It's always difficult deciding what to have on your buffet menu. So why not just choose everything? That is almost what we served - a buffet with 21 different items, all made from scratch either on the day or the preceding days. It wasn't all for that night though - the family was staying at the house for a week so it was going to go over a couple of days.
With so much going on there was scarce time for photos so I just got a few quick snaps of the buffet items that haven't appeared here before......
Chorizo, sweetcorn and cheese bakes
I can't quite remember now where I got this idea - I think it was seeing them in a bakery, but I loved it. They are made with puff pastry, and I use welsh rarebit for the cheese part - if you chill it you can cut it and mould it on top of the chorizo and corn, then it melts as it cooks.
Mini burgers with carrot and cumin sesame buns
Everyone loves a burger. Even more when they're hand made. These were made with Home Farm minced beef, cooked onion, chopped italian parsley and seasoning. Once chilled into shape they were grilled.
I was looking for a good burger bun recipe (you need milk in there with the water to make the buns soft), and came accross this one which I really liked. What Dan Lepard doesn't say in the recipe though, is it's best to use his pastry scraper technique to knead the dough. It's so wet that if you try and do it by hand it will just stick. Yes you can add more flour - but if you do that you end up with a drier, heavier texture. Using the pastry scraper instead of your hand to stretch and knead the dough is much easier, and you keep scraping it up and turn it round as you go.
Ham and pineapple pizza
Of course the day wasn't finished then though (there are 25 hours in a chef's day after all) there was just time to get back to Upper Court and cook a barbecue with tarte tatin for dessert for another party.