Sunday, 3 August 2014

Everything is Puffing-Up Roses

Rose di Sfoglia con Prugne Fresche, Mandorla, Rosmarino & Zucchero Speziato
Puff-Pastry Roses with Fresh Plum, Almonds, Rosemary, Sugar & Spice

Plums are in season- juicy, tangy, delicious plums! Especially when baked they love to turn a little sour, which makes for wonderful pies and tarts... which are then usually served up with whipped cream to compensate for the tartness- but I am not much a fan of whipped cream!

I am also not much of a baker- haha! So this compromise, seemed like a great idea this morning- by using puff-pastry and a high temperature, I managed to get these little beauties baked and finished in just 15 minutes. That made them easy to make, and so fast at the same time, that the plums did not become too sour... but then of course, I did make that spiced, powdered sugar that I added too...


I like these because they are small... you can eat as much or as little as you want and if things are getting to be too sour, not need to compensate by adding cream or anything unnecessary like that... the sour aspect of the baked plums flavor is what this is really all about anyway!


6 plums, a handful of almonds, a twig of rosemary, 1 tablespoon of regular sugar and a little cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seed and 1 little clove were all I needed to transform 1 roll of puff pastry into 10 lovely little edible roses. Pretty cool, huh?

These are great little afternoon or party snacks, or could even be served up after dinner with an espresso at times where a full dessert would just be too much... these won't... the only things is you may end up taking a second or a third of them if you are not careful!

I made the sugar by grinding 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 tip of a star anise, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds, 2 cardamom pods and 1 clove with my mortar and pestle.

Crack the larger pieces of spice first and then simply grind in a circular motion until you have a nice, spicy and well blended powdered sugar.


Cut the plums in half, remove the stones and then cut each half into thin slices. Chop the rosemary a little and add it together with the slivered almonds to toss together, ready to be used as our filling for the roses.

Next, using a very sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into strips of about 2" width, then lay out the slices of plum and almonds evenly.

Do not be tempted to make the rolls larger or to add too much filling- you want these to bake quickly and do not want the plums to give off so much juice that they make the pastry soggy.


Sprinkle with the powdered sugar and carefully roll the pastry strips up into roses, making sure to pinch the base together a little, just so that it seals a little better... don't fuss over it too much as the next trick will see to that problem too:-)


Shake off any excess sugar as it will only burn during baking and lay out the rolls onto a non-stick frying pan... but you knew I was going to do my frying-pan trick anyway, didn't you? Haha!

Give the rolls 3-4 minutes on the stove top at a high heat, until the pastry begins to turn transparent below as the butter in it melts... once you see that happen, remove them from the stove and pop them into the oven, which you should pre-heat to 200°C. They will take just 10 minutes or so to puff-up and become lovely and flaky!

10 minutes later, with maybe a minute or two under the broiler to get them a little more golden, these tasty roses are ready to be harvested!


It could hardly be easier to make a sweet treat than this!


And they are so small that the amount of sin you commit when eating them is completely up to you!

I think they look lovely- very simple, it's true, but definitely pretty enough to serve your guests at any occasion! Delicious enough too!

No time to waste- have a taste!

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