Comfort food for long autumn afternoons

We all know how unpredictable Autumn weather can be. One day it gets so warm and sunny that we start to think if Spring decided to hide around the corner and come back to us instead of allowing Fall to descend upon us. And when we thought that we’ll have another lovely day tomorrow it turns out that what we see outside the window is a gloomy day with heavy gray clouds, rain and strong wind that makes all the leaves fly around the neighborhood. And we know that Autumn is here…

There are days when the weather is so not fine that the only thing you can do during these long autumn afternoons or weekends is to sit at home covered with a blanket and watch some movies. That’s exactly when I go to the kitchen and seek for comfort. For something that would instantly lift my mood. On days like that I make creamy white cheese swirls. They don’t need much time to prepare, are delicious and they feel my body with positive energy of color when it’s gray around.

To make those yummy snacks you will need:

  • 1 sheet of French puff pastry (275 grams)
  • 150 grams of creamy white cheese
  • 1 table-spoon of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • raisins
  • sugar

Lets get started! Take 150 grams of creamy white cheese and put it into a bowl. It is best to use a natural one, without any flavor but it’s not that easy to find a plain creamy white cheese that would have a smooth texture without grains. If you can’t find a white cheese like that in your shop, do buy a flavored one, preferably a vanilla flavored. Now mix the cheese with one table-spoon of cinnamon until the entire batter is homogenous. If you were lucky to find a natural white cheese that is smooth, you can add 1-2 table spoons of sugar at the same moment you added cinnamon.

Take the French puff pastry out of the fridge, unpack it and unroll it completely to get a flat sheet of pastry. Cut the sheet in two halves along the longer side of the sheet. With a spatula or a big spoon spread the cream cheese – cinnamon batter on both pieces of French puff pastry. Don’t cover the entire area with a batter – do leave a 2 centimeters margin on one side of the longer edge of each piece (see scheme!) Once you cover the pastry with cheese (I hope you did it evenly) take raisins and sprinkle them all over the cheese. You can use as much as you wish, just don’t overdo!

Gently press the raisins so that they “dive” into the creamy cheese batter. This will keep them in place. Now it’s the fun part. It’s time to roll! Gently roll each half starting at the side with cheese and raisins and finishing at the margin you left without the batter. Don’t roll them too tightly! Once a pastry roller is formed you’ll use that margin and stick it to the rest of the pastry. Thanks to that this very end won’t unroll during the baking. Now that you have two cylinders you need to take a sharp knife and with delicate moves you need to cut the rollers into slices.

Each slice should be around 2 centimeters thick. Don’t worry – 1st and last slice usually look worse than the others, but they’ll taste just as good. Did you notice that each slice looks like a swirl with cheese and raisins between the pastry layers? Put all slices on a baking paper. Turn the oven on and wait until it heats up to around 180-200*C (356-392*F). In the meantime take an egg and scramble it. Then with a brush cover the top of the swirls with small amount of this eggy liquid. Finally sprinkle with sugar. This will give your swirls a lovely golden color in the baking but you can as well skip this part. When the oven has the right temperature put all the swirls inside, don’t forget to have them on baking paper. You don’t want to burn them.

Baking time is around 20 minutes but I suggest having a look at your snacks every few minutes as every oven works differently. You know that the swirls are ready when you see the pastry has puffed and that some cheese got squeezed from between the layers. When they’re golden and becoming brown-ish on top, it is time to take them out of the oven. Wait until they cool down, e voilà!

Creamy white cheese swirls are best to eat when they’re still warm and served with a cup of hot chocolate, milky coffee or spicy tea. I hope you liked my foody post. Bon apetit!

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16 thoughts on “Comfort food for long autumn afternoons

  1. Jordan River says:

    Very Euro. Pastry +

  2. jilliecat says:

    Oh, so yummy! Spookily I must have known you were going to give us this recipe as I have all those ingredients, and I will make your swirls today. I didn’t know you were a cook as well as being so talented in all your other fields!

    • lucasai says:

      You have to let me know what you think of the swirls when you make them today. What a coincidence you’ve got everything necessary on hand!
      Well, I don’t consider myself a cook. I just like to have some fun in the kitchen once in a while

  3. Dearest Lucas
    Being in (broadly speaking) the same climate zone I know this unpredictable weather that you speak of all too well!
    And yes…. the temptation to crawl under the blankets with some out sweet and savoury pastry is never far away!
    Adore this recipe and set me thinking whether there was a perfume with a sweet cheese not in it…
    Yours ever and happy sheltering
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, you in England have quite a similar weather, maybe you get some more rain, I don’t know.
      I’m happy you like the recipe. Are you going to give it a try someday?
      There’s a perfume in SoOud line called Ouris that to me smells like a peach cheesecake.

  4. ringthing says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Lucas, I will make these soon! We are having just such a windy gray chilly fall day today. Nothing is more comforting than the smell of cinnamon in the house.

  5. hajusuuri says:

    Yummy. I love this post, dearest Lucas. The recipe looks simple enough for a non-cook like me (so bad I burnt water…it is a long story). The unpredictable fall weather is similar here in the northeast U.S. as well and you know what? — It is my FAVORITE time of the year! Fall also means Halloween and Halloween parties and coincidentally I was thinking of dressing up as “Chef Hajusuuri” and I know my friends know how horrifying that is 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks dear Hajusuuri, I’m happy you like the idea of these swirls with white cheese. I think you’d do alright baking them.
      Oh, that’s interesting to hear about the weather being similar to the one we get here. I like this time too, but don’t like when it’s constantly raining for a longer time. Luckily we didn’t have much rain this autumn so far.
      Ah, forgot American’s have Halloween. It’s not officially celebrated in Poland, we have All Saints’ Day in Poland on November 1st. I will be visiting the graves of my relatives who passed away that day, it’s a tradition in Poland.

  6. shellyw says:

    I will save the recipe to try when things get colder here (near San Francisco). NIce photos to help too.

  7. Mary K says:

    These sound wonderful! Now I’m getting hungry. I will definitely try this soon. Your instructions and pictures are most helpful. Appreciate getting a good recipe like this!

  8. Barbara says:

    This is very timely as my co-worker is obsessed with puff pastry lately. He brought in something he made with puff pastry and sweet cheese so I will take him this recipe today!

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