Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Temptation Tuesday - Fiona Harper's Secret Addiction

Today, Fiona Harper 'fesses up to a childhood love that's become an addiction, and shares one of her family's favourite recipes. Just be sure to make plenty - as they're horrendously tempting. But then, that's what Temptation Tuesday's all about, isn't it?

I'll admit it. I have an addiction. And it's not just a now-and-then, kind of craving; it's a got-to-have-it-every-day kind of habit. The focus of my obsession? Marmite. If you live in the UK, you'll know what I'm talking about. Some people love it. Some people hate it. There's even a clever advertising campaign based on that very fact. Take a look (I chose the ad with a slightly romantic theme, but the one with the giant blob of Marmite is very funny too):

Every morni
ng I wake up, think about having something virtuous for breakfast, like oats or fruit and yougurt. And every morning, I end up sliding down the slippery slope of convenience, thus feeding my habit: toast with butter and Marmite, spread just-so. I even craved the stuff when I was pregnant - which actually makes sense, because it's rich in folic acid.

In recent years I have discovered that Marmite has the perfect love affair with another food (just to keep this romance-related). Namely, cheese. Particularly cheddar. And if the cheese if hot, so much the better. Even Starbucks have recognised this, providing their UK customers with a small but perfectly-formed, cheddar and Marmite breakfast panini.

Anyway, I'm not a selfish type of gal. I like to spread the love, as well as the yeast extract. So I am sharing with you a recipe that my children beg me to make. It's a doddle, and you'll find this wonderfully savoury little pastries won't hang around for long; they're delectably moreish.

Cheese and Marmite Swirls

makes 28

1 x 425g pack ready-rolled puff pastry.

approx. 4 tsp Marmite
75g cheddar, finely grated
20g parmesan, grated
I egg, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6. Unroll one of the two rolls of pastry, but leave it on it's wrapping paper (handy later on!).

2. Spread the pastry thinly with Marmite, right up to the edges. (I find, mixing the Marmite with a few drops of hot water then using a pastry brush helps - otherwise it can be a bit sticky).Mix the grated cheddar and parmesan together, and sprinkle over the Marmite. Using the wrapper, roll the pastry into a thick cylinder. Brush with egg.

3. Cut the roll into thin slices (about 1-1.5 cm thick) with a sharp knife, then lay them flat on a non-stick baking sheet. They might look a little untidy, so press down gently on them with the back of a spoon or the flat of your hand to flatten them slightly.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are puffed and golden. Meanwhile, use the rest of the ingredients to make a second batch.

5. Once cooked, you can rest them briefly on a cooling rack, but they are definitely best eaten warm!

Fiona's award-winning debut novel, Blind-Date Marriage, is being re-released as part of the anthology, Blind-Dates and Other Disasters, in the UK in January 2011!

All Serendipity Dove wants is a little normality in her unconventional life, and a nice husband to provide her with two-point-four children sounds like the perfect antidote! So she goes on a blind date and meets Jake, who ticks all the right boxes - especially the one labelled 'chemistry'.
However, she's too busy falling in love to notice that, way down in the small print, the 'ready for commitment' box is glaringly empty...


  1. Yum, Fiona! I have a big soft spot for Vegemite (Australia's equivalent to marmite).

    I am off to the shops tomorrow to buy puff pastry!

  2. BLEURGH!!! Marmite is FOOD OF THE DEVIL!!!

    *scrapes tongue out at the thought of it*

  3. Love, love,love Marmite, Fiona, but I've never met a man who does sadly!

    Cover your eyes now Marmite loathers:

    I still make something my great granny used to give me donkey's years ago - Marmite dissolved into hot milk. Best comfort food ever sipped from a big, fat mug. Any one else do that? Tis yum! IF you like Marmite, naturally!



  4. Biddy, you are clearly deluded. I will have to have to convert you to the Divine Marmite.

    I've never tried Marmite and hot milk! Used to hate hot milk, though, perhaps that's why. I like my hot milk with something in it - preferably chocolate!

    Good luck with the Vegemite Swirls, Michelle!

  5. I loooove marmite! Food for the soul with added spice for life!

    My youngest son loves it, my oldest hates it... I love it, my husband hates it. So I'll be making a special batch of your puff pastry rolls and seeing if Luca and I can tempt them over to the dark side. It just might work. Brawhahahaha!