The Great Plains chefs will get up to mischief If you let them, creating decadent pastries and playful yet healthy dishes to celebrate all occasions. Easter is one of those occasions when you simply can’t hold them back….
No matter what Easter means to you, what time of the day you feast or fast, the suggestion below from Mara Nyika seems appropriate because it is ‘reflective’ food, and that is what is familiar to everyone at this time.
I thought you might like to ‘try this at home’. But remember and imagine what it was like the first time you were surprised and delighted by the kitchen aroma and tastes wafting across the plains after the excitement of being on a fantastic game drive.
Easter Pastries From Mara Nyika – Why not try them at home!
Guests staying at Mara Nyika often rave about the breakfast pastries!
They are surprised that camps can produce fresh, quality products in the middle of the Masai Mara bush setting.
Making pastries can be fun and personalised – once the dough is made, you can get a variety of products from it: you just need to substitute the filling. So choose the fillings depending on your taste! For example, the same procedure below can be used to make chocolate croissants, almond croissants, blueberry Danish etc.
Ingredients for the dough
- 950 grams White Flour
- 150 grams Sugar
- 20 grams Salt
- 30 grams Yeast
- 150 ml Milk
- 150 ml Cooking Cream
- 200 ml Water
- 500 gams Unsalted Butter (folding)
- One egg – for egg wash
Ingredients for the Pastry Cream (used in the making of the Danish pastry)
- 250 ml Milk
- 75 grams Sugar
- One Egg
- One Egg yolk
- 22.5 grams Cornflour or custard powder
- Few drops of vanilla essence
PREPARATION OF CREAM PASTRY
- In a heavy saucepan, stir the milk and sugar together. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg.
- Stir together the remaining sugar and cornflour; then stir them into the egg until smooth.
- When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and slowly bring to a boil, constantly stirring, so the eggs do not curdle or scorch on the bottom.
- When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove it from the heat. Keep aside to cool.
PROCEDURE TO PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Mix all ingredients together to make a soft dough.
- Chill the dough for 2 hours, then fold in the butter.
- After folding in the butter, roll the dough and make the first turn (fold the pastry in half).
- Chill the dough for an hour.
- After the hour, roll the dough and make a second turn.
- Chill the dough for another hour. Then make a third final turn.
- Divide this dough into two.
HOW TO MAKE CROISSANTS
- Roll one-half of the dough and cut it into triangles for croissants.
- Fill the triangles with any filling you would like (experiment with what you have, from jams to Nutella!).
- Start rolling the croissant from the base of the triangle to the tip.
- Apply egg wash and keep aside to proof.
- Once croissants have proofed (almost double the size), bake at 170 degrees C for 10 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE DANISH PASTRY
- Roll the other half of the dough to requires size, then spread the homemade pastry cream evenly on the dough.
- Sprinkle raisins evenly on the dough (or anything else you have in the cupboard – be experimental)!
- Roll the dough starting from the far end towards yourself.
- Once at the end, apply egg wash to seal the dough.
- Cut the rolled dough into desired sizes, apply egg wash and keep aside to proof.
- Once the cut dough pieces have proofed (almost double the size), bake at 170 degrees C for 10 minutes.
Enjoy! The Mara Camps look forward to making pastries for you on your next safari!