There are a few reasons why Mother’s Day is such an essential time of year for us and our little business. Not only do we have the opportunity to celebrate (and/or commiserate!) the most important women in our lives, our mothers, but it also means that at long last we are out the depths of Winter and Spring has sprung again!
Not only does the month of March bring the blooming of daffodils and mini lambs frolicking across meadows, but also the annual day of recognition for women across the globe: International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, which is especially meaningful to me.
After spending many years working within the catering and hospitality industry and finding out firsthand how hard it is for a young woman to thrive, I am extra proud to be running a female-led business in homage to women everywhere trying to get somewhere! My head chef is a fantastic representation of a woman successfully dominating a traditionally male-led industry. She comes from an ex-mining community in North Derbyshire – she does NOT take any nonsense!
Sadly, this is far from the only industry where women can struggle to be taken seriously, can be undermined or have their talents ignored or dismissed.
With the combination of Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day within a couple of weeks of each other we wanted to incorporate a bistro menu that fits around this. Every Friday evening in March we are holding a Peruvian-themed bistro night. Women in Peru are especially celebrated for their cookery skills and are highly regarded as professional chefs. My personal favourite Peruvian chef, Pia Leon (who has been awarded the title of ‘Latin America’s Best Chef’) shows just how celebrated Peruvian cuisine is around the world.
“Peruvian cooking is a sturdy juxtaposition: hot and cold, acidic and starchy, robust and delicate. That’s because Peruvian food is all about spices and big flavours, some clean and crisp, others deep and heavy. Their cuisine is as diverse as the land itself, ranging from golden shores to dense Amazonian rainforests and from every region comes a tasty variety of local produce. Peruvian cuisine is a melting pot of different culinary influences reflecting the countries rich multicultural history with Asian, African and European immigrants all adding their own twist to indigenous cooking.”
One of my favourite Peruvian treats (which is also featuring on our bistro menu for March!) is Volador – Dulce de Leche & Pineapple Tarts. This is the perfect treat to whip up for the brilliant woman in your life on either International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day. Perfect with a steamy cup of fresh coffee.
Give this a go using the recipe below and send a picture of your finished creation to Instagram @bessiessheffield or Facebook @bessies’s cafe and bistro to be in for a chance to WIN coffee and cake for two.
1 pack of pre-rolled puff pastry
100g of pineapple jam
100g of dulce de leche
Icing sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and cut the pastry into 12 equal rectangles and arrange on the lined baking tray. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes
3. Using a knife, gently slice each pastry rectangle in half horizontally. Spread a teaspoon of pineapple jam on each of the bottom layers. Spread 1 teaspoon dulce de leche on each of the top layers. Reassemble the pastries like sandwiches.
4. Sprinkle the tops of the pastries with icing sugar for a professional-looking finish and VOILA!
Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to warm through for extra scrumminess.
Allow the pastry to reach room temperature before rolling.