All posts tagged: pastry

Mini Mushroom, Kalonji and Feta Pies Large

Mini Mushroom, Kalonji and Feta Pies

It’s safe to say that when it comes to pastry-making, I’m no professional. However, when I was challenged via Facebook, to come up with a hearty lunch idea, I was determined to deliver something good. And we all know pies are good. These mini pies (made in a muffin tin because as I’ve discovered, I’m rather ill-equipped) are stuffed with a mixture of sautéed Portobello and chestnut mushrooms, sharp feta cheese, kalonji seeds and lemon thyme. They’re perfectly portable so you won’t have any trouble taking a couple to work, and even though they’re small, they’ll fill your belly no matter what. Hot water crust pastry is usually made with lard because butter is seen to have too much of a rich flavour for the traditional pork pies it’s used to make. Obviously there’s no lard lurking in my fridge, but there is plenty of butter. I think the butter in my pastry can stand up to the vegetarian filling because of the robust mushrooms and sharp feta having enough flavour to balance it out. …

peach-cardamom-tarts-fi

Eggless Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts

Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts Like Beyoncé, who transforms into her alter-ego, the confident ‘Sasha Fierce’ on stage, I had to take on a new persona before I embarked upon making my first pastry for the latest Food Network UK recipe challenge using seasonal peaches. But a three-octave vocal range and bootylicious behind wasn’t going to help me in the kitchen – not today anyway. To make the perfect tart, I would need to become someone whose skills lay in the art of flour and butter, a pastry mastermind. And then it hit me – I needed to become Andy Bates. The recipe itself is a simple concept. It’s a pepped-up version of the very English Bakewell Tart, using traditional ground almonds in the tart shell, peach jam, an eggless almond sponge mix, fresh peach slices and a cardamom-spiked mascarpone cream to serve. Sounds adventurous but if I, the world’s worst pastry maker, can do it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Be sure to check out the blog post and recipe and please leave a …

eggless-quiche

Eggless Quiche with Sweet Potatoes, Caramelised Onions and Feta

Was it you who said egg-free quiches were as impossible to make as licking your own elbow? Well if it was, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You can stop trying to lick your elbow now. It’s never going to happen and plus, you look ridiculous. I wanted to create a quiche with strong flavours that cut through the creaminess of the dish while also making a small slice go a long way. This was imperative because if I didn’t, I’d have ended up squirming on the floor with a protruding belly and crumbs all over my face having eaten it all. And I promised myself that would never happen again. Sweet potatoes added just that – a strong velvety sweetness, caramelised onions gave the quiche some colour, texture and flavour, and the sharp, salty feta cheese cut through the rich filling. Perfecto. I’m quite pleased with myself for making my own pastry. I know shortcrust is the easiest pastry to make but lazy is the best way to describe me. There’s no excuse for …

puff-pies

Cheese and Potato Puff Pies

I haven’t fallen off of the edge of the Earth, just in case you’ve been wondering where your favourite Gujarati food blogger has gone. I hope you’ve been wondering – have you been wondering? I trust you all had a delicious Christmas and New Year. I’ve been spending my precious time recovering from the most brutal lurgies seen this side of London. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve hardly cooked, feeding only on unsatisfying take-aways and frozen pizzas. Interestingly, I’ve lost weight on this questionable diet full of fat, salt and cholesterol. FYI, I’m not endorsing this depressing diet in any way – just observing an unexpected fact. I cannot begin to describe how much I’ve missed blogging and sharing my favourite recipes with you. Working full-time really takes its toll, especially now I must resign blogging to the weekends. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better now and can’t wait to get back to dreaming, cooking, photographing and writing about my favourite things to eat. I have some big dreams for 2011 and the determination to accomplish …

mung-dal-paneer-samosa

Little Mung Daal and Paneer Samosas

Isn’t miniature food always better than supersized food? Take cupcakes for instance; tiny morsels of individually iced, fluffy cake is so much more alluring than a massive, calorie-laden, brick-ish cake. Well, for me anyway. In the same way, I would always pick a box of tiny chocolate truffles over a chunky chocolate bar. If you had given me the choice when I was a child I would have definitely supersized every time. Hence the regrettable existence of the unsightly pot-belly that tormented me in my early years.   I consume far too much salt, sugar and fat, which I am told will affect my twentysomething body in a number of gruesome ways before I hit my thirties and forties. This is one of those recipes which will carry most of the blame. Luckily for you, I miniaturised these delicious mung daal and paneer samosas so that you can enjoy them without all of the guilt and fear of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Just don’t eat all of them at once. Having said …

rose-baklava

Rose & Pistachio Baklava

Fresh baklava has to be one of the most famous sweets across the globe. Throughout the Middle East and across Mediterranean lands it is king. Boy, do those people have good taste. Nutty, chewy and ultimately calorific, baklava sticks to your teeth and your thighs. My philosophy is to enjoy devilishly sweet treats in moderation and occasionally in excess.* This take on one of my favourite sweets was inspired by baklava I ate at an odd little Turkish cafe I visited in London not so long ago. It was very dark and very greasy. The cafe, not the baklava. In fact, the baklava was amazing. It had all of the super flavours of traditional baklava with a wonderfully textured twist. I love me some twists. Sweet rice and the traditional spiced nuts were enveloped in thin, crisp filo pastry layers, then drenched in sugar syrup and left to absorb until chewy and divine. Pouring the hot sugar syrup on when the baklava is fresh from the oven makes it easier for it to absorb into the …

katafi

Cinnamon & Orange Blossom Kataifi Rolls

  I’m in the mood for something sweet. Not sickly sweet, but slightly sweet, nutty and deliciously crunchy. The kind of sweet that has a delicate spice and fruitiness, so much so that when you take a bite it sings through your veins. Kataifi (also known as konafi, kanafeh, kunafah and a whole range of other names in various languages) is a Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean shredded filo pastry. It is a little fiddly to work with but worth every second of the time it makes to create luxurious pastries, whether they are sweet or savoury. With this one, patience is most certainly a virtue. Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean pastries are famously known for their use of nuts, spices and syrups, but the varieties of these ingredients differ from country to country, and region to region. Some of these ingredients include almonds, pistachios, rose, cinnamon, honey, fruits and sugar syrups. The list of possible combinations for pastries is endless, and they can be every bit as indulgent as your imagination dares to allow. The fine threads of kataifi …