Pesto Twists

I know this looks like it’s a bit of a cheaters ‘bake’ but sometimes the easy options are the best.
As I had spent a full evening preparing the caramel squares for a work fuddle, I also wanted to make something savoury but it had to be fairly quick and easy. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of cheese and pesto. With 3 simple ingredients and 20 odd minutes, what could be better.

Ingredients

1 pack of puff pastry (500g)

1 jar of pesto

½ cup of grated parmesan


Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oc

2. Roll out the puff pastry until it’s about the thickness of the a 50 pence. 

3. Spread the pesto over the pastry leaving about ½ an inch from the edge, sprinkle over the cheese, then fold the pastry in half bring together two of the edges that don’t have any pesto.

4. Cut into 12 strips and twist each strips 4-5 times.

5. Place onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for roughly 10-15 minutes until the edges have started to go golden brown, then leave to cool. 

Nutritional Information

Serves 12

Calories: 243

Protein: 5.0g

Carbohydrates: 15.1g

Of which is Sugars: 0.5g

Fibre: 1.6g

Fat: 17.8g

Of which is Saturated: 6.9g

Caramel Shortbread

I always see loads of recipes for these called many different things e.g. Twix bars, caramel fingers etc. I’ve just always known these as caramel squares and they are one of the many things that my mum would always be asked to make for us and unlike some of the other recipes I’ve seen, I do insist on making my own caramel, which although adds a fair bit of time to the baking process I think that you cannot beat homemade caramel. 

I normally need a full evening or preferably afternoon to make these so just be warned as these a fair bit of cooling involved and I always make them the day before I want them so it can completely cooled and be cut up into equal squares.


Ingredients

For the base

125g Butter

50g Caster Sugar

175g Plain Flour

For the Caramel Filling

175g Butter

115g Golden Caster sugar

3 Tbsp. Golden Syrup

1 Tin Condensed Milk (400g)

For the Topping

100g Dark Chocolate

100g Milk Chocolate


Method

1. Prepared a large dish, I use a deep casserole dish but any dish roughly 20cm square will do, just grease with some butter, making sure that you do the sides as well. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c 

2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the sifted plain flour and mix until it begins to bind together. Knead the mixture until it becomes smooth then press it into the pre-prepared dish. With a fork, prick the mixture in numerous places and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it started to go golden brown.

3. Leave to cool ready for the topping.

4. When the base has been in the oven for roughly 10 minutes start to make the caramel. 

5. In a saucepan over a low/medium heat add the butter, sugar, condensed milk and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

6. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-8 minutes until it begins to thicken and darkens in colour. Keep stirring!

7. Pour over the cooled biscuit base and leave to cool.

8. Once the caramel has cooled, in a suitable bowl over some simmering water, melted the chocolate chunks until completely melted then pour over the caramel then place in the fridge to cool.

9. After a couple of hours once the chocolate has started to set but not completely, score through the chocolate where you want the pieces to be. This will mean that once the chocolate completely cooled, you will get nice neat squares.


Nutritional information

Serves 16

Calories:  343 

Protein:  3.8g

Carbohydrates: 39.6g 

Of which is sugars:  26.8g

Fibre: 0.4g 

Fat: 19.1g

Of which is saturated: 12.1g