Savoury canapés shaped to looked like mini carrots, tomatoes and cauliflowers.
Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need 12 pastry horn moulds, a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle, a 3.5cm/1½in pastry cutter/ring, a small star nozzle and a 6cm/2½in fluted pastry cutter.
For the choux pastry 'tomatoes', preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. Use a pastry cutter to mark 12 circles that are 3.5cm/1½in in diameter, with space between them of the same width.
Take a sheet of baking parchment and crease it in the middle then open out flat. Sift the flour into the centre of the crease and set aside. (This is to make it easy to add to the pan in the next step.)
Put 60ml/2fl oz of cold water and the butter into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the butter has melted. Slowly bring to the boil and then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Tip the sifted flour into the pan all in one go and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball of paste. Allow to cool slightly, then beat in the beaten egg to form a smooth glossy paste.
Place a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle into the neck of a tall glass and spoon the paste into it. Lightly spray the prepared baking tray with water and pipe evenly sized balls (3.5cm/1½in) onto the marked circles on the prepared baking parchment.
Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until the choux pastry is golden-brown, crisp and risen. Remove from the oven. Reduce the temperature to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and pierce the base of each bun with a cocktail stick. Return to the oven to dry out for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the tomato glaze, soften the sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for about five minutes. Measure the tomato ketchup into a small saucepan and, once the gelatine sheets have softened, squeeze off the excess water and add to the pan.
Stir over a low heat until a smooth mixture forms, then strain into a bowl through a fine sieve and set aside.
For the smoked trout pâté, place the smoked trout and butter in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the creamed horseradish, soured cream and chopped herbs and blend again. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the pâté into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and fill each choux bun with the pâté by inserting the nozzle into the holes in the bases.
Coat each choux bun with tomato glaze by carefully spooning it over the top. Place a small sprig of basil on top of each (to resemble a tomato leaf) and leave to set.
For the 'Chantenay carrots', place the flour, paprika, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, add the egg and bring the pastry together. Gradually add a tablespoon of cold water while working the pastry with your hands.
Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and gently knead to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 45 minutes, or ideally 1-2 hours.
For the glaze, beat together all the ingredients in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Take the chilled pastry from the fridge, remove the cling film and divide the pastry into three. On to a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into a circle, then divide each circle into four quarters. Carefully wrap each quarter around a pastry horn mould and brush with the prepared glaze. Use a fork to create a carrot texture over the pastry and place each 'carrot' on the lined baking tray. Bake for approximately eight minutes, or until lightly golden-brown and crisp. When cool enough to handle, remove the pastry horn moulds, brush with the glaze and set aside to cool completely.
For the cumin and coriander hummus, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend for one minute. Scrape down the sides and blend again for half a minute. Add the garlic and cumin and blend again. Add the drained chickpeas and blend again. Add the chopped coriander and blend once again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
To make the cauliflower purée, preheat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas ¼.
Place some water in a large saucepan with a little black pepper, a pinch of grated nutmeg and the chives and dill. Steam the cauliflower over the flavoured water until cooked. Place the cooked cauliflower in a roasting tray and bake in the preheated oven until dry. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
For the cheese scones, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Sift the flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the chopped chives and grated cheese. Gradually add the milk until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and very gently knead to create a smooth, soft dough. Gently roll out the dough and cut into rounds with a 3.5cm/1½in round pastry cutter.
Place the scones on the prepared baking tray and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until risen, lightly golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, cut the top off each scone.
For the cauliflower purée, blend the cooked cauliflower using a stick blender or food processor. Add the garlic and herb cream cheese, salt, Dijon mustard and a pinch of grated nutmeg and black pepper. Spoon the purée into another piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe a little of the mixture on the top of each scone.
Remove some leaves from the Little Gem lettuces and, using a fluted pastry cutter, cut through the leaves to create circles which will represent the leaves of a cauliflower. Place a lettuce circle on top of each scone and press gently to help it stick to the purée. Pipe more purée on top of the lettuce (to resemble the florets of a cauliflower) and finish with a fine grating of nutmeg.
Just before serving, spoon the hummus into a piping bag and pipe into the cooled pastry carrots. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika and arrange some fresh dill on top to look like carrot tops.
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Week seven sees the bakers tested on all kinds of weird and wonderful pastries.