Monthly Archives: September 2010

Grilled Figs with Honey

When I was on holiday recently, I saw fig trees dotted across the Umbrian landscape. I kept looking for ripe figs, but without success. All very frustrating, as when I was on holiday in the French Pyrenees two years ago, the trees there were covered in deep purple figs that just fell off the tree into your hand. I guess that it’s just a lesson that if you want figs, you need to wait until the end of summer…

One rather curious thing about London is that you do come across a fair few fig trees. While I have yet to find one that actually yields ripe fruit, in warm weather, you still get that rich, sweet aroma of figs from their leaves. Walk past the National Portrait Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square or through many of London’s parks and you know what I mean.

Even if our local trees are holding out on me, the local fruit shop has come through. I have been buying quite a lot recently, either eating them raw, or using them as the basis of very simple desserts. Figs are great in a pie with a light custard filling, similar to an apricot tart, but as desserts go, it doesn’t get much easier than grilled figs, served with a spoonful of thick natural yoghurt.

Per person:

• 1 ripe fig, quartered
• 1 teaspoon runny honey (I used orange blossom)
• 1 generous tablespoon natural Greek yoghurt

Lay the figs skin-side down on a heatproof dish and drizzle with the honey.

Grill on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the figs are just starting to brown at the edges.

Remove from under the grill, transfer to a plate, and serve with the yoghurt. If any juice has leaked from the figs, drizzle over the yoghurt.

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Chocolate Cardamom Madeleines

A swanky new bright red silicone madeleine tray in my kitchen, and somewhat shockingly, I have only used it one. Bad, bad me. Time to change that.

I love “normal” madeleines, with their light citrus perfume, but I was in the mood to be experimental. In order to help along the thinking process, I turned to a rather marvellous gift that I received for my birthday – The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. This book looks at hundreds of flavour combinations, with just the right combination of art, science and culinary flair to make this quite an engrossing read and a very useful kitchen resource. All that, and it looks so darn cool on the coffee table.

Rather than using just orange zest, I decided to make some using cocoa powder, but I felt that I needed a partner ingredient. The book suggested cardamom, which was inspired for my purposes. Cardamom is known as an excellent foil for chocolate, but on its own is has a fragrant citrus quality which would make it a surprising but entirely appropriate replacement for the orange zest.

These cakes look picture-perfect, which is down to the super-duper silicone tray. You don’t even need to butter it, and still you get madeleines with immaculate, smooth shell-like indentations. And the flavour is superb. The chocolate flavour from the cocoa comes out, rich but not overwhelming, thus allowing the cardamom’s fresh aroma and flavour to shine along side it. They also look quite dramatic, the dark chocolate contrasting with the snowy whiteness of the icing sugar. Be sure not to dredge them too much, so that you can see the icing sugar clinging to the contours. All in all, a nice twist on a classic cake. I wonder what Proust would say?

To make 18 madeleines:

• 85 grams butter
• 2 eggs
• 80g grams brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, finely ground
• 80g grams plain flour
• 30g cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• Large pinch salt

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Put to one side and allow to cool.

Put the eggs, sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Whip for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes light and thick.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and sift. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and stir lightly with a spatula until combined.

Add the cooled liquid butter and incorporate using a spatula. Let the batter rest in the fridge for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Place spoonfuls of the batter into madeleine moulds and bake for 15 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the oven. When the silicone tray is cool enough to work with, press each madeleine out the the tray. Move to a cooling rack, and dust the shell side of each with icing sugar.

Worth making? As long as you’ve got the proper tray, the recipe will give a good result. It’s quick too – just whipping the eggs, then fold in other ingredients, and allow to chill while you get on with your day. The cardamom addition also makes for an interesting change. If you like this spice, this recipe is definitely worth trying.

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Plum Galette

I was overjoyed to find a punnet of Victoria plums on a farm stall at the weekend. I saw them, charged over, possibly skipped the queue and made them mine with a minimum of delay. All this because it is a fruit of which I have very fond memories. In the house where I grew up, we had a Victoria plum tree, and year after year, it provided a magnificent yield of sweet yellow-fleshed plums with red skin. As a child, these were also pleasingly large, and there never seemed to be any question about us not being able to eat as many as we could manage.

The usual answer when I have plums would be to make jam. Victoria plums produce a lovely russet-coloured preserve, but I have a bit of a glut of the sweet stuff at the moment. Something else was called for. What about something everyone likes, a fruity French tart? Okay, sniggering aside, a great way to prepare fruit is a simple puff pastry base, pile on the fruit, and bake in the oven. Assuming the fruit was photogenic to start with and you have been a little bit artistic in how you arrange the fruit, you get a chic/rustic tart.

The great thing about a fruit galette is that you don’t have to put in much work to end up with a spectacular looking (and tasting) tart. I’m a busy person, and I don’t make puff pastry. I do know the theory and I can make pretty good puff pastry, but I am also quite happy to buy one of the excellent all-butter versions that you can buy. There, I’ve said it, and I’m not embarrassed!

Just prepare the pastry base, fold over the edges (which have the dual function of creating a pastry “frame” for the fruit, and stopping all the fruit juices seeping out and creating a big, sticky mess in the bottom of your oven), then fill with fruit of your choice. Plums work well as they also look attractive when laid out in the centre, but equally dramatic results come with apple, gooseberry, cherry or blaeberry (one I plan to make in the near future).

In my version, as the plums I had were very ripe, I didn’t want the tart to be overly-sweet. I just brushed the fruit with a little orange blossom honey and baked. The result was sublime. The fruit does not become sweet, but keeps a  little kick of tartness, which is something that I very much like when eating this sort of baked fruit item. A wondeful combinaton of colour, fragrance, flavours and crisp butter pastry. Somehow fitting for that most regal member of the plum family.

For plum galette:

• 200g puff pastry
• 8 large plums
• 25g butter
• 2 tablespoons liquid honey (orange blossom or acacia)

• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and put to one side.

Roll the pastry into a large rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet, and fold over 2cm on each edge and press lightly. Brush the centre with the melted butter (use about half of it).

Cut the plums into eighths. Arrange on the pastry, alternating the direction in each row (see the picture).

Add the honey to the melted butter, heat and stir well until very runny. Brush the plums with the honey-butter mixture and sprinkle the granulated sugar over the plums (avoiding the pastry). Place the galette in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Transfer the galette from the fridge to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200°C (390°F), and cook for another 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit looks soft and dry on the surface.

Worth making? This is a really great and really easy dessert. Quick to make, and easy to play around with the type of fruit you use to suit what you like. Surely worth trying.

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Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

Buckwheat is a funny old thing. It is a strange-looking triangular grain with an earth flavour and a strange yet compelling gritty texture. I like to toast them and add them to salads, but only a few. They are “interesting”, but I don’t put in great big handfuls as I would with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. I have tried making Dutch poffertjes, and the buckwheat flour was a great addition to the flavour, a real success. But I have also tried making buckwheat flour bread. Those in the know will already be sniggering, because while it turned a glorious golden colour, it didn’t rise and it had the look and texture of setting concrete. Well, at least I learned something from that…

Then I went to the Japan Centre supermarket on Piccadilly, and there I saw packets and packets of soba noodles, 100% buckwheat. Why not? I bought them, and when I was home, I started to look for things to make with them. I stumbled on a simple sesame and soba noodle salad with spring onions, and it was fantastic. That was about four months ago, and I have been making it every two weeks since. This is my “quick fake Japanese noodles”, based on a recipe from Nigella Lawson but adapted for my own lazy habits in the kitchen.

The soba noodles have a lovely earthy quality to them, and a slightly gritty texture as you eat them, which I actually white like. Not just a pile of mush, but noodles with a bit of punch to them. The sesame serves to add crunch and pops in the mouth, while the spring onions keep things sharp and fresh, and add little flashes of emerald green and pearly white to the dish. This is all topped off with a simple dressing of rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil. All very simple and easy, healthy and absolutely delicious. Buckwheat, you make this dish a real winner in my eyes.

To make sesame soba noodle salad (serves 2, adapted from Nigella Lawson):

50g sesame seeds
• 200g soba noodles
• 5 spring onions
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons runny honey (I used orange blossom)
• 5 teaspoons soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Put the sesame seeds in a saucepan, and cook on a medium heat until they are toasted. You will need to stir all the time to prevent burning and get an even colour. Put into a mixing bowl to cool.

Cook the noodles in boiling water according the instructions on the packet. When done, drain and cover in cold water. Drain and cover again with cold water. Leave to sit for 1 minute, then drain. Add to the sesame seeds.

Cut the spring onions diagonally into very thin slices. Add to the noodles.

In a jam jar, combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Shake the jar well, and once combined, pour the sauce over the noodles. Toss well until well mixed, and serve.

Worth making? Easy, quick and utterly delicious. When you fancy something a little exotic but don’t want to spend long in the kitchen, this is a fabulous recipe.

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Pound Cake

Today’s feature is a challenge that came to me via Twitter. Never one to turn down a challenge, I went for it.

Yes, Pound Cake. This is something that I always thought was American in origin, but it seems it is actually British and dates from the 1700s. The idea was that you would carefully balance your eggs on one side of your tilting scales, and then use them to measure out the same weight of butter, sugar and flour.

So the recipe is simplicity itself – the name comes from the fact that you take a pound of each ingredient. Back in the day, this would have involved several steps to properly mix the batter, and heroic amounts of whisking and beating to get sufficient air into the mixture so that it becomes light when it was baked. Later on, and thank goodness for the advent of leavening agents, you could add baking powder and the batter would then just puff up all by itself.

The way you measure ingredients might also sound familiar (for example, the British Victoria Sponge or the Spanish Magdalenas), but the finished cake is as much influenced by how you mix it together. There is no mystique or delicacy involved here – Pound Cake is a robust name, and it comes as no surprise that in its modern form it is a robust put-it-all-in-a-bowl-and-mix-well cake.

So much for the theory, let’s bake. But I did have a bit of an issue with the volumes. In my recipe, I find that three eggs is about right. By all means go ahead and prepare something that involves a whole pound of butter, but you’ll find that you can scale the ingredients very successfully. I’ve also seen recipes from time to time that use different ratios of ingredients. Now, I am quite sure that these recipes are very nice and may make a very nice cake, but are they a Pound Cake? I would say not. Another tweak of mine is to add a little grated lemon zest. This is not traditional, but I think that it adds a little extra freshness to the finished cake.

The final result was great. Sweetly fragrant, buttery and, in my version, just a little hint of vanilla and lemon. You don’t want to go overboard with the flavours here, as plain Pound Cake is also a real treat on its own. It also has a fantastic texture – a buttery, golden colour and a velvety texture. An excellent all round teacake.

To make a Pound Cake:

• 3 eggs (mine weighed 175g in their shells)
• unsalted butter (same weight as unshelled eggs)
• plain flour (same weight as unshelled eggs)
• caster sugar (same weight as unshelled eggs)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• zest of 1/2 lemon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt, finely ground

Leave the ingredients out so that the come up to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°C). Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Put all the ingredients into a bowl. Mix until well combined and the mixture is fluffy (you will find an electric beater rather useful here). Put into the prepared loaf tin, sprinkle with a little granulated sugar, and bake for 45-50 minutes until risen and golden, and an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to get too dark during baking, loosely cover the top of the cake with tin foil.

Worth making? Absolutely. This is a simple yet superb cake. In days of macarons, cupcakes and whoopie pies, a well-made Pound Cake still holds its own. There are no tricky techniques to master, and you get to enjoy sneaky slices with cups of tea for days afterwards.

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Coconut Macaroons, Part II

Last week I turned my hand to making that British favourite, coconut macaroons. I liked the result, but thought that it would be good to experiment with it a little further. I was happy with the dense, sweet type I made, and they did look great, but I also wanted to have a light and fluffy version in my baking repertoire. All very much in the spirit of the Great British Bake-Off, with each participant preparing the same recipe. Except it’s just me, competing against myself…

With a view to making softer cookies, I decreased the amount of dessicated coconut, and switched from the fine to coarse variety. The stuff I used last time was very fine, and I think it just mopped up all the moisture from the meringue mixture, so I thought reducing the overall amount and using less coconut would address that. I also did a little research, and saw that the recipe on Joy of Baking uses a quick cooked Swiss meringue rather than simple meringue. Armed with this knowledge, I tweaked my previous recipe and hoped for the best.

The mixture itself looked good – white, fluffy, shiny and softer than my previous attempt. I skillfully formed the macaroons using two teaspoons, as the mixture was too moist to roll by hand. After baking and allowing them to cool slightly, a little tasting session was in order. First, the lightness struck me – they felt airier than the last batch, and were much softer. More like a meringue with coconut than a dense, sweet coconut ball.

In short – this is an amazing version of my recipe. I love it – snaps for kitchen experimentation!


To make around 25 coconut macaroons:

• 130g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
• 20g icing sugar
• 30g flour
• 2 egg whites
• pinch of salt
• 2 pinches of cream of tartar
• 100g white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Place the coconut, icing sugar and flour in a dish and mix well. Set aside.

In a metal bowl, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until frothy. Add the sugar, and place the bowl above a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until the egg whites form a white, glossy mass that leaves stiff peaks when you remove the beater (around 5 minutes).

Remove from the pan of water, and stir the vanilla into the meringue mixture. Add the coconut mixture, and fold in gently.

Cover and leave in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. At this stage, preheat the oven to 170°C (335°F) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Bake for 15 minutes until slightly puffed and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Worth making? This recipe is amazing. They don’t look quite as pretty as the other version of coconut macaroons, but if you are a fan of the softer variety, this is hard to beat. These can also be jazzed up either by dipping in chocolate, or drizzling it over the top, to recall the Bounty bar we all love.

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Three Cheese Fondue

I noticed that I seemed to be posting a lot of sweet things, so I vowed to feature more savoury dishes. Luckily, that doesn’t mean than becoming too healthy, so a dish that consists of mostly cheese is today’s post.

Cheese fondue is one of those dishes that I rarely eat, then at some point I think “it would be a really good idea to make cheese fondue” and make some. It is the sort of food that should be tricky to prepare, but actually it is quite straightforward if you can be a little bit organised. Then you eat it, and while it is always utterly delicious (cheese! in liquid form! on bread!), you think you might have actually overdosed on cheese and vow not to eat it again for a long, long time. Months later, I’ll see some Gruyère in a cheese shop, and the cycle starts all over again…

Think of fondue, and you think of Switzerland. Maybe they make it in other Alpine areas, but frankly, I like my fondue to consist of heroic quantities of the Swiss cheeses Gruyère and Emmental. I like it with a hint of garlic and pieces of celery, and a little mustard and cayenne pepper or paprika. The celery really is inspired – when I lived in Brussels, it was quite common to be able to order a portion of cheese which was served with celery salt, which was a great flavour combination. In the fondue, it just gives it that little extra something.

Another novelty factor around fondue is that you just never sit down to eat it on your own. It just has to be a communal meal. This feels right to me – eating so much cheese on you own might seem a bit naughty, but with friends it is just fun. London is also, rather helpfully, blessed with a Swiss restaurant which serves good fondue. It’s called St Moritz, and is a kitsch celebration of Alpine culture, and I absolutely love it. Always makes for a fun night out, even if all you want to do afterwards is settle down next to a log fire for a nice snooze.

St Moritz is also great because you can order huge pots of fondue as a main course. I remember being shocked at a New York cheese restaurant, Artisanal, where you could only order fondue as a starter. I guess they just don’t appreciate melted cheese as much as we do here in Europe!

To make cheese fondue (serve 4):

• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
• 50g butter
• 2 celery sticks
• 300ml dry white wine
• 350g Emmental cheese, finely grated
• 400g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
• 75g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
• 1/8 teaspoon mustard
• pinch freshly grated nutmeg
• pinch of paprika
• 1 tablespoon cornflour
• 2 tablespoons kirsch or brandy
• 2 baguettes, cut into chunks

Rub the garlic around the inside of a fondue pot, and discard the garlic. Add the celery and butter, and sautée on a very gentle heat for around 10 minutes until the celery is very soft.

Add the wine, and heat gently. In the meantime, mix the cornflour and the kirsch/brandy, and set aside.

Once the wine is hot, add the cheeses, stirring constantly until they are melted. Add the mustard, nutmeg and paprika to taste and stir well. Pour the cornflour mixture into the fondue, stir well, bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring all the time.

When the fondue is ready, move to the table and place over a burner to keep warm. Serve with the pieces of baguette to dip in the fondue.

Worth making? Fondue is undoubtedly a little fiddly to prepare, but if you are organised – and have the right pan – then it is well worth making next time you want a good, satisfying, sociable dinner with friends. Just be sure to have some sort of fresh salad to balance all that cheese. And don’t plan anything too physical afterwards.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

More autumn food today!

I’m doing that terribly British thing where I go on about the weather. But the long, bright summer nights have gone, and my will to make salads and light suppers has likewise dwindled dramatically. As it gets darker, I like to come home and eat quick, easy, comforting foods. Forget light and fresh, this is the time of year where filling and spicy food comes into its own. Good homemade soup is just the sort of thing I want, and this easy tomato soup fits the bill.

This soup is a breeze to make – just chop up the vegetables, then roast in the oven and blend until smooth. By roasting the vegetables, you get the rich, intense flavour of the tomatoes, which marries well with the caramelised onion and garlic and the freshness of the thyme. This is a proper, satisfying, adult version of tomato soup, a million miles away from the stuff you get in a can. Perfect served up with a few slices of toasted bread covered in olive oil and rubbed with garlic.

For tomato soup (serves 4):

• 1kg cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
• 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and crushed
• 2 small onions, peeled and quartered
• handful fresh thyme stalks
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 50ml olive oil
• 200ml vegetable stock
• salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).

Put the tomatoes, garlic, onions, thyme, salt and olive oil  into a roasting pan, and toss gently(*). Roast for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes have collapsed and the vegetables are starting to brown.

Remove the roasting tray from the oven, and allow to cool slightly. Retrieve the thyme stalks, stripping off the leaves and adding to the tomatoes. Peel the garlic and put back with the tomatoes. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.

Put the soup into a pan. Add the vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for five minutes and serve with lots of crusty bread.

(*) If necessary, use two roasting trays. Don’t pile the tomatoes up too high in one dish, as otherwise they will just sit in their juices and will not roast properly.

Worth making? Yes. This is easy and delicious, and a great way to make a satisfying autumn supper.

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Dutch Apple Tart

I waxed lyrically a few days ago about the stunning sunsets which have marked the start of autumn in London. Something like this:

This also means that it is time for apple pie! I promised a while back that I would try my hand at making a Dutch version, so here it is! I’ve come across two types of apple pie in the Netherlands – either the deep apple-and-pastry mixture called appelgebak, or the more familiar appeltaart. This is the latter, so we’ll do appelgebak another day.

A lot of people are put off by making fruit pies due to a phobia of pastry. If you prefer to buy it, then by all means do so, but it’s actually very easy to make. Just be sure to use cold butter and very cold water, handle the pastry as little as possible, and let it chill fully before using. Apparently, this prevents gluten developing, resulting in a better pie crust. For the filling, I used green apples. The ones I had were quite sharp, which is what I like for a pie, as they give you a better tasting pie with more apple flavour.

In fact, the only tricky bit is making the lattice on top of the pie. As you can see from the picture, even I didn’t quite get this right, but all I can say is that I gave this a good try. If you are minded to give this a try and are a little bit obsessive about getting it right, then see detailed instructions here. Otherwise, rather than the lattice, just roll the reserved pastry out into a circle and use this on top of the pie instead.

To make Dutch apple tart:

For the pastry:

• 250g butter, cold
• 50g caster sugar
• 400g flour
• cold water

In a bowl, rub together the butter, sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough cold water until the pastry comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:

• 2kg apples
• 50g salted butter
• 100g light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons apricot jam, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter a loose-bottomed flan dish (25-30cm diameter).

Peel and core the apples. Cut into slices of 1/2-1 cm thickness. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the apples, cinnamon and sugar and stir well. Cook on a gently heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft, but have not become mushy. Drain the apples, reserving the juice.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry out into a circle, and use to line the bottom and sides of the flan dish. Leave around 1cm overhang at the edges. Prick the bottom with a fork, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, put the reserved apple juice in a saucepan, and cook gently until it reduces and becomes thicker. Turn off the heat, add the apples and stir well. Fill the pie shell with the apples.

Roll out the rest of the pastry into a long rectangle (at least as long as the size of the pie dish), and cut into eight strips. Use the pastry strips to make a lattice on top of the pie (see how to do this here).Use any remaining pastry to form one long strip to put around the edge of the pie shell (or cut out lots of little pastry leaves, and put these round the edge – warning, this takes a lot of time!).

Brush the pastry with a little milk, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Warm the apricot jam, and use to brush the top of the pie.

If you like an easier life, then forget the lattice and just roll out the remaining pastry into a circle and use to cover the pie. Make a few slashes in the top of the pie to let out any steam during cooking.

Worth making? Everyone likes apple pie. I think this is a good recipe, using lots of apple and not too much sugar. It’s great warm or cold, and is well worth the effort. Enjoy autumn.

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Palmiers

It’s Sunday morning. Everything is peaceful, the sun is peeking through the window and it will be some time before the rest of the house is awake. I used this quiet time to make once of my favorite biscuits. The simple-yet-elegant palmier.

These are fabulous sweet, crisp, airy biscuits made of nothing more than buttery, flaky puff pastry and granulated sugar. Roll out the pastry, shape, slice and bake. It’s that simple. The magic happens in the oven – the sugar caramelises, and the pastry puffs up into an elegant dual spiral shape, resulting in a palm-like shape that given them their name. They might be simple to prepare, but these crisp delicacies just whisper sophistication.

To make around 20 palmiers:

• 375g puff pastry (good quality, made with pure butter)
• 200g granulated white sugar

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and cover with a spritz of non-stick spray.

Sprinkle 1/4 of the sugar on a worktop. Lay the pastry on top, and cover with another quarter of the sugar. Roll out until the pastry is a 25 x 25 cm square (if you’ve bought pre-rolled pastry, just pass the rolling pin lightly over the dough so that the sugar is pressed into it).

Starting from one side, roll the dough up until you reach the half-way point. Repeat from the other side. You should end up with two parallel rolls of pastry. Leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut slices 1cm slices from the dough. Dip the underside in sugar, place on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with more sugar. Leave at least 10 cm between each palmier as they expand a lot!

Bake for around 15 minutes, turning the tray half way through, and remove when the biscuits are golden. Allow to cool for a moment on the tray, then move to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Worth making? These are really nice biscuits – very easy to make, but looking very sophisticated. Handy for those times when you want something fancy, but don’t have the time or inclination to put in a lot of work. These can also be varied to include a little spice with the sugar (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom), or make savoury versions using pesto or grated cheese in place of the sugar.

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