As we head into week 10 of the baking challenge (and to readers who have been following along in real-time I apologise, I’m a little behind uploading the recipes), we come to “savoury” week. And what better week to reveal one of my baking bibles and source of inspiration than this.
Behold “The Best of Baking”, a volume published circa 1979 by Annette Wolter. It does indeed contain over 350 recipes, each lovingly illustrated with photographs.
Despite the age, the recipes hold up wonderfully well, most bakes a success and just focusing on good old-fashioned bakery skills. It is my ambition to have one day baked every recipe within this book; a challenge to be sure and three years in I have yet to complete the task.
But the 52 week baking challenge is giving me perfect ammunition to give it another crack and knock off some more.
This week really does go back to the dinner-parties of the 70’s with a rather inauspicious “Grape and Cheese Puff” which Annette seems to propose as a canape to go with drinks. The recipe within the book is minimal; get some packets of frozen puff, slice some cheese and grapes, slather with a little egg and paprika and voila. The main skill is in the assembly and folding of the things, and I can say I typically do struggle getting my frozen puff to stick together how I want it to. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong!
Nonetheless I cranked out a batch of these for a gaming session we had on the weekend and they were one of the most popular snacks of the day. Cheese and grape as a savoury canape – you just don’t see it any more. Perhaps you will give it a go yourself!
A marvellous spread of mini puff canapes to go with drinks.
- 4 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 220g cheddar cheese
- 100g white grapes
- 100g chorizo or kransky sausage
- Put pastry sheets on bench to thaw. Heat oven to 200C (400F).
- Cut pastry into about forty 7cm / 2.5 inch squares.
- Beat the eggs with the water and spices and brush some of this mixture over the pastry squares.
- Cut the cheese into tiny cubes. Halve the grapes. Slice the sausage into small pieces.
- Place a cube of cheese, half grape and piece of sausage on each pastry square. Bring the corners of the pastry inwards to form an envelope, and press together firmly. Cut small rounds from the pastry trimmings and press on the envelopes to seal. Brush with the remaining egg mixture.
- Place on a baking tray sprinkled with cold water and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.