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Master Pastry Chef Shane Smith shares Advent Calendar recipes from local producers

As part of our Christmas Serving series, Shane Smith offers some tasty seasonal and locally-sourced recipes for you to try at home.

Shane Smith

LIKE MOST THINGS in 2020, cookery has jumped into the virtual realm and I have been busy making one of Ireland’s tastiest Christmas Advent Calendars ready for the festive season ahead.

I’m chuffed to have teamed up with 11 of my favourite Irish producers and have created 25 mouthwatering recipes for you to try out. One recipe will be released online every day to inspire you to dust off the rolling pin and dig out the baking trays.

Like trying to choose your favourite child, it’s impossible for me to pick just one recipe so I opted for three. The following recipes showcase a range of dishes and Irish suppliers and will hopefully give you an idea of what lies behind each daily Calendar door.

All of these recipes will work if you’re looking to liven up your Christmas servings this year. It’s been a tough year and we have to find our comforts somewhere, so why not brighten up your table with some new recipes?

Shane’s recipes

Today, we’re starting in Co Clare with a St Tola Irish Goats Cheese & red onion marmalade galette which is a perfect starter or lunch idea paired with a dressed salad.

This is swiftly followed by a showstopping fig & blackberry meringue wreath using Butlers Organic eggs from Co. Carlow.

Wrapping up proceedings are these simple but delicious cinnamon pinwheel cookies, this recipe is perfect to make with the kids and I used the delicious Roll It pastry from Co Meath.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a notable shift in consumer support for Irish business and I hope there will be a lot of goodwill, particularly at Christmas to shop Irish.

We are blessed to have such amazing producers scattered all over the country and there’s no better time or way to say thank you, by buying their delicious offerings over the next few weeks.

If you are looking for more kitchen inspiration, head on over to my Instagram and I’ll be sure to keep you busy.

Caramelised red onion St Tola Goats Cheese galette

Red onion St Tola goats cheese galette

Serves 8

Ingredients
Galette pastry
230g plain flour
170g butter
pinch salt
1 egg

Red onion marmalade
4 medium red onions
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
120g brown sugar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Garnish
120g St Tola Goats Cheese (Original or St Tola Divine)
20g chopped hazelnuts
Egg wash
Fresh thyme

Method
For the red onion marmalade, in a saucepan, add the oil and sliced red onions and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions soften down. To this add the brown sugar and balsamic and turn the heat down and cook this slowly until the liquid has reduced and it reaches a jammy consistency. Taste for seasoning and chill.

For the galette pastry, in a mixer, blend the flour, butter and salt together. Once this is mixed, add the egg(s) and mix until a smooth dough is reached. Wrap and chill until needed.

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C/350C/Gas 4.

To assemble, on a floured surface, roll the galette dough to a 12” circle. Spoon on the chilled red onion marmalade into the centre, leaving an untouched rim around the edge.

Sprinkle/spoon the St Tola Goats Cheese (Original or Divine) on top and fold in the pastry edge to encase the filling. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and sprinkle on some chopped hazelnuts & chopped thyme. Pop into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until everything is golden brown.

Delicious served with a side of dressed greed leaves.

Butlers fig & blackberry wreath

Butlers fig & blackberry meringue wreath

Serves 7

Ingredients
6 Butlers Organic egg whites
375g caster sugar
dash vanilla extract
280ml cream
5 fresh figs
10-15 blackberries

Method
Preheat your oven to 120C/100C fan/ 250 F/ Gas 1/2 & a baking tray with parchment and set aside.

In a clean dry mixing bowl, add the room temperature Butlers Organic egg whites and whisk until thick and frothy. Gradually start adding the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time until you are left with a thick glossy meringue mixture. Finally, add the vanilla and mix through.

Onto a lined tray, spoon 7 blobs of meringue in a circle ensuring that they are touching to form a wreath shape. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 60/70 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow it to cool inside leaving the door slightly open. To serve, place the meringue on a serving plate, topped with whipped cream, halved figs and blackberries.

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Roll It cinnamon shortcrust pinwheels

Cinnamon shortcrust pinwheels

Makes 30-34

Ingredients
1 box of Roll It sweet shortcrust pastry (400g)
100g soft brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter

Method
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas 4. On a floured work surface, roll out the shortcrust pastry to a rectangle measuring 9” x 16”. Brush on the melted butter and sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon. Taking the longest edge, roll it up like a swiss roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut this into 30-34 pieces. Place these cookies onto two lined trays and pop into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool and serve with a coffee or after-dinner treat

Shane Smith has nearly 22 years’ experience working in some of the world’s most celebrated pastry kitchens across the globe. Over these years he has received numerous awards from “Best Bakery Manager in Ireland” by Shelf life magazine to “The top 10 best pastry chefs in Ireland” by Food & Wine Magazine. Shane also has a regular cookery slot on RTÉ’s The Today Show. Check out more recipes on his Instagram or at www.chefshanesmith.ie.

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Shane Smith

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