Monday, 26 March 2012

Squashed Flapjack Biscuits

So, Andy and I gave up chocolate on the 7th March and we are fasting until the 23rd April and already we have been very tempted to pop to the corner shop and buy something chocolatey...but instead we have been testing and trying out some sweet biscuits that do not involve any form of chocolate. The next recipe is another example of a non chocolate based product. Apparently Andy's Mum used to bake these for him and his sisters and brother all the time as kids, although they never really had a name. So as he was describing them to me, I came up with the simple name of "Squashed Flapjack Biscuits" simply because they are flapjacks, but thinner and in a biscuit. (Also, my sister and I used to call Fruit Shortcakes, "Squashed Fly Biscuits"...hence this is where my obsession with the word "squashed" in a biscuit name originated.)



6oz Porridge Oats
3oz Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
4tbsp Sunflower Oil

1. Preheat the oevn to 190degreesC.

2. Line 3 baking trays.

3. Mix the oats and sugar into a large mixing. bowl.

4. Add the egg and oil, combining all the ingredients together and leave to stand for 30mins. 

5. Use a teaspoon to spoon out a small amount of the mixture and and roll into a smooth ball.

6. Using the back of a spoon flatten each ball so that it turns into a round, flat, disc shape. 

7. Repeat this process until all of the biscuit mixture has been used up.

8. Bake in the oven for about 15mins or until golden and firm to the touch.

9. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


These had a slight taste of a popcorny hobnob and for that reason, were easily demolished in my house! Very sweet, but you couldn't help but think that they must have been slightly healthy as the had oats in. (No, of course the fat and sugar doesn't counteract this!!) I can imagine that these would taste even more scrummy with some melted chocolate drizzled over the top. Next time, I might try adding some fruit or nuts to the mixture as they really had a 'florentiney' texture and taste to them...maybe cherries would be nice? Or coconut? 

Bon Appetit!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

I absolutely hate Peanut Butter. I can't stand the stuff. It leaves your mouth with a dry feeling that makes you want to click your tongue at the top of your mouth to make a silly noise...however, put a bit of sugar in it and I find myself addicted to the stuff (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups = YUM!!!) as I found when my sister made a batch of Peanut Butter Cookies for a vegan picnic we had at Kearsney Abbey a little while ago. Peanut Butter Cookies are the most scrumptious sweet biscuit and this is a very simple recipe to follow.



4oz Plain Flour
1.2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
4oz Butter
4 1/2 oz Light Brown Sugar (or Dark Brown if you want a 'fudgy' taste
1 Egg
8oz Crunchy Peanut Butter (crunchy is better than smooth)

1. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a small mixing bowl.

2. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and smooth. 

3. Add the sugar and mix.

4. Beat in the egg and stir in the peanut butter.

5. Pour the dry ingredients into the larger bowl with the wet ingredients and combine until mixed thoroughly. 

6. Pre heat the oven to 180degreesC.

7. Cover the mixing bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30mins.

8. Using a teaspoon of mixture at a time, roll into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand into a round cookie shape. 

9. Spread the cookies out on the baking tray and continue until all of the mixture has been used.

10. Cook for 15mins or until golden and darker around the egdes. (They will still be slightly soft to the touch.)

11. Allow to cool on a wire baking rack.


Due to the high fat content of these cookies (boohoo!) they are very greasy to the touch, but taste sooooo good. They are super nice as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream. The chunky peanut butter makes such a difference as it adds another dimension to the texture. Oh, and also, don't be afraid to use really cheap peanut butter (that you probably wouldn't eat on its own) as the extra sugar and fat makes the cheapness unnoticeable. These biscuits are perfect as a sweet treat for anybody who is currently fasting from chocolate like Andy and I. Yum-meeeeee!!!!

Bon Appetit!!

Almond Biscuits

23rd March has now been and past.....WAHEEEEY!!! Blogger fans - now be prepared to be inundated with my latest bakes as I am no longer bound by my dissertation. In order to celebrate, I have not left the kitchen and have produced baked product after baked product since my freedom! The first were these delightful, delectable Almond Biscuits. This recipe is courtesy of Ann Hartley (c)  


Ingredients                                                          Decoration

6oz Self Raising Flour                                       Flaked Almonds
3oz Butter                                                             1oz Caster Sugar
3oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Almond Essence
Pinch of Salt

1. Pre heat the oven to 190degreesC.

2. Line 3 baking trays.

3. Sieve the flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.

4. Rub in the butter with your finger tips until it resembles bread crumbs. Make a well in the middle of the bowl.

5. Add the beaten egg and essence into the well and mix until it forms a soft, sticky dough.

6. Grab some dough and roll into a smooth, little ball.

7. Roll in the plate of additional caster sugar and flatten on the baking paper with the palm of your hand. 

8. Decorate with some flaked almonds and repeat the process for the rest of the dough.

9. Make sure you spread the biscuits out as they do expand rather ALOT!!

10. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20mins or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a  baking rack.


These biscuits are very morish! Ann made them for the Children's Holiday meeting in February and they were so scrummy that I had to ask for the recipe. They taste exactly like lady finger biscuits, aka boudoir biscuits also known to my sister and I as "boo boo biscuits". Perfect as a dunking biscuit, or to use to line a tiramisu/trifle. Very quick and simple to make and I can imagine that children would love rolling the dough around in the sugar and getting all sticky. Just make sure that if you do make these biscuits that you leave plenty of space for them to spread out as they double (if not triple) in size when baked.

Bon Appetit!!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Coconut and Jam Sponge Cake Slices

When I was little, I used to love those little slices of cake, that were covered in jam and sprinkled with coconut. Recently I have tried to find out what they were called, as I remember they used to have a specific name for them, but no one has been able to answer my question! Therefore, for the purpose of this blog, they have now adopted the rather simplistic name of 'Coconut and Jam Sponge Cake Slices' ...catchy ey?!

Anyway, this is a very simple recipe for a traditional classic cake. Hence, I have decided that it will be the prefect sweet treat to take into school for the lovely ladies this week. 



(I used my roasting tin 23cm square, makes 16 BIG cakey cubes)

8oz Butter
8oz Caster Sugar
10oz Self Raising Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
2tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs
4tbsp Milk
4-6tbsp Jam (I used raspberry)
A good sprinkling of Dessicated Coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 160degreesC and line the base of your cake tin.

2. Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream until soft and smooth.

3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon.

4. In a jug, beat the eggs, add the milk and drop in the vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly until it resembles a smooth cake mix.

5. Pour into the cake tin and place in the oven. Bake for around 45mins or until firm to the touch and golden brown. 

6. Allow to cool in the tin for around 15mins then remove and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.

7. When the cake is completely cool, evenly spread the jam all over the top of the sponge.

8. Scatter/sprinkle on the dessicated coconut to give a snowy effect. Make sure all of the jam is covered in coconut.

9. Cut into around 25 squares.


This has to be one of my favourite, simple, child friendly cakes! The sponge is super soft and crumbly, the jam smooth and sweet and the coconut is fab at adding a different texture and a creamy after taste. Simply made, simply yummy! This recipe is so simple, that to not try it would be a travesty.

The important bit is making sure you get the right ratio of sponge : jam : coconut so that when you cut your cubes, you can see the lovely different layers. Maybe that's one thing I would improve if I were to do it again - less sponge, although Andy wolfed it down, so don't think he particularly minded!!

Bon Appetit!!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I've got to be honest, I've never really been a fan of lemon cake. Bit over rated I think. If ever I go to a cafe/coffee shop and I see lemon cakes/muffins I always feel a little sad for them, because up against chocolate or carrot cake, lemon just does not even get a look in...I don't even consider it as an option. However, people can change their minds (and also my flatmate LOVES any sweet thing lemon flavoured) so I thought I would give the humble lemon drizzle cake another shot. After all, it has never done anything to harm me! (Plus, I was thinking of options to take to if I am still not over keen, the lovely ladies at work can enjoy it!)



Makes 25 squared pieces - I used my 23cm square roasting tin

3 Lemons (Rind and Juice)
8oz Butter
8oz Caster Sugar
6oz Granulated Sugar
10oz Self Raising Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
4 Eggs
4 tbsp Milk

1. Pre heat the oven to 140degrees C and line your cake tin with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the butter and caster sugar and mix until light and fluffy.

4. Break in the eggs, pour in the milk and stir until the mixture resembles cake mix.

5. Grate the lemons and put all 3 of the rinds into the cake mix.

6. Pour into your cake tin and bake in the oven for 45mins or until firm to the touch, golden in colour and clean when prodded with a knife. 

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20mins.

8. Remove from the baking tin and place on a wire rack.

9. Mix the granulated sugar with the juice of all 3 lemons until it has the consistency of a runny paste. 

10. Whilst the cake is still warm, spread the lemon paste over the top of the cake generously. The sponge will absorb the lemon juice and will leave a crunchy lemon topping on the top of the cake.

11. Allow the cake to rest for about 1hour so that the top has enough time to harden and then cut into cubed slices.


So the verdict? As a cake, it was lovely and soft, crumbly and the change of texture with the crunchy topping was scrummy (might experiment with this and adapt it to another cake) BUT, lemon cake is still not for me...would much rather something more sickly. However, my flatmate LOVED it as did the girls at school. 

These were the 5 pieces that I didn't take to school. I forgot to take a photo of the whole cake, but I think you can kind of get the picture from these pictures.

As you can see, it was very crumbly which meant it was super light. The crystallised crunchy sugar topping was the best bit! So yeah, I wouldn't make it again for me and Andy (he wasn't fussed either) but could definitely be a potential for a school fete or something. 

Bon Appetit!! 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bakewell Tart

I have a confession to make... I love nuts! 

I love walnuts, pecans, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, brazil nuts... all kinds of nuts! BUT... my favourite has to be the humble almond. Almonds are so shy in taste and flavour, yet have such a sweetly satisfactory after taste. They leave a scrumptious marzipany flavour in your mouth and  their shape just pleases me so - symmetrical and tear drop like. Lovely! (Shocking to think that as a child I hated nuts... at Christmas I used to bite all of the chocolate off of them and place them back in the box they came from... what a delightful child I was!)

Anyway, with such a confession for the humble almond, I thought it was about time that I actually did something with them (instead of gorging on a whole packet of them, on their own!) and what recipe is more perfect to express my love of almonds than the classically traditional Bakewell Tart (please note that I have said, "Bakewell Tart" NOT "Cherry Bakewell" ... no, none of that shop bought Mr Kipling stylee stuff).  



I used my 22cm loose bottomed flan dish for this recipe.

Pastry:                                                    Filling:
175g Plain Flour                                120g Butter
2 tbsp Caster Sugar                           120g Caster Sugar
115g Butter                                           2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk                                              60g Self Raising Flour
2 tbsp Cold Water                               1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt                                     100g Ground Almonds
3 tbsp Raspberry Jam                       3 drops of Almond Essence/Extract

To decorate: 
Icing sugar and water mixture and scattered flaked almonds on the top.

1. Sift the flour, sugar, salt into a large bowl and add the diced butter.

2. Using your finger tips, mix the ingredients until they resemble bread crumbs.

3. Beat the egg yolk with the cold water and pour into the dry ingredients, little by little, mixing as you go. The mixture should soon come together to form a pastry ball. Wrap this in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30mins.

4. Meanwhile, begin to make the filling for the tart. Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, ground almonds and almond extract into a large mixing bowl. Beat altogether with a wooden spoon. (This mixture will have the consistency of a thicker than normal cake mix, which will be hard to spread.)

5. Preheat the oven to 180degreesC.

6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface until it is large enough to fit the size of your flan dish. 

7. Gently pick up your pastry (it's very fragile) by flinging it over your rolling pin and press it to fit your dish. Mould the pastry with your fingers to fix any gaps or breaks in the dough. Prick the base all over with a fork.

8. Dollop and spread the jam all over the base. I like quite a thick layer of jam, but make sure it is spread evenly to prevent burning/under cooking/soggy bottomed pastry!!

9. Now, this is the tricky bit!! What you have to remember about jam is that it has an extremely high sugar content and therefore burns VERY easily. You need to spread the filling mixture all over the jam, without mixing the two together. The easiest way to do this, I found, was by spooning a little bit of the mixture on top of the jam at a time, using a plastic spatula. Take your time with this.

10. Once you are happy with how your Bakewell Tart looks, place it in the oven to bake for about 40mins or until the top is golden, springy but firm to the touch and the pastry is crispy. 

11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

12. Once the Bakewell Tart is completely cool, remove is from the flan dish and decorate with icing and flaked almonds. 


Hands down, this is the BEST thing I have EVER made!! Absolutely gorgeous and to be honest, I was sooo shocked with how well it turned out! The pastry was bang on the correct thickness and crispiness, the jam was the perfect amount and the soft almondy filling was just DEEEEE-LIGHTFUL! With so many tricky elements to this dessert (in particular the testing pastry!) there was no way I was expecting it to turn out that well, but O MY WORD!!! 

Admittedly, the icing doesn't look too great, but I didn't want the tart to be completely covered in icing. Overall, I am very happy with how the tart looked, as I think when sliced and served, it actually looks quite professional (not as rustic and 'home made' looking as most of my creations!) and could easily be sold at a school bake sale or something! 

I took half of the Bakewell Tart in to school for the lovely ladies and it went down a treat! Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was not a single crumb left. (I did have to explain the difference between a Bakewell Tart and a Cherry Bakewell to some of the 'cherry phobics' among the group though!) 

This was a proper Bakewell Tart. One in which I think I will be baking on a regular basis and hopefully one that will be enjoyed for many more years to come. 

Bon Appetit!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Regular readers and friends of mine will know that my Mum was the cake baker in our family! And amongst many of her lovely delights was this very special recipe; Carrot and Pineapple Cake. I tend to find with carrot cake, people either love it or they hate it. When I was really young, I could not bare myself to try this creation.... carrots? in a cake? with fruity pineapple? Who on earth thought up that idea?! But as I got older and became more adventurous, I gave it a go. Ever since, I have had an addiction to carrot cake. Every time I go out for coffee to somewhere new and I see that they serve carrot cake, I HAVE to try has become an obsession of mine to find one better (if not just as good) as my Mum's. To this day, I have still not found one that even rivals it!! 

This is the perfect cake for when you are in the mood for a bit of summery, zesty escapism.... perfect for January!



200g peeled carrots, grated
200g tinned pineapple chunks
100g chopped walnuts (or other variations if you fancy)
300g plain flour
200g light soft brown sugar
4 eggs
250ml sunflower oil
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
300g full fat cream cheese
60g icing sugar
150g butter

1. Preheat the oven to 130degreesC. This cake is a low and slow bake!!

2. Find and line a cake tin... I used a 24cm one for this recipe.

3. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb of soda and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir until completely combined.

4. In a measuring jug, pour the oil, beaten eggs, lemon and orange zest as well as grated carrot. (This is my favourite part of the recipe, as the smells and textures are amazing.)

5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until it resembles cake mixture and none of the dry ingredients are viewable.

6. Add in the pineapple and walnuts and fold until combined.

7. Pour into your cake tin and place on a baking tray in the oven. Allow to bake for about 1 hour and 15mins. (Keep checking on it depending on the size of your tin - the deeper the tin, the longer the cake will take to cook.)

8. Meanwhile, make your cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the cream cheese and cover. Place in the fridge until hard, but pliable.

9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5mins. 

10. Remove from the cake tin and place onto a wire rack until thoroughly cool.

11. Once the cake is completely cool, use a pallet knife to smooth the cream cheese frosting all over the cake. Decorate as you wish, I chose to use some left over walnuts to make it look pretty!!


I am soooooo proud of this cake!! It was absolutely scrummy and tasted just like my Mum's used to. I took half of it into school...little sceptical of how it would go down, but man, everyone loved it! Some people even had seconds...made me very happy. Found it such an easy cake to bake and was really impressed with the results. Don't think it looks half bad either, even if I do say so myself!! Go on, give it a go!!

Bon Appetit!!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Happy New Year!!

I love New Year. For me, and for my family, it has ALWAYS been about New Year. We were never too keen on Christmas, Mum was more than likely working Christmas day, or either the night shift before/after and to be honest, Christmas was not a happy time full of fond memories for us. But New Year...that's another matter. My sister's birthday is New Year's Eve so it was always special and important to us, but as the years have gone by, to me, it has become increasingly more poignant. 

As a child, New Year meant...staying up all night, (well, as late as you could) having a house full of people, (my sister's friends, relatives and neighbours) and eating cocktail sausages and generic party food until you could no longer move. However, as an adult, it means sharing a very special day with my sister, (whether it be in person, or on the phone) showing those I love, just how much I love them AND....fresh starts, new dreams and positive hopes.


Now, I am not one for 'summing up the year gone by', infact, I can't stand it. So, for me, this blog post is all about what I want to do in 2012 and what it means to me. 

There is no denying it, 2012 is going to be immense. I will hand in my dissertation in the not too distant future, I will finish my final teaching practice ever, I will graduate as a Primary School teacher, I will move out and find my first ever non student property, I will apply for jobs, attend interviews, get a job (fingers crossed) and teach my first term as a Newly Qualified Teacher. These are some of the most stressful things you can do (besides get married and have a child!!) yet the only feeling I am experiencing at the moment is an excited itch to get this year well under way. BRING IT ON!! I know it is going to be tough, hard work and well, financially exhausting but I am just sooo ready to move on and make a fresh start.

In terms of foodie things, there are a few things I would like to attempt/achieve this year:

1. I have not made Choux pastry since I was about 16. I completely messed it up and ruined a perfectly decent pan last time. I would love to try it again...and perfect it!!

2. I would love to cook a 3 course meal from start to finish. I have done this before, but always depended on some element of shop bought product. This time, I want to do it on my own.

3. I would like to find and start using a good quality butcher. Many of my friends have started doing this lately and it turns out, that if you do get to know your butcher, you can always be guaranteed a bargain. 

4. I would like to cook a fresh joint of meat. Whenever I cook a roast, I always use a frozen cheap joint. I would love to try and do it on my own without burning it/making anyone poorly/making it taste bland. 

5. I MUST bake a decent sponge birthday cake without burning it.

6. I would love to successfully ice something...cake, biscuits, cupcakes, cookies...ANYTHING (!!!) without getting the icing everywhere and nowhere/bursting the icing bag/having the icing set in the bag/making icing the consistency of water.

7. I have never made a meringue based dessert - I would like to change this, this year.

8. I would like to try a macaron. Shockingly, I have never had one. Shop bought, or home made.

9. Generally, I would like to try more adventurous foods. I will try to do this at every opportunity I can.

10. At some point this year I would like to indulge in some fine tasting cheese and wine in somewhere other than my living room...France, Greece or Italy..not fussy!! 


Steffie Jay's Bakes would like to wish all of her friends, family and followers a very Happy New Year!!

Bon Appetit dans 2012!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Gingerbread Biscuits

I love spices. I love flavour, heat and zinginess in all of my food. Earlier this month I attempted to make my very own gingerbread house, but to my dismay, it all collapsed as I was assembling the last roof panel. It looked rather messy and hap-hazard, but it doesn't darrrrrrn good!! Here is a fool proof recipe that is guaranteed to produce you with some very delectable gingerbread biscuits. 



(Makes about 25 biscuits)

125g Butter
50g Dark soft sugar
50 Light soft sugar
300g Plain Flour
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
3tbsp Golden Syrup
2tsp Ground Ginger (I like mine extra spicy so I always make sure these are HEAPED GENEROUSLY)

1. Preheat the oven to 200degreesC. Place baking paper on 4 baking trays.

2. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan until all of the sugar has disolved and the mixture is no longer 'granually'.

3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a large mixing bowl and stir until the colour of the ingredients is a consistent light brown (due to the ginger).

4. Pour in the melted sugar, syrup and butter mixture into the flour and stir slowly until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Towards the end, begin to use your finger tips to roll the dough together into a ball shape. (The mixture is full of fat and sugar so will leave your hands sticky and glossy.)

5. Wrap the dough in some cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30mins.

6. Flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough until it is the thickness that you require. (Not too thin or they will break and burn.) Cut out your shapes carefully and place them onto an already prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake in the oven for about 12mins. Gingerbread does not take very long to cook and burns easily due to the high sugar content - KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR BISCUITS! After 12mins they will still feel slightly soft, do NOT worry about this - the biscuits get much harder as they cool.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30mins.

9. Decorate however you wish! Personally, I love the combination of ginger and white chocolate. I like my gingerbread to be VERY spicy (to the point where your tastebuds tingle) and I find that the white chocolate just soothes your mouth after the zinginess and leaves a sweet, milky taste in your mouth....but you may prefer icing sugar and jelly diamonds!!


They are very quick to make, and fun to decorate. I made this batch the night before going to the inlaws for Christmas so I wasn't too fussed about the decoration element as I didn't have much time, but actually thought that this melted white chocolate technique looked quite cool.

They were very addictive and didn't last very long between the family. And the white chocolate was absolutely scrummy with the ginger. This is a great recipe to try with the children over the Christmas holidays as it allows them to be as creative as they so wish. 

Bon Appetit!!

Cheddar and Leek Puff Pastry Plait

Every Christmas at school, the staff have what is known as a 'Shared Table' or a buffet lunch, where every member of staff brings in some form of party food and during the lunch break, staff are free to grab a plate of food for lunch. Now, having brought in some form of yummy treat every Friday throughout the term the pressure was kind of on for me...there was no way I could just bring in something shop bought. So after much discussion and consideration of what I had available in the house that needed to be used up before Christmas, I decided to go for this traditional pastry snack. Not very challenging, but my pastry work was practiced and improved.



500g Puff Pastry
2 Leeks
250g Cheddar Cheese
1 Egg (2 if you prefer egg wash to milk)
A little splash of Milk
Flour for the work surface

1. Preheat the oven to 180degreesC.

2. Chop the leeks into sizeable chunks and grate the cheese. Stir in a large bowl until mixed thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Beat the egg and pour into the cheese and leek mixture. Stir until everything is coated in the egg. Leave to stand whilst preparing the pastry.

4. Flour the work surface and your rolling pin. Roll the puff pastry into an oblong shape approximately 30cm long and 20cm wide.

5. Begin to spoon the cheese and leek mixture into the middle of the pastry, leaving a border of about 5cm all the way around the oblong. Pat the mixture into a neat sausage shape making sure it is rather tight and compact.

6. Starting at the left hand side (closest to you) of the plait, using a sharp knife, cut several strips diagonally downwards about 2cm apart from one another, working your way along the pastry. Repeat this on the other side.

7. Take the first pastry strip from the side closest to you and fold it tightly over the cheese and leek mixture, then take the first pastry strip from the side furthest to you and fold it over....causing a 'criss-cross' or plait type pattern. Do this all the way along the pastry, making sure each piece is tight around the mixture.

8. At the top and bottom ends you will have some excess pastry left over. It is important that you tightly seal the plait so that the cheese and leek filling doesn't petrude whilst in the oven. What I did here was just trim the pastry and then neatly fold it over then compressed it with a fork to make a nice frilly pattern at each end.

9. Before placing the plait in the oven put it onto a sheet of baking paper and pop it onto a baking tray. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the outside of the plait with the milk/beaten egg. This will make the pastry nicely crisp and golden and will act as a glue, piecing the pastry together.

10. Bake in the oven for about 30mins, or until piping throughout.


This was actually much nicer than I thought it was going to be. I've always been very honest in that I'm not too confident with my savoury snacks (especially pastry) but the flavours were sooo yummy together and really complemented one another.

And I'm really quite impressed at how it looked - not too shabby and rather professional, I think!! I made a little mini one and had it hot at home and I must say that it was so much nicer hot than cold, but was still a tasty snack. Well, at least the staff clearly thought so as there was a not a crumb left!!

Bon Appetit!!