Sunday, 3 October 2010

Parmesan Biscuits

Well, we've been off on our hols in sunny St Ive's, Cornwall, so apologies for the radio silence.  We ate well down there, in some wonderful restaurants, including the famous Porthminster Beach Cafe (who did a stunning Beetroot and Goat's Cheese puree) and Alba (wonderful Mussels with Curry, Cream and Tomato).  Back to my own kitchen, and to accompany our cocktails tonight, I have made Parmesan Biscuits.  Simply blend in a food processor:
120g each of plain flour, grated Parmesan cheese and cubed, ice-cold butter, along with a good dash of cayenne pepper and black pepper and a teaspoon of English mustard powder.  It should come together into a ball, but if it is dry or crumbly, carefully add a teaspoon of water at a time until it is the right texture.  Knead lighly on a sheet of clingfilm and then, using the flat palms of your hand, roll out to a sausage roll shape.  Wrap tightly in the clingfilm, and chill in the fridge.  Now, cut slices off the roll with a sharp knife, about half a centimetre thick, and place on a baking tray, preferably non stick.  Space them apart to allow for a little expansion.  Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees - keep an eye on them so they don't burn.  They should be an enticing pale golden colour.  Leave on the tray for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Allegedly, these keep well in a tin but we always eat them in one sitting.  I know, I know...........


  1. Yum yum - have downloaded this and am trying to think of an occsion to cook them for. I have to have an occasion - I CAN'T eat them all myself - well, I could, but I mustn't!
    Many thanks and I hope you've had a wonderful holiday.

    J x

  2. Hi Joy! I know, they are naughty. However, I might have a solution! You can keep the uncooked dough in the fridge for up to a week and slice a few rounds off every now and then to bake as a treat. And the dough freezes well too - I have often made this amount of dough and halved it, to cook the first batch and eat fresh and then to have it available for whenever the fancy takes us. They make a lovely gift too, wrapped in a little cellophane or a pretty box, so maybe that would give you the occasion to make them, next time you are invited to tea or dinner.

  3. no nibbles for with drinks in the house tonight, disaster! and not even any eggs, with which I might have thrown together my usual throwback of instant canapés of mini pancakes with a dod of something nice (like a bit of good cheese or salami). However, something rang a bell in the deepest recesses of my mind and lo, I found this recipe, and as I remembered it required no eggs! (Unlike the equally lovely gougères) And, as it happens, the largest size of 'essentials' parmigiano was on offer in waitrose this week so we had an enormous wedge in the fridge that I needn't feel guilty grating lots of it up. Although I did only make a half batch (to leave us some butter!)