made so please excuse the varying quantities throughout.

They were a sell out at the sale which was a little gutting as I really fancied eating one by the end of the day! Cannot complain at that tho!

Makes 10

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Ingredients:

1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
Flour for dusting
10 tsp Red Onion Chutney
150g finely grated Mozzarella Cheese
25 Slices Chorizo
1 Egg

Equipment:

Large Roasting Tray
1 cup(ish) Uncooked Rice
10 Paper Muffin Cases
Rolling Pin (or a roll of clingfilm)
Pastry Brush
Enough Foil to Double Cover the Tin


Preheat the oven to 180c or equivalent.

Prepare a large roasting tin by lining the bottom with 1 cup of uncooked rice or some other fat soaking material – this will stop chorizo fat melting everywhere and smoking the place out. Lay 10 muffin cases out ready to fill.

Lightly dust the work surface with Flour. Take 1 Sheet Ready Rolled Puff Pastry out of the packet and cut it in half with a sharp knife straight through the paper whilst still rolled. Set aside one half for now and unroll the other being careful it doesn’t crack as you’re unrolling.

Place the half pastry sheet on the floured surface (portrait wise) and gently roll it a little thinner until its a third to a half as big again. Concentrate on rolling it wider rather than longer.

Cut the pastry with a sharp knife into 5 equal strips.

Spread 1 tsp of Red Onion Chutney along the middle of each strip.

Split half of the 150g finely grated Mozzarella Cheese amongst the 5 strips, sprinkling it lightly over the chutney.

Cut 20 Slices Chorizo in half with a sharp knife or scissors. Lay 5 halves of chorizo along the top half of each strip. Leave a gap at either end of each strip and overlap the slices slightly. Leave only a tiny piece of the slice pointing over the top of the pastry edge.

Beat 1 Egg in a small bowl and brush egg over the bottom part of exposed pastry. Gently fold the bottom half of each strip over the top and lightly press down.

Egg wash the exposed pastry on each strip then gently roll each folded strip into a rose shape. Place each into a paper case and lightly egg wash all of the exposed pastry.

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Lay each paper clad rose into the roasting tin on-top of the rice.

Repeat all of the steps with the second half of the pastry to create 10 roses in total.

Cover the whole tin in 2 layers of foil and put into the oven for 1 hour and 20 mins. Check it a little earlier if your oven runs on the hot side.

Leave the roses to cool a little on a wire rack before digging in. They can also be reheated in the microwave or just chow down on them cold. Lush!