• 250g Ready-Made Puff Pastry (yes, we cheated)
  • 12 Black Peppercorns
  • Rosemary to decorate
  • 1 Egg

Pig-Headed Puffs

Jess:
“Daddy, daddy, it’s Silly Chefs today, can we make something from chocolate?”
Daddy:
“Well we’ve done a lot of that recently. How about something else?”
Jess:
“No.”
Daddy:
“What if we make something that looks like an animal?”
Jess:
“What kind of animal daddy?”
Daddy:
“Well you choose Jess. Maybe something you’ve learnt about at school recently.”
Jess:
“How about something from the family of animals know as “Suidae”? As you know daddy, Suidae are characterised by their very hard, spiky hair, their short legs and of course their cloven hooves. Perhaps most interestingly is that they have a cartilaginous snout used for digging, especially the domesticated hog which in your simple parlance is what you’d probably refer to as a ‘pig’. There must be some aspect of this we could emulate in either pastry or bread form? Surely daddy?”
Daddy:
“Well Jess, at the age of 5 I’m amazed you know so much about the family Suidae. Could I suggest we focus in on the ‘cartilaginous snout’ that you’ve identified as ‘most interesting’? We must be able to make that fairly easily from pastry.”
Jess:
“Yes, you can suggest that if you like daddy. I think I may be able to sanction that but I will have to insist we use puff pastry to encourage a comical effect – as you probably know puff pastry is a light and leavened pastry containing several layers of fat which is in solid state at approximately 68 °F. Although presumably altitude is factor. We haven’t studied the effects of altitude on pastry consistency yet – I think that’s next week.”
Daddy:
“OK, Jess, if you say so. And don’t worry, we’ll cook it in the kitchen which is only just above sea level so altitude shouldn’t be a major factor. But what shall we call this recipe?”
Jess:
“Pig-Headed Puffs – it’s obvious daddy.”
Daddy:
“Of course it is. What was I thinking.”

How we did it:

  • We went to the supermarket and bought some pre-made puff pastry. This was much quicker, and less messy, than making it. But perhaps we’re missing the point.
  • We used half of the 500g pack we had bought. We rolled it out to about a 4cm depth and used a medium-sized glass to cut out 6 round “pigs heads”. Sounds simple, but it wasn’t with Jess. We actually created many deformed creatures/circles and then re-rolled the pastry over and over again. Eventually we had 6 “circles”. Not conventional circles though – some where not that “circular”.
  • We then cut 6 small circles using a screw-top bottle cap. These were to be our “cartilaginous snouts”. Possibly the best pastry-based cartilaginous snouts we’d ever seen.
  • We cut out 6 squares, approx 2cm x 2cm and cut them diagonally to create 12 triangular piggy ears.
  • We took the egg and separated the yolk from the white. Jess is good at this now. I only get a small amount of the egg in my face.
  • Jess (all by her self) used the egg white to stick the “snout” onto the “face” and the “ears” on.
  • We then stuck on the peppercorn eyes and the rosemary snouts.
  • After all of that Jess glazed the faces with the egg yolk (about 60% used, 40% consumed by loitering spaniel).
  • We baked for about 15 minutes until the pig heads had puffed up to fairly extreme levels.

What we thought of it:

Jess loved doing this. And actually ate them. It’s a first for Silly Chefs. Jess ate something we made that wasn’t “sweet”. But then who could really resist a pig-headed puff? Can you?