Sunday, 7 December 2014

I'm Going to Bake You a Star!

Stella di Natale di Sfoglia
Puff-Pastry Christmas Star


Sunshine, starlight, this pretty pastry can represent whatever suits you best on a Winter's day- or night... and will brighten it up no end, either way!

I just made this up as I went along this morning, having seen similar pastries and after having indeed, many moons ago actually made one. So with the basic principle of layering and folding-over the pastry in mind... I went a little crazy, stayed a little lazy- took the easy way out and made this! Pretty fantastic, isn't it?


Not being able to bake never kept me from having fun in the kitchen- or from coming up with nice, different and fun things "of my own"- as with all things in life I suppose- you just do the best with what you've got!


Again, I needed surprisingly little to make this great pastry... and even had a little left-over to enjoy as a snack whilst the "star" of the show was cooling down!

I needed 1 roll of puff pastry, 1-2 tablespoons of jam, 1-2 tablespoons of coconut spread, 1 heaped tablespoon of coconut flake, 1 tablespoon of ground pistachios and the zest of a lemon. That's all!


Being as the jam and the coconut spread are so sweet, it is great having the coconut flakes and the pistachio in the mix to add a little neutrality in there to balance things out- and better still to have the tangy lemon zest to make it really perfect!


To make the star, you will need 2 equal-sized squares of pastry- which will leave you with 2 equal sized left-overs to make yourselves a little treat with... at least that was my method!

The most important thing at all to remember, if you want to make these- or any dishes with puff-pastry, is to work quickly whilst the pastry is still nice and cold- and to have a VERY sharp knife to cut it with!

Simply spread each piece of pastry with the different toppings. One flavor is simply the jam- raspberry in this case, but you can use whichever you may have or prefer- and the other with the coconut spread, which is a kind-of coconut version of Nutella.

To the coconut flavored one come the coconut flakes and the pistachios on top... and then you are ready to assemble!


Simply place the jam-coated pastry on top of the coconut pistachio and without pressing them together, continue by making criss-cross star-shaped cuts into the square of pastry, stopping a good inch or so from the outer edge. You will also notice that I left the outer edge free of jam or topping- this will allow it to still puff up during baking.


Now, simply slip your knife underneath the 2 layers of pastry and fold back each triangular section as in the photo.


Continue all the way around and the star is ready!

And as for those leftovers... I just cut the pastry in half and made 2 little rolls out of it- also nice!


Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175-180°C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown... it's as simple to make as that!


 A lovely, pretty and simple little explosion of flavor- what more could you ask for?

 Well, ok... except for a second serving that is! Haha!

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