THE MONTAGU PARTY PLATTER: A gorgeous and appetising platter brimming with Montagu treats that will have your guests coming back to nibble again and again.
A special thanks to Teresa Ulyate from Cupcakes and Couscous for this recipe.
For the pecan palmiers:
60ml (¼ cup) ﬁnely grated cheddar
60ml (¼ cup) ﬁnely grated parmesan
5ml (1 tsp) ﬁnely chopped rosemary
75ml (heaped ¼ cup) Montagu pecan nuts, ﬁnely chopped
pinch of salt
ﬂour for dusting
1 x 400g ready rolled puff pastry For the spiced cashews: (makes 1 cup)
10ml (2 tsp) olive oil
10ml (2 tsp) garlic paste
pinch of salt
10ml (2 tsp) ﬁnely chopped rosemary
5ml (1 tsp) cumin
2.5ml (½ tsp) paprika
5ml (1 tsp) brown sugar
250ml (1 cup) Montagu raw cashews
For the chocolate apricots:
70g 70% dark chocolate
100g Montagu dried Turkish apricots
For the candied nuts: (makes about 1 cup)
100ml golden caster sugar
1.25ml (¼ tsp) cinnamon
30ml (2 tbsp) water
15ml (1 tbsp) butter
125ml (½ cup) Montagu raw almonds
125ml (½ cup) Montagu raw walnuts
100g soft goats cheese
150g gouda or cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
a few small bunches of grapes
small punnet of fresh strawberries
200g Montagu dried Turkish ﬁgs
a small ramekin of green and black olives
100g black forest ham
125g Montagu roasted and salted pistachios
125g Montagu chutney ﬂavoured roasted corn
125g Montagu chocolate coated peanuts
To make the pecan palmiers:
1.) Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.) Place the grated cheddar, parmesan, rosemary and pecan nuts in a bowl. Add the salt and mix everything together. Set aside.
3.) Unroll the puff pastry on a lightly ﬂoured surface. Roll the pastry out into a rectangle that is 3-4mm thick. Sprinkle three quarters of the cheese mixture onto the pastry and spread out evenly. Use a rolling pin to gently press the ﬁlling into the pastry to help it stick.
4.) Fold the two long sides of the rectangle in so that they meet in the middle. Sprinkle the remaining cheese ﬁlling over the pastry and use a rolling pin to gently press it into the pastry.
5.) Fold the long sides in to meet in the middle again. Fold the pastry strip in half and gently press together into a log.
6.) Cut the pastry log into 1½-2cm slices. Arrange the slices on the baking tray, allowing some space for spreading. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
To make the spiced cashews:
1.) Preheat your oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.) Place the olive oil, garlic paste, salt, rosemary, cumin, paprika and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix until combined into a paste.
3.) Add the raw cashews and mix well until the nuts are evenly coated.
4.) Tip the nuts into the baking tray and spread into an even layer. Roast the nuts for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool, then pop the nuts into a ramekin or small bowl.
To make the chocolate apricots:
1.) Chop the dark chocolate up ﬁnely. Place the chocolate in a small bowl over another bowl of boiled water. (Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the chocolate bowl.) Stir gently until the chocolate has melted.
2.) Line a baking tray with baking paper. Drop an apricot into the melted chocolate. Lift out carefully with a fork and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Carefully transfer the chocolate apricot to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining apricots.
3.) Leave the apricots to set, then place in a small bowl.
To make the candied nuts:
1.) Line a small baking tray with some baking paper and set aside.
2.) Place the caster sugar, cinnamon and water in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat for a minute.
3.) Add the butter and stir gently over a low heat until melted.
4.) Add the almonds and walnuts to the saucepan. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened and the nuts are well coated.
5.) Tip the coated nuts onto the baking paper and spread out so that they are not all clumped together. Leave to cool and harden, then break up and pop into a ramekin.
To assemble the platter:
1.) Use a large board or serving platter big enough for all the nibbles. Arrange the ramekins of spiced nuts, candied nuts, chocolate apricots and olives on the platter.
2.) Arrange the remaining components on the platter and serve.