…no I haven’t gone completely barmy from overindulging in Christmas spirit (or champagne in my case!), WYSIWYG is the acronym for “what you see is what you get” and this saying perfectly explains my adoration for Jamie Oliver.
I love Jamie Oliver. Not only is he a doting husband and father, campaigning to improve the quality of children’ meals in schools, while helping the homeless with his “Fifteen” Apprentice Program, but Jamie Oliver always holds back the bull crap – FULL STOP.
In a world that is over-run with food connoisseurs blurting out poetic synonyms for the simplest of foods and flavours whilst serving “food” in teaspoon-sized servings of foam, Jamie Oliver is my breath of fresh
air food. There are no heirs and graces with Jamie, his recipes are easy to follow, do not require ingredients that are impossible to find or pronounce, and he openly admits to using ready-made “cheat” ingredients, such as store bought pastry – shock, horror, gasp!
I was watching Jamie’s Christmas TV show the other day, when he made the most genius mince pies ever. Not your average shortcrust pies, his version consisted of swirls of mincemeat in puff pastry that were baked on layers of filo to create one large serving of pull-apart mince pies – so clever!
Instantly inspired, I wondered how I was going to make this recipe American-friendly. I say this because every American I have said the words “mince pie” to, has had exactly the same reaction. It begins with a cloud of confusion – who wants to eat meat for dessert??? – then after some lengthy explanation of what mincemeat is, always follows a look of complete disgust. No, I was not going to be able to serve Jamie’s Mince Pies to anyone here in the USA – what’s a girl gonna do?
The answer came from Santa himself. On Christmas morning I was thrilled to discover a tub of Hotel Chocolat Christmas Gingerbread Spread hiding in the toe of my Christmas stocking. O-M-Gingerbread Spread, my dilemma was solved! I would swap out the dreaded mincemeat with my fantabulous new Gingerbread Spread.
I appreciate that Christmas is now over and this Gingerbread Spread is probably no longer available, but that isn’t a problem. Hotel Chocolat also have delicious Chocolate & Hazelnut or Salted Caramel & Pecan Chocolate spread varieties that would be just as awesomely tasty. For those of you who like to keep it simple, spread on some Nutella instead.
Before we get started, I must warn you… on my first attempt at this making this recipe, I found it difficult to push the filo pastry into the deep cups of the muffin pan without tearing the delicate sheets. You really don’t need to push the pastry deep down into the cups, but on my second attempt, I used my USA Pan Mini Muffin Pan instead and this proved to be much easier to use.
To get started on your Mini Pull Apart Gingerbread Rolls, first pre-heat the oven to 390ºF (200°C). Then dust a clean work surface with flour and unroll the crescent dough into a flat sheet. Now cover the dough with a thick layer of Gingerbread Spread/Nutella – I challenge you to do this without licking the spoon!
Now roll the pastry into a swiss roll/swirly sausage type creation and put it in the fridge to firm up.
Lightly grease your mini muffin pan with melted butter. Then brush one sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and place, butter side up, on top of the muffin pan. Note that you may need more than one sheet of pastry to cover your pan. Now repeat this step to form a second layer of filo.
Remove the crescent roll dough from the fridge and cut it into 12 even slices, using a sharp knife. Now here comes the tricky part… Gently press a slice of the dough into each of the muffin cups, easing the puff pastry down into the cup. Take care not to rip the puff pastry to much during this stage!
Brush your buns with a little more melted butter – that sounded very much like the innuendo on Great British Bake Off didn’t it?!! – then bake for 20 minutes, or until they are completely cooked at the centre and golden brown.
To remove the buns from the pan without breaking the filo, you’ll need to place a flat mat or tray over the top of the muffin pan and quickly turn it upside down. Now place your serving tray on top of the upside-down buns and turn again to get them right side up – et voila! To finish, simply stir some milk into a little powdered sugar – or icing sugar to us Brits – and drizzle the resulting icing generously over your buns. These taste best when served straight from the oven, while they are still warm.
Visit the Arugula & Rocket Store on Amazon (UK and Europe only – sorry guys!) to shop for my favourite kitchen products and gadgets. The Tovolo brand is also widely available from stores across the USA.
Mini Pull Apart Gingerbread Rolls
1 Jar Hotel Chocolat Christmas Gingerbread Spread (or Nutella)
4 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1¼ Cups Powdered (Icing) Sugar
3 Tbsp Milk
Pre-heat oven to 390ºF (200°C)
Dust a clean work surface with flour and unroll the crescent dough sheet.
Cover the dough with a thick layer of Gingerbread Spread/Nutella.
Tightly roll the pastry and place in the fridge.
Lightly grease the muffin pan with melted butter.
Brush one sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and place, butter side up, on top of the muffin pan (you may need more than one sheet of pastry to cover your tray).
Repeat the previous step with a second sheet of filo pastry.
Remove the crescent roll dough from the fridge and cut it into 12 slices, using a sharp knife.
Gently press a slice into each of the muffin cups, easing the puff pastry down into the cup. Take care not to rip the puff pastry during this stage.
Brush over the top of the buns with a little more melted butter.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked and golden brown.
Place a tray or mat on top of the muffin pan and turn upside down to release the buns from the pan. Repeat with a serving tray to turn the buns right side up.
In a medium bowl, stir the milk into the sugar and drizzle over the buns.