Friday, 14 March 2014

Elephant Ears - perfect for nibbling!

I love the English name for these little pastries - Elephant Ears - and looking at the shape of them that's just what they remind me of. These crispy treats originate from France and are called Palmiers in French which is much more elegant sounding, don't you think?

Whatever you prefer to call them (and I prefer Elephant Ears), these light morsels melt in the mouth and I love to have them as a sweet treat with a cup of tea, coffee or chocolate, but they are equally as good turned into a savoury nibble to have with a pre-dinner G&T or cocktail. 

They are made from puff pastry which is rolled, flavoured, shaped and baked until well risen and crisp but don't be put off by the mention of puff pastry - a pack of ready made (even ready rolled) puff pastry is perfect and makes for a speedy solution when you need a nibble in a hurry!

Today I've split a pack of ready made pastry in half and made two kinds of Elephant Ears - some simple sweet sugary ones alongside some cheesy parmesan ones so I've got my afternoon cuppa and evening snacks sorted in one go!

It's worth experimenting with different flavours too. Next time I'm going to try pesto and almond paste - not together of course!

Sweet and Savoury Elephant Ears (Palmiers)

The ingredients below  will make approximately 15  sweet and 15 savoury elephant ears.

1 500g block of ready made puff pastry
4tbsp sugar (demerara or white granular is best)
4tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1tsp dried oregano


Please note that this method is for sweet elephant ears, to make the savoury ones, simply replace the sugar with cheese and oregano.

1. Cut the block of pastry in half.

2. Scatter your work surface with half the sugar. Place the pastry on top of the sugar and roll it out thinly - you'll need it to be about 30mm thick and measuring approximately 30cm x 20cm but don't worry if it's not precise. Make sure that as you roll you turn the pastry to get the underside entirely coated with the sugar - it also needs to be embedded in the pastry which should happen as you roll it out.

After Stage 3 the pastry should look like this with the sugar
embedded on both sides of the pastry
3. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on the surface of the pastry and press it down with a rolling pin so it is embedded.

4. Working from the longest edge, start to roll the pastry, a bit like a Swiss roll towards the centre, but stop when half of the pastry has been rolled. Do the same on the opposite edge of the pastry. The pastry should now be fully rolled from both edges.

I have started to roll one of the edges of the pastry - this is flavoured
with cheese and oregano.
5. Gently squeeze the pastry to hold it all together then wrap tightly in cling-film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes - this will help the pastry to stay in shape.

When the pastry has been rolled from both sides it should look
like this.
6. Remove the pastry from the cling-film and cut it into slices across the roll approximately 1cm thick and place them on a tray covered with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Make sure they are well spaced out as they will rise during baking.
Ready to pop in the oven.

7. Push the pastry shapes down slightly with the heel of your hand to flatten them but not too much.

8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 12-15 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove them from the oven and place immediately on a cooling rack to prevent the pastries from sticking to the paper


  1. In the US, elephant ears are a fried piece of dough that one gets at fairs. I love both. But palmiers a bit more since they are so flaky and not as oily/fried/artery clogging. Yours look delish!

    1. I have to say that sometimes oily/fried/artery clogging is just what is needed! But I agree that sometimes a bit more moderation is required :-) Thanks for your comment.


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