Video guide to stilton and walnut puffs
Hello, I'm John Burton-Race, welcome to another cook along. I'm going to be making some stilton and walnut puffs, which are a lovely, simple delicious snack for the party season, really, really straight forward this one.
Ingredients for your party snack
What I've got here is 100g of Tesco Finest stilton, with the rind cut off, 75g of full fat cream cheese, 25g of walnuts, which I've finely chopped, about an ounce, a little bit of flour for dusting and an egg yolk just for the egg wash.
Mix the cheeses together
Very straight forward this dish. First thing, a bowl, take the stilton, remember to take the rind off because that's really unpleasant and quite dry. Just with your fingers, break the cheese up into the bowl and then add the cream cheese and bind this to a smooth paste. I'm going to wipe my hands. Take the cream cheese and, with a fork, just beat this together to a smooth paste. This is the filling for the puffs, obviously.
Right, so we just beat this up, mix the stilton into the cream cheese. The cream cheese is a full-fat stable cheese and what that will do is it will hold the stilton, which isn't a stable cheese. In other words, it will stop it running out all over the place when you cook these things and it makes a really lovely, almost cheese-mousse like texture inside the puffs.
So this is a nice smooth paste now, the stilton's mixed in with the cream cheese really nicely and that's ready. Put that to one side. The next thing I'm going to do is just take a little bit of plain flour and dust the work surface with a little flour. This will stop the pastry from sticking to the bench.
Roll out the puff pastry
Get the pastry. Now, here I've got 375g of Tesco Finest pure butter puff pastry and this is already pre-rolled. I've had it in the fridge, it's nice and cold. Here I've got a 7cm cutter, so just dip the cutter, first of all, into the flour so it doesn't stick and just cut out the little circles for the puffs.
Right, now 375g of pastry will make enough for about 16 to 20 of these lovely stilton puffs. Now, with your trimmings here, don't crunch that up into a ball, just fold it over, because this is puff pastry and you want the lovely layers and the aeration between the pastry. Then just take a rolling pin and roll it out to the same thickness and cut the remainder, so there's absolutely no waste. You should get easily 16 of these out of 375g, but I can get 20, so you should be able to get 20 as well.
Spoon in the filling
Now the next thing I'm going to do is just fill these up with the cheese mix here. Take some of the mix, a little teaspoon is best for this, and just take out some of the filling and lay it down in the middle of the pastry and take a pastry brush and go round the outside of the pastry. And then what you do is you just crimp these over and just press them down and the egg yolk should stick them together. Lay them on a tray, make sure they're completely sealed round the edge of the pastry so when they start to cook, obviously the pastry will puff up, that's why they're called puffs, but the cheese mixture won't come out. Lay them down on the tray, let's do another one. Bit of cheese in the middle, pastry brush again round the outside. Just fold it over and crimp them tightly closed.
So I've rolled out the off cuts and, as I said before, you'll get 20. Last one. Right, so that's 20. In this form, you can put them straight in the freezer, before you egg wash them, they'll keep at least a month, or you can put them in the fridge, they'll last a day. But whatever you do, they need to rest so these are going in the fridge now for 15 minutes, just to relax the pastry.
Glaze with egg wash
Right, OK, so these have been rested for 15 minutes and the last thing I've got to do is a little bit more egg wash over the top of the puffs here. This'll give it a nice glaze and they'll look lovely and golden brown. The reason I'm putting more egg wash on top is so that I can get the nuts to stick to the top of the cheese puffs, so just a little bit, not too much. And then some chopped walnuts just sprinkled very roughly on top. These little things will take about 12 to 15 minutes in a fan oven at 180 degrees, or 200 if you've just got a plain old dry oven. What you're looking for, to make sure that they're cooked, is that they come out and they're crisp on top and golden brown in colour. Make sure the pastry's risen properly. Straight to the oven.
Prepare to serve your cheese puffs
Here we are, absolutely beautiful, they smell delicious. Golden brown, the nuts are nicely toasted on the top, the egg wash has given a lovely glaze to the cheese puffs. The next thing is just to get them on a serving plate and these are really, really lovely. Great party food, this is.
There you have it, stilton and walnut puffs, everyone's going to love these.