Recently a rather refined friend asked me to produce a few delicacies for a drinks party he was holding. My first thought ( I was a bit pressured as his call left me two days to produce something) was – mini sausage rolls plus vol-aux-vents and oat cakes with various additions etc. Mini- sausage rolls? That seemed shamelessly dull ! He could find those himself in M&S or Waitrose . I needed to get a bit more creative.
So, I got down on my hands and knees ( and after congratulating myself I could still do that!). I delved into the back of the corner cupboard. There it was!
I was introduced to this piece of equipment in France at a drinks party where a delightful Frenchwoman had produced a plate of ‘mini-croissants’ stuffed with minced pork and decorated with sesame seeds. They were so very delicious I mercilessly devoured a large quantity. I couldn’t imagine how she had the time to produce such a delicacy at a time when several generations were in the throes of a huge party and she was the one with the small children! ( ‘Ah’ I thought’ it is the French way – they know how to do this from birth’)
How she had she had made such tiny artistic little twirls of pastry and still kept the filling inside. After much of the old vin rouge I ventured to ask her. I can make myself understood in French but was astonished by the reply, which in essence was
‘C’est le Tupperware’
In a French accent this sounds quite strange ‘ Sayletoopperwaire’ – I reeled momentarily – she couldn’t possibly be saying ‘Tupperware’ !!! She was! Tupperware – the instigator of all those dreadful, intimidating house parties in the 70s – is massive in France!!! In the homes of the ‘chic’ young Parisienne, plastic gadgetry is now ‘de rigeur’ Maybe Le Roux keeps one hidden under his counter, just like me? Who knows?
Let me enlighten you on its uses.
First buy ‘ready made puff pastry’ ( I know you can make this – and you are welcome!) – Roll it out as recommended and then stretch it across the ‘croissant maker’. You can see there are two sides – one makes 16 small croissants and the other 8 larger ones= just choose which you want.
Now, choose your filling. I have chosen simple sausage meat as my grandchildren are coming. However there are many alternatives which are listed later in this post. I’ll just show you how easy it is to create these delicacies. See below – the secret is in the hole!! Just push your finger up and the pastry will roll. How easy is that.
Now, place a little of your chosen filling 1cm below the rim of the pastry.
Carefully lift up the little twizzley shapes and place on a baking tray. (I like to line with non-stick baking paper) Brush with beaten egg wash and sprinkle with sesame if you like seedy things. Put in a hot oven ( 190 ) and bake for 30 mins.
Keep an eye open after 20 mins as they might brown too fast. Place on a rack to cool.
Stop your family eating them by shouting ‘ No – no – well just one!’ See just why below…
How delicious is that? Here are some other ideas for fillings:-
- mushroom and bacon in a little white sauce with oregano to taste
- tiny triangles of ham with grated cheese
- sweetcorn in cheese sauce with a little chilli
- cooked apple with nutmeg – sprinkle tops with a little sugar
Just experiment and enjoy !