Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheMe and the Mr love a good quiche. It’s proper comfort food but not like the Winter kind… more a spring/summer kind. Nothing beats it when you’re out on a picnic or enjoying an evening meal in the garden. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, packed lunches or even the dish you take to your friend’s Summer BBQ! Always guaranteed to be a hit, it’s also a fantastic fridge clearer. You can pretty much chuck any leftovers into a quiche & it will still taste great! This particular combination was one I came across over at The Chefscapades blog and I couldn’t resist trying it out.

So here is what you will need to make 1 x 8″ quiche:

For the Pastry *

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, cold & cubed
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1 Egg white, beaten for glaze

For the Filling

  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 90ml Milk
  • 90ml Double Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • 8″ Round, Fluted, Loose Bottomed Tin
  • Food Processor

* You can, of course, buy your pastry & prepare/bake in the same way as below.

To make the pastry, dump the flour, butter & salt into a food processor & blitz until it becomes like fine breadcrumbs.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheBeat the egg with the water & gradually pour it into the food processor whilst it’s still on. Stop when the pastry starts to clump together. If necessary, add a little more water.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTip out onto your work surface & bring together to form a ball. Cover in cling film, flatten into a disc and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I like to roll my pastry out in-between 2 sheets of cling film because if you roll it out on lots of flour, you can upset the balance of ingredients & potentially ruin your pastry.

So, roll out your pastry into a rough circle approx 2 – 3 mm thick and big enough to cover the base & sides of your tin.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePeel off one layer of cling film, and using the other cling film layer to help, lift the pastry over your tin & press into the edges. (Cling film on top of course!)

Peel off the cling film, cut away the excess & prick the base all over with a fork.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace the base into the freezer to chill again for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C and place a baking tray large enough to fit your tin on into the centre.

Meanwhile, you can crack on with the onions.

Peel and slice the onions as finely as you can and melt the butter in a large, non stick frying pan over a low heat.

Add in the onions & cook, stirring often so they don’t catch on the bottom.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheAfter about 30 minutes, they should be beautifully golden and soft.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to one side to cool whilst we bake the pastry case.

Now your prepared case is sufficiently cold, scrunch up a large piece of baking paper, (not greaseproof as that will stick!) place over the pastry and cover with baking beans or rice.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace into the preheated oven on the hot baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTake out the oven and remove the baking paper & beans. Brush all over with beaten egg white & place straight back into the oven for another 12 minutes until a light golden brown.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to cool for a few minutes whilst we make the filling.

In a jug, add in the milk, double cream, eggs, chopped rosemary & a very generous amount of salt and pepper to season.

Lay the caramelised onions over the base and spread out evenly.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePour over the egg mixture until it reaches the top of the pastry case. You may wish to do this after placing the tin in the oven to avoid any spillages.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLastly, sprinkle all over with the gruyere cheese.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheWith the oven still at 190°C/Fan 170°C, bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese on top is bubbling and golden.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Essentially, this is a glorified cheese & onion quiche. I tell you what though, it’s totally worth the extra effort! Me and the Mr enjoyed this with some sweet potato chips and it barely touched the sides! A definite winner in the KitchenMason household and one that I will definitely be making again/playing about with over the Summer months to come.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

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Salted Caramel Choux Buns

Salted Caramel Choux BunsOh yeeeeah! This one got me really excited! I’ve always loved salted caramel but for some, incredibly bizarre reason, I have never actually made anything salted caramel in my life. I know, it’s like a crime against baking!

As soon as I realised, I decided to act immediately and make the most salted caramel thing I could think of. These sensational salted caramel choux buns! Now if you’ve never made choux pastry before, don’t be alarmed. It really isn’t as difficult as everyone says it is. It’s actually very easy once you know the basics. So just follow my step by step guide and I promise you good results.

Right, here is what you will need to make 14 of the most incredible pastries in the whole world – EVER:

The Salted Caramel

  • 75g Unsalted Butter
  • 50g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 50g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 100g Golden Syrup
  • 125ml Double Cream
  • approx 2 tsp Sea Salt

For The Choux Pastry

  • 220ml Water
  • 80g Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Generous Pinch of Sugar
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 220g Beaten Egg (approx 4 Eggs) Room Temp *

For the Filling

  • 750ml Double Cream
  • 1 Portion of Salted Caramel (Ingredients above)

The Caramel Icing

  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 110g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 120g Icing Sugar

The Chocolate Drizzle (Optional)

  • 75g Dark Chocolate
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk

*I do recommend that you weigh the beaten egg rather than just using 4 whole eggs. Obviously eggs come in various sizes but weight is absolute and will guarantee a good outcome.

Ok, yes there’s a lot of components and it’s a bit of a labour of love. I can assure you though, it is 100% worth it!

Let’s get started.

* Place a large glass bowl into the fridge to chill ready for the choux pastry later *

To make the salted caramel,  place the butter, both sugars and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a medium heat and melt together. Bring it to the boil and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. (Swirl once or twice if you need to.)

Salted Caramel Choux BunsTurn down the heat, add in the cream and give it a good stir. Now, half a tsp at a time – add the salt, stirring well and tasting in-between each addition. (WARNING – be very careful not to burn yourself as it will still be hot!)

When it’s right for you, decant into a bowl, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge to chill until needed later.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsOnto the choux pastry.

Lightly grease two large baking sheets (or line with silicone baking mats) and preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 190°C.

In a medium sized saucepan, add the water, butter, salt & sugar. Heat until the butter has melted and it just comes to the boil.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsWith the pan still over the heat, dump in the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it comes together to form one lump of dough.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsRemove from the heat and tip the dough into that bowl you chilled in the fridge earlier. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsNow you need the elbow grease!

A little at a time, add the beaten egg to the dough and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon in-between each addition.

At first it will split and seem like it is never going to come together – but it will, trust me. Just keep going.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsYou are after what they call a ‘dropping consistency.’ This basically means that when you lift up a large amount of the dough, it should drop back to the bowl within 5 seconds.

It will look a little something like this…

Salted Caramel Choux BunsPour the pastry into a large piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.

Evenly spaced out, pipe 14 ‘blobs’ about 5cm in diameter. Try and keep them all the same shape and size if you can but don’t worry too much. I actually find the sporadic irregularity of choux pastry quite charming.

 (or line with silicone baking mats) Gently dampen the tops with a little cold water. (If there are any ‘spikes’ of pastry, carefully pat them down a little.)

Pop them straight into the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Take them out of the oven. Using either a skewer or a sharp knife, poke an air hole into each one then place straight back into the oven for a further 10 minutes. This will help to dry out the inside and prevent them from collapsing.

When they are crispy & golden – remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsMeanwhile, let’s make the filling.

You could use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment but I like to do this by hand as you can very easily over whisk cream and it will begin to churn into butter. Not what you want!

So, ideally using a large bowl and whisk – whip the cream until soft peaks form.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsRemove the salted caramel you made earlier from the fridge and add to the cream in thirds. Carefully fold in using a spatula until it’s all smooth & blended together.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsI used a Piping Tube nozzle which made life a lot easier but if you don’t have one, just use your judgement and pick one you do have. So, prepare your piping bag with your chosen nozzle and add in the filling.

If you need to, expand those air holes you made earlier. Then insert the nozzle and squeeze in the filling. Be careful not to over do it though or they may burst.

When they’re all filled, leave to one side whilst we make the caramel icing.

In a small saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar & milk. Bring it to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsRemove from the heat and add in the icing sugar. Beat until smooth.

Salted Caramel Choux BunsIf it starts to set before you’ve covered all your buns – just pop it back over the heat again to melt a little and stir well.

Spoon the warm icing over each bun then allow to set at room temperature. (This should happen relatively quickly.)

Salted Caramel Choux BunsNow if you want to make them look really tempting, make this quick chocolate drizzle.

Simply break the dark chocolate into a large bowl and add in the milk. Then either in the microwave or over a pan of barely simmering water – gently melt until shiny and smooth.

Pour into a piping bag and snip the end. Pipe zig zags over each bun, stand back, and marvel at your beautiful creations…

Salted Caramel Choux BunsI mean seriously… look at them…

Salted Caramel Choux BunsOk, you’ve waited long enough. Now…. FILL YOUR FACE!! Hahahaha! They’re good right?? I told you they were worth it.

These are honestly one of the nicest things I have ever baked in my kitchen and salted caramel is, hands down, one of my all time favourite flavours.

I really hope you enjoyed the post, so much so – you give it a go yourself!

Until next time lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartWhen most people think of school dinners, they think of all that horrifically congealed, stodgy cack they were served as a child. Me? I only think of one thing… butterscotch tart. I absolutely adored this pudding when I was in school. Before I left, I  even went as far as to ask a dinner lady for the recipe! It was on this scrappy little bit of paper that got mislaid over the years. I honestly thought it was lost forever & that I would never again taste the amazingness that is butterscotch tart…

Until one day, I was being nosy at my parents house (as you do) and to my surprise, found the scrappy bit of paper with the recipe on it! It was a little on the vague side but nothing I couldn’t work out if I put my mind to it. And believe me, I was very determined.

So without further ado, here is what you will need to make a 20cm/8″ tart.

For the Pastry

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, Cold/Cubed
  • Good pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • Cold Water

For the Filling

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Butterscotch Essence/Flavouring
  • 110ml Semi Skimmed Milk

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Loose Bottomed Tart Tin

To make the pastry, put the flour, cubed butter & salt into a food processor & blitz briefly until it resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, put the ingredients into a large bowl and rub between fingers & thumbs until the same result is achieved.)

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartThen add one of the beaten eggs and a little cold water. Blitz again briefly until it just starts to come together to form a dough. (Or mix together with your hands.) Add a little more cold water if you need to but don’t make it too wet.

Butterscotch TartTip the dough out and gently/briefly knead together into a ball. Place into some clingfilm, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Butterscotch TartPreheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Once the dough is chilled, place between two pieces of clingfilm and roll out a circle to a thickness of about 2-3mm.

Butterscotch TartPeel off one layer of clingfilm then carefully (cling film side up) lift and drape over the loose bottomed tart tin. Press the pastry down firmly into the base & sides. Try not to trap any air underneath.

Butterscotch TartFold the sides down over the edge of the tin and press to “cut off” the excess pastry.

Butterscotch TartRemove the cling film & excess pastry then pierce all over with a fork.

Butterscotch TartLoosely cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes. This should stop the butter from melting too quickly and, therefore, the sides from shrinking too much.

Scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper (NOT greaseproof paper as that will stick) and place into the tart case. Fill with baking beans or rice and bake in the preheated oven for 15mins.

Remove from the oven, take out the beans & baking paper. Brush the pastry all over with the 2nd beaten egg and pop back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.

Butterscotch TartTo make the filling, in a very large saucepan – melt the butter and the sugar together over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Butterscotch TartAdd in the flour and cook, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes. You just need to ‘cook out’ the flour so it doesn’t taste chalky.

Butterscotch TartIf the mixture starts to split & butter leaks out, don’t panic – all is not lost!

Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add in the salt, vanilla, butterscotch & milk. Beat until smooth and thick. To start with, it will feel like it just won’t come together, but keep going, it will.

If you’re mixture split & you’re having a hard time bringing it together, pop it all into a food processor and blitz on high until smooth and thick. It will be fine I promise.

Butterscotch TartWhen the pastry case is completely cooled, pour the filling in and allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to an hour. It should be able to just hold it’s shape when cut.

Butterscotch TartIf memory serves me correctly, the traditional (and my personal favourite) way is to slice & serve with warm custard. Although, custard is definitely something I do NOT remember being nice in school! Steer clear of those horrible powders & premade versions though. Go on, do this tart proud and make some from scratch. There’s nothing better than home made vanilla custard!

With my first bite into this tart, it took me straight back to my school days. I would get so excited when this was on the menu that I would just skip dinner and have two desserts instead! That beautiful, soft & gooey butterscotch filling on a gorgeously golden pastry crust. Just, yes. A thousand times yes!

I hope you enjoyed my nostalgic post this week my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato & Mozzarella Galette

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAfter reorganizing all my recipes on the site, it occurred to me that I don’t have many pastry main course recipes. So this week, I made it my mission to find a new one to try. After trawling the internet for a while I turned up a little beauty called the ‘Galette.’

Not something I’d ever heard of before, but the more I read into it, the more I just needed to make one! It’s effectively a pizza with a rustic pastry crust. Sounds delicious right? You’d be correct in that assumption. And I know what you’re thinking, tomato and mozzarella? That galette is just gonna’ be swimming in juices!? Wrong. If you open the door half way, you will probably panic when you see how much liquid is there. But stick it out until the end of the cooking time and you will see that all the liquid evaporates to leave an incredible, melted golden mound of tomato and cheese. Take my word for it, it’s just beautiful.

Here is what you will need to serve 1 as a main course or 2 as a part of a main course with a side. (Recipe adapted from Hip Foodie Mom.)

For the Pastry Crust

  • 160g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive Oil
  • 50-100ml Cold Water
  • 1 Egg, Beaten for egg wash

For the Topping

  • 2 Balls of Fresh Mozzarella, Drained & Sliced
  • 2 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Bunch of Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

To make the crust, put the flour, salt & olive oil in a food processor & blitz briefly until it’s all blended together.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAdd a little cold water at a time and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteTip out onto a work surface and knead briefly & gently into a ball.

Tomato & Mozzarella GalettePlace in some cling film, flatten into a disc and pop into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can be slicing your toppings.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

When the dough has rested, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out to a rough circle as thin as you can without tearing.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteLift the pastry onto a baking tray/sheet. Then leaving a 4cm/1 1/2″ gap around the edge, lay the mozzarella onto the pastry & sprinkle over a generous amount of chopped basil. Season with salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen lay over the slices of tomato. If you like, finish with more basil and a little more salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen roughly fold the edges up and over the toppings, lightly pinching the seams together as you go. Lastly, brush the crust all over with beaten egg.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteBake in the preheated oven for approx 45 minutes until the pastry is golden & crispy and the cheese is bubbling. Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing and devouring like you haven’t eaten in weeks!

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteI am always happy to try any variation on the humble pizza. It doesn’t matter what that variation is. Anything with melted cheese is bound to be amazing, and this is no exception! A beautiful flaky pastry topped with delightfully seductive melted mozzarella,  temptingly sweet tomatoes & the powerful flavour of basil. Just amazing. You should totally try one of these!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Danish Pastries

Danish PastriesThis week I take on my toughest baking challenge yet. Danish pastries. They’re tricky, they’re time consuming and most definitely a labour of love. But my oh my are they rewarding! This recipe (adapted from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake) makes 24 pastries which I have split into two batches. Half chocolate chip & the other half apricot and lemon. The ingredients I have given reflect this. If however, you want to make the whole batch as one flavour, simply double the filling & icing ingredients. Right, onwards and upwards!

For the Pastry Dough

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 80g Caster Sugar
  • 10g Instant Yeast
  • 2 Medium Sized Eggs
  • 90ml Water, Cool
  • 125ml Full Fat Milk, Tepid
  • 250g Unsalted Butter, Cold

For The Creme Patissiere

  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Medium Sized Egg Yolks
  • 20g Cornflour
  • 250ml Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 20g Unsalted Butter

For The Glaze

  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 150g Apricot Jam
  • 2-3 tbsp Water

For The Chocolate Chip Filling & Icing (Enough for x 12)

  • 50g Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 50g Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water

For The Apricot & Lemon Filling & Icing (Enough for x 12)

  • 100g Dried Apricots, Chopped
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

Essential Equipment

  • LOTS of Patience & Time!

Ok let’s get started with the dough. Ideally you do need an electric stand mixer as it is a very wet/sticky dough to start with.

Put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the salt & sugar to one side and the yeast to the opposite.

Beat together the eggs, water and milk.

TIP! If it’s too cold, pour into a saucepan over a very low heat, stirring constantly until it is tepid. (Meaning, if you can’t tell whether it’s hot or cold, it’s tepid.)

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on a low speed for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed together.

Then mix on a medium speed for a further 6 minutes.

Danish PastriesTip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Dust it all over with flour then place into a large plastic bag. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Danish PastriesMeanwhile, take the block of cold butter and bash it with a rolling pin until it is a rectangular sheet measuring approx 33 x 19cm. Wrap in clingfilm and place back into the fridge to solidify whilst the dough is still resting.

Once the hour is up, take the dough out of the fridge and roll to a rectangle measuring approx 50 x 20cm. (About 1cm thick.)

Danish PastriesThen take the butter rectangle and place it over the bottom 2 thirds of the dough.

Danish PastriesFold the top third over (so it overlaps half of the butter.)

Danish PastriesThen carefully cut the exposed butter off – without cutting the dough underneath it and place on top of the dough you just folded down.

Danish PastriesNow fold the exposed third of dough, up over the top of the butter.

Danish PastriesPinch the edges together lightly to seal and place back into the bag. Pop into the fridge again for another hour.

When the hour is up, remove the chilled dough and place on a lightly floured surface with the short side towards you.

Roll out into a rectangle the same size as before. (about 50 x 20cm.)

Danish PastriesFold the bottom third up…

Danish PastriesThen the top third down…

Danish PastriesThis is a single turn. Place back into the bag and into the fridge for another hour. Repeat this ‘single turn’ step 2 more times. (Always starting with the short side towards you.)

After this, dust lightly all over with flour, place back in the bag and rest in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. Then your dough will finally be ready to use!

Tic toc tic toc…

Whilst time is ticking on, make the creme patissiere.

Whisk the sugar, egg yolks & cornflour together in a bowl until smooth then set to one side.

Danish PastriesOh, and those spare egg whites? Don’t waste them! Pop them in a bag and freeze them so you can make some meringues or marshmallow later. Waste not want not!

Danish PastriesPour the milk into a large, heavy base saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and put into the milk along with the empty pods.

Bring it to the boil then remove from the heat.

Danish PastriesPour about a quarter of the milk onto the egg mixture and whisk until there are no lumps.

Danish PastriesPour this back into the pan with the rest of the milk and cook over a gentle heat, whisking constantly.

Danish PastriesThe mixture will become like a thick custard.

Once this happens, immediately remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir for a minute so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Danish PastriesPass the creme patissiere through a sieve then stir in the butter to melt through.

Danish PastriesDanish PastriesSpread it over a baking sheet and cover with cling film, making sure the film actually touches the surface of the creme patissiere. This will stop a skin from forming. Place in the fridge until needed.

Danish PastriesI told you it was a labour of love! Right. Now the dough has had time to rest properly and the creme patissiere is completely chilled, we can assemble our pastries.

VERY IMPORTANT! With laminated (layered) doughs/pastries, never roll it up into a ball and roll out as you will lose all those beautiful layers you’ve spent so long putting in. 

Halve the dough and roll out one of them to a rectangle with a long side towards you. Spread half of the creme patissiere over it leaving a clear 5cm margin on the long edge nearest to you. (I made a mistake here and didn’t leave enough room. Making it difficult for myself to roll as you can see in the photos below.)

Danish PastriesEvenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the creme patissiere then ‘tack’ the long edge nearest you to the worktop.

Danish PastriesTake the top edge and carefully roll it over. Continue to roll towards you, pulling away from you a little each time to create a little tension. When you have reached the tacked edge, gently roll the dough backwards & forwards to seal the join.

Trim the edges then cut the roll into 12 even portions.

(Again, I made a mistake and only cut 6 like a plonker! I rectified it later but it was far more difficult than if I had just cut 12 at this stage. It also made them a little misshapen. Doh!)

Danish PastriesRepeat the process for the other flavour only adding the chopped apricots instead of chocolate chips.

Danish PastriesLay the pastries cut side up on lined baking sheets. Allow a bit of room between each one for spreading.

Danish PastriesCover with large plastic bags and prove for about 2 hours until at least doubled in size.

About 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Danish Pastries

Brush the pastries all over with the beaten egg then bake for about 15-20 minutes until a deep golden brown on top. Turn the trays round halfway if necessary to ensure an even bake.

While the pastries are baking, Warm the apricot jam in a saucepan with a little water to make a thin, runny glaze.

Danish PastriesAs soon as the pastries are out the oven, brush them all over with the glaze and allow to cool. At this point, they will start to look very sexy…

Danish PastriesWhen they are cool enough to handle, transfer the pastries to a wire rack to cool completely whilst we make the icings.

For the chocolate icing, simply put the icing sugar in a bowl or jug, add the water and mix until it becomes smooth and thick.

For the lemon icing (to go on the apricot pastries) put the icing sugar in a bowl or jug, add the water and the grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until it becomes smooth and thick.

All that is left for us to do now is to drizzle the icings over the pastries in a ‘haphazard’ manor and allow it to set.

Danish PastriesNow take a step back and applaud your masterpieces.

Danish Pastries

Danish Pastries

Ok, so it’s taken pretty much 2 days to make them, the list of ingredients is as long as my arm and they were pretty fiddly to make. But look at them. Look at that beautiful golden shine, those gorgeous pockets of apricots and melted chocolate chips… all finished with a beautiful drizzling of runny icing. Wasn’t it all worth it? I guarantee they will taste better than any of those horrifically dry pastries you get at the supermarkets. They somehow never fail to disappoint me. But these babies, particularly on the day of baking, are absolutely divine! They’re moist, oozingly sticky & just down right fantastic!

I hope this wasn’t too long a read for you all!

Until next time lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Gran’s Incredible Quiche!

Gran's QuicheFor as long as I can remember, my Gran has spoilt us with delicious, home made treats. It’s amazing what this lady can do with a few, simple ingredients! By a country mile, one of her greatest & most renowned bakes has to be this quiche. Any time there is a family get together, and therefore – buffet, there are actually queues outside the door and sometimes, even fights over it. It’s that good. It doesn’t matter what anyone else makes, the quiche will be gone first. It’s a guarantee and for good reason!

As my Gran is so completely wonderful, she allowed me to invade her kitchen and commandeer the recipe for you lovely lot. Without further ado, here is what you will need to make the best quiche in the entire world!

For the Pastry

  • 110g Self Raising Flour
  • 55g Trex
  • Generous pinch of Salt
  • Cold Water

For the Filling

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder (approx)
  • 200g Ham (approx)
  • 140g Strong Cheddar Cheese (approx)
  • 3 Free Range Eggs
  • 50ml Milk (approx)
  • Salt & Pepper

Equipment

Words From The Wise One…

Gran says you can use any ham you like. Whether it’s cheap, end cuts from the ‘bargain basement’ in the supermarket, wafer thin from a pack or tinned. Use whatever you have in your fridge/pantry. You could even fry & drain some thick cut bacon instead. You can also use any cheese you like. Maybe a strong cheddar or a blend of mozzarella and Red Leicester. According to Gran however, the all time greatest cheese to use for this is Grandma Singletons. Quite fitting for this recipe!

Right, let’s crack on. First things first, put the kettle on and grab a biscuit.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!It’s mandatory! You can’t go to Gran’s house and not have a cuppa and a biscuit. And only the best biscuits at Gran’s house of course. She doesn’t mess about!

So, now the prep is done, lets get started on the quiche.

Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C. Grease and flour the base & sides of your dish.

In a large bowl, measure out the flour and the Trex and add the salt.

Using a knife, roughly cut until the Trex is smaller in size. If you have a pastry whisk – in a light, sweeping motion, whisk until ‘breadcrumbs’ are formed. Alternatively, use your forefingers and thumbs to lightly rub together until the same result is achieved.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Using a splash of cold water at a time, add into the centre of the bowl and mix with a flat knife. Continue to add a little at a time until it just comes together. Press into a ball ready to roll out.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick or until larger than the base and sides of your dish.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Carefully lift the pastry over the dish and lightly press into the edges.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Cut the excess pastry off on the outside edge of the ‘lip’. This will help prevent the pastry shrinking as much when you bake it later.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!At this point, if you’re not as quick as my Gran, pop the dish into the fridge whilst you prepare the filling ingredients. (Keeping the pastry cold will also help reduce shrinking.)

Chop up your ham into chunks and grate the cheese.

Here comes Gran’s twist on the classic. Take approx 1/2 tsp of mustard powder and spread it evenly all over the base. Trust me, I’m a granddaughter. Do it.

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Now top it with all that ham…

Gran's Incredible Quiche!And the cheese…

Gran's Incredible Quiche!In a jug, beat together the 3 eggs, some salt & pepper and make up to 250ml with milk. (It should be approx 50ml but don’t worry if it’s a little more or less.)

Gran's Incredible Quiche!Pour the egg mixture evenly over the quiche and pop  into the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes until a deep golden colour on top.

Gran's Incredible QuicheSo the secrets out. You now know the worlds greatest ever quiche recipe – what are you waiting for? Off your bums and into your kitchens! It’s the best thing you will ever make, I promise.

Now, my Gran’s from a ‘waste not want not’ generation. And whilst I was busy snapping pics of this beautiful quiche, she was in the kitchen using up those leftover bits of pastry. I know, those little scraps that we all just throw away right? She only went and made some custard tarts for pudding!

Gran's Incredible QuicheI love this lady. Seriously Gran, you are an absolute legend, and now everyone can experience a little taste of your awesomeness with this beautiful quiche recipe. Thank you!

So did you all enjoy the guest post/recipe? The Mr thinks it should be a regular thing and a new page should be added that’s completely dedicated to Gran’s recipes.

Gran, on the other hand, has little confidence and bucket loads of modesty! But what do you think?

Leave a comment below to convince my Gran that she is totally amazing & should have her very own page!

Until next week lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Profiteroles!

Profiteroles!It occurred to me recently that I have only attempted choux pastry once. It was with my Gran when I was a kid and we attempted two batches of chocolate eclairs. Both collapsed. I figured it was about time I conquered my nemesis so tried my hand at these profiteroles. Turns out, it’s not actually that difficult to make these decadent little beauties!

Here is what you will need to make LOADS! (50 +)

(Choux pastry recipe from John Whaite Bakes, whipped cream technique from Martha Stewart)

For the Choux Pastry

  • 145ml Cold Water
  • 55g Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Generous Pinch of Caster Sugar
  • 85g Plain Flour
  • 145g Beaten Egg, Room Temp

For the Whipped Cream Filling

  • 300ml Fresh Double Cream
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar, Sifted

For the Chocolate Topping

  • 100g Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate
  • 25g Unsalted Butter
  • Splash of Whole Milk

Notes:

145g of beaten egg will be about 3-4 eggs. It’s simple to weigh though, just pop your jug on your weighing scales and start cracking in the eggs until you reach 145g then beat with a fork.

Right, lets get started!

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan and put a large, glass mixing bowl into the fridge to chill. Line a large baking tray with baking paper (not greaseproof as they will stick.)

Weigh out all your choux ingredients as you need to act quickly with this type of pastry. 

Put the water, butter, salt & sugar in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved, the butter has melted and it is just coming to the boil.

Profiteroles!Chuck in all the flour and beat vigorously until it comes together to form a dough. Continue to beat over the heat for about 1 minute then tip it into the chilled glass bowl from the fridge.

Profiteroles!

Profiteroles!

Profiteroles!Allow to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Muster up some elbow grease then take your beaten egg and gradually add a little at a time to the dough. It will split after each addition but keep beating and it will come together.

Profiteroles!Continue to add the egg until you reach a dropping consistency. You may not need all the egg, you may need more. Use your judgement. You need it to run off the spoon in an almost waterfall type fashion, but still be able to pipe it. So don’t make it too runny, it should drop not stream.

Profiteroles!When it’s ready, load a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle and fill with the pastry. Pipe 2-3cm blobs on the prepared baking tray, leaving little gaps between to allow room for them to puff up. Dab the tops with a little cold water (pressing down the flicks that the nozzle left and giving them a nice shine) then place into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. If they are too pale in colour, they will collapse when cooled.

Profiteroles!Remove them from the oven and, using a skewer, poke a hole into each one. Place back into the oven for 5 more minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. This will allow the steam to escape and the inside to harden. (Minimizing any possibility of them collapsing.)

Profiteroles!Whilst they are cooling, make the filling.

Place your mixing bowl & whisk (balloon whisk attachment if using a stand mixer) into the fridge to chill.

When your equipment is cold, pour the double cream into the mixing bowl and begin whisking on a low/medium speed until soft peaks form. Don’t over whisk as it will churn and result in a ‘butter’ like texture. Not nice.

Profiteroles!Sift over the icing sugar and fold into the cream with a spatula. Give it a taste, if you think it needs more, repeat until it’s right for you.

Profiteroles!Now for the fiddly bit! Load a piping bag with a small round nozzle (about 3mm) then fill with the whipped cream. (Or use one of these Icing Syringes.)

You need to make larger holes to accommodate the nozzle. Some prefer to make little X’s with a sharp knife, I prefer to use the skewer and, in circular motions, expand the size of the steam holes you made earlier. Either way, it needs doing or you will land yourself in a right ruddy mess!

Insert the nozzle into each choux ball and fill with as much cream as will fit. Keep in the fridge whilst you make the chocolate topping.

Melt the chocolate In a large bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat then stir in the butter. It will probably seize but don’t panic! Stir in small splashes of whole milk (or cream if you prefer) until the mixture loosens and becomes smooth, shiny & pourable.

Profiteroles!There are several ways to go about tackling this. I’m a neat and tidy kind of person, so I dipped each ball head first into the chocolate and placed on a baking sheet to set. Alternatively, you could line the balls up and drizzle over the chocolate in a ‘zig-zag’ fashion, or even place them on a large serving plate and simply pour the lot over the top creating a fantastic centre piece for a dinner party.

It’s, pastry, cream and chocolate at the end of the day. So however you do it, it’s going to taste good!

Profiteroles!

Profiteroles!Yes, they’re a labour of love. But just look at them, they’re SO worth it! I will warn you though, do not make these little creatures if you’re watching your waste line, it’s dangerous. Really dangerous! With their crispy outer shells, sweet creamy insides and devilishly indulgent chocolate topping, these amazing little treats are guaranteed to put smiles on faces. You could even try playing with the flavours. Why not add some orange extract to the chocolate or some lemon zest to the cream filling? The possibilities are limitless, just use your imagination and experiment!

I hope I’ve inspired you to head into your kitchens and get baking.

Until next time my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason