A savoury twist – Cheese straws and Tomato & Gruyere whirls

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I’m not normally a savoury baker – I much prefer sugary, chocolaty treats that are crowd pleasers. However, last Saturday I organised a baby shower for my lovely friend Emma who is expecting a bundle of joy very soon. This called for some savoury snacks. I decided to make cheese straws and tomato and Gruyere whirls. I had made the tomato and Gruyere whirls last year for my 30th birthday afternoon tea and everyone had enjoyed them so decided these would be a good bet. Cheese straws were an entirely new adventure for me! The tomato and Gruyere whirls are super easy and require nothing other than assembling (unless you are feeling brave and want to make your own puff pastry – something I am not quite ready for!)

Both of these recipes come from a Sainsbury’s cooking book I was given as an end of year present by an ex-pupil. I used to bombard them with tales of my cupcake making and even bring baking into my Maths lessons so I was really touched to receive it. It’s called ‘Baking Recipe Collection’ by Sainsbury’s and is out of stock on the Sainsbury’s website but it you look on Amazon you can find second hand copies starting from the bargainous price of 1p (plus postage and packing). I’ve decided to combine the two into one post.

Cheese Straws
Ingredients

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125g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
Mustard powder (pinch of)
50g grated Cheddar cheese
50g grated Red Leicester cheese
2 eggs (1 egg yolk and 1 to beat)
Poppy seeds and sesame seeds to decorate

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.
2) Rub the butter into the plain flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs.

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3) Stir in a pinch of mustard powder and the grated Cheddar and Red Leicester cheese.

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4) Add the egg yolk and a little water and mix into a firm dough. Make sure you add the water a little at a time. You should end up with something that looks like this…

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5) On a floured board, roll out the pastry into a large rectangle. Cut into straws about 3/4cm thick (I found getting the width right most difficult – I had some very fat cheese straws!) Brush with beaten egg and dip in poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
6) Bake on a non-stick tray for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.

Tomato and Gruyere Whirls
Ingredients

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375g ready-rolled puff pastry
150g tomato chutney (I used Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Tomato and Red Pepper Chutney)
100g Gruyere cheese (grated)

Method
1) Unroll the puff pastry and spread with the tomato chutney. Top with the grated Gruyere cheese.

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2) Tightly roll up one longer side to the middle. Repeat with the other long edge, to meet in the middle. (It is important that you roll these as tight as possible as otherwise they will ping apart as I found out the first time I made these last year. You will also lose the ‘whirl’ effect.)

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3) Wrap in clingfilm and chill in a fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6 (handily the same temperature as the cheese straws!)
4) Cut the pastry into 1cm slices and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (the cheese will bubble and the chutney will ooze so lining is important!)

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5) Bake for 15 minutes and then cool on a wire rack. (I forgot to take any photos – oops!)

They were very popular. To quote Emma ‘I don’t even like pastry but I like these!’

Happy savoury baking!

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