Onion tart | This dish is a tribute to the magnificent region of France where I come from, and one day you must make it part of one of your dinner parties! Planning ahead: The pastry must be prepared at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 hour) in advance and refrigerated. The tart can be made up to 30 minutes prior to serving and kept warm.
Almond custard and puff pastry pie (galette de rois) | This recipe traces its history back through Spain and France, but these days can also be found in Latin America. Almond custard is wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden and flaky – no accompaniments necessary.
Cheat’s chocolate tart | The pastry is the only part of this rich, chocolate tart that needs baking, making it perfect to prepare ahead for a dinner party. Equiopment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a 36x12cm/14x4½in rectangular tart tin or a 23cm/9in round tart tin.
Beef wellington with yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy | According to folklore, this retro-dinner party dish is named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington who fought Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and who liked a similar dish. Wrapping meat in pastry actually dates back to Roman times – it was a way to keep meat moist and safe from contamination, and the pastry was never eaten. We’ve teamed the beef with another English favourite, Yorkshire pudding.
Coconut and nut pastries (mava gujiya) | Holi was one of the busiest times in my grandma’s house. I remember how lunch and sometimes dinner was cooked early so that the latter part of the day could be spent making gujiya and other savoury things. It may look quick, but we are talking hundreds of such homemade pastries, so it was a lot of work. The neighbourhood and house help were given boxes full of these as a token gift and since these last for almost a week if stored properly, we always…