Cheddar and Rosemary Sables

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Rosemary and Cheddar Sables

I have millions (well, maybe not quite) of recipes tagged in delicious and every now and then I make a concerted effort to actually cook one of these recipes. I recently discovered I have over 100 chocolate cake recipes tagged so you can expect to see a flood of those in the near(ish) future.

With the festive season well and truly upon us I’ve been doing quite a lot of party cooking and trying out a few new things. One recipe that seemed both simple and savoury (for some reason, not everyone wants a party full of desserts) was a recipe for thyme and emmental sablés (recipe in French). As I had Gruyère in the fridge I thought this would be the go.

Of course, when I came to make these, I discovered the Gruyère had been eaten but I still had some reasonably good Cheddar hanging around and rosemary, well, it grows like a weed in our garden and Cheddar and rosemary sounded like a good match.

These are super easy biscuits to make but as you do need to keep the pastry cold, don’t decide to make them on a 36°C day!

Take 80g of Cheddar and coarsely grate it into your trusty food processor. Add 60g of unsalted butter, 100g of plain flour, 1 egg yolk, a pinch of pepper (if you can use white, then all the better) and one sprig of rosemary, finely chopped. Give it a quick whizz up and then add a little cold water to bring it all together. The recipe states 5cL of water and I always get really muddled with French fluid measurements. I actually thought it meant 500mL of water (which I knew would be ridiculous) but a bit of investigation shows that it is actually 50mL which is much, much closer the mark. You don’t need very much at all.

Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for about an hour and a half. As I was on a schedule I didn’t have the luxury of that long a rest and things still turned out OK.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan).

Roll the dough out to very thin – let’s say no more than about 5mm. Work fast: you may need to cut off chunks of pastry and keep the remainder in the fridge as you go along. Cut out the biscuits, place on baking trays and bake for 10-15 minutes. You can see from the photo that you want them to puff up and cook but you don’t want them to start taking on too much colour.

Allow to cool on a rack before serving. They’re perfect as a pre-dinner drink snack, but they’d also be great after dinner with more cheese.

And you could even try making them as Emmental and thyme …

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