Sunday 23 December 2007

Recipe: Parmesan Crisps

This is one of those things where the process is so simple that it barely merits being called a recipe, and yet so delicious that the end result can stop you in your tracks. Perfect to be handed round with drinks - and the understated way in which you can do so, arousing no comment along the way, is the perfect preparation for the first bite, and the raised eyebrows as the taste buds register what's happening!

Makes approximately 40 Crisps (depending upon how finely you grate your parmesan)

Ingredients: 150 grammes of Parmesan


1. Grate the Parmesan finely. (The finest Microplane grater does a good job because it produces thin ribbons, not granules.)

2. Put a sheet of greaseproof paper (or a silpat sheet, if you have one) over the back of a baking tray (better to put it over the back than inside the tray, as it is easier subsequently to slide the Crisps off if you don't have to negotiate the rim of the tray at the same time).

3. Using a 2" circular pastry-cutter, place the cutter on top of the greaseproof paper and sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of cheese inside the cutter to make a complete disk; make sure the edge of the disk particularly is well covered. (Do NOT press the cheese down into place - it will melt and collapse delicately into itself as it bakes.)

4. Move the cutter along, and repeat the process. Continue until the greaseproof paper is covered in cheese disks. Leave a few millimetres between each disk - they don't spread in baking like biscuits do.

5. Bake at 175C for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. They start to brown when they stop bubbling, so watch them carefully. When golden brown transfer them to a wire rack to cool and crisp. Store in an air-tight container, and try not to eat too many before you have to serve them to your guests!

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