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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Pastries For The Weekend

This recipe is now my quick, weekend alternative to shop bought pastries. It's not fiddly, it's more authentic and most importantly, you'll be done in half an hour (trust me!)

Now of all people, I should at least make my own pastry. I mean, I don't have Le Cordon Bleu diploma of Patisserie for nothing! However I do feel that when it comes to puff pastry, i'm not the only one. I mean, even in one of my second puff pastry classes we were using ready-made (we did make our own batch first - FYI). Once you've learnt how to make it and know you could if you wanted, it's not worth the hassle when you can buy perfectly fine shop bought pastry (I know this is a bit contradictory to my post strap-line, but bear with!) This is one of the only shop bought things I'm okay with really - I mean, even Mary Berry does it!

Is anyone with me???

So I'm just going to get down to business straight away. This post is more of a guide on how to shape the dough to make some interesting pastries, as well as explaining how to make my favourite  stewed rhubarb as a filling for the Danish pastries. 


Pack of ready-made puff pastry
1 stalk of rhubarb
50g caster sugar
An egg for egg wash
A selection of chocolate chips - any flavour you like
A couple of pieces of white/dark/milk chocolate - it's up to you with this one!
Parmesan cheese for the cheese twists



1. Wash and cut the rhubarb into slices and add to a pan with the sugar. Cook on a medium heat and when softening, lower the heat and cook until completely soft and stewed. Put aside to cool. 


1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.

2. To prepare the dough for shaping, flour the surface and roll out the dough until 4mm thick, about 3/4 the length of your rolling pin.

3. Trim the sides but don't throw away. 


4. DANISH PASTRIES: LATTICE - Using a d-scraper or a knife, cut part of your dough(depending on how many you would like to make) into squares. 

5. Fold the square into a triangle and cut two slits each end of the long side (base of triangle). Re-open and place a dollop of rhubarb in the middle. 

6. Bring the sides of each triangle over, and tuck under and over each other - see my pastry at the bottom in the main blog image with the choc chips (you can use choc chips if you like too).

7. BASKET: - The basket is a simple one. You just cut your pastry into a square, place the filling in the middle and the fold each corner to meet in the middle. (See top, left pastry in image)

8. SQUARE: - I didn't make one of these, but it's so simple again. Cut your pastry into a square and place the filling in the middle. And that's it! 

9. PAIN AU CHOCOLAT: -  Cut your dough into a rectangle shape and place a piece of chocolate (usually a baton is used specifically for these, however you can use any piece of chocolate. I used a piece of white and dark chocolate in mine.) 2cm from the top of the dough.

10. Fold your dough down over the chocolate and then place another piece of chocolate by the fold, and fold again. 

11. CHEESE TWISTS WITH LEFTOVERS: - Now with any leftover trimmings you may have, cut them into strips and grate some parmesan cheese liberally over them. 

12. Carefully twist them into spirals and place them on a baking tray. 

13. Place your other pastries onto a separate baking tray and brush them with egg wash. Make sure you cover every corner of the pastry, as any missed spots will show up once baked.

14. Bake your danish pastries and pain au chocolat in the oven for 10 mins. Bake your cheese twists for 5-8 mins, until golden.

There we have it, lovely, quick pastries that you can serve on the weekend; perfect if you have visitors! 
Would love to hear if you make these, and also what your thoughts are on shop bought vs homemade puff pastry.

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