These stylish vegetarian canapés make impressive party food to serve with drinks.
250g/8oz ready-made shortcrust pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
125g/4oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 fresh bay leaf
1 garlic clove, unpeeled, halved
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
8 sun-dried tomatoes
50g/2oz pitted black olives
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Roll the pastry out to a 0.25cm/⅛in thickness and cut out 24 circles from it using a 5cm/2in pastry cutter.
Place the circles onto a baking tray and prick all over with a fork.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the tomatoes, thyme leaves, bay leaf, garlic and crushed peppercorns. Fry gently for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the bay leaf and garlic.
Blend the sundried tomatoes and olives to a paste in a food processor, then stir in the basil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the canapés, spread a little of the olive paste onto each pastry circle and top with a spoonful of tomato confit.
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The 12 new bakers don their aprons and head for the iconic tent for cake week.