Gazelle’s Horns and Fiesta Friday: a party with a sugary snowstorm

gazelle-horns-02

Out of your forehead branch and lyre climb,
and all your features pass in simile, through
the songs of love whose words, as light as rose-
petals…

The Gazelle, Rainer Maria Rilke

The party starts at ten to three.
On the second floor, room twenty two
two co-hosts who had come down from Crewe were wondering just what to wear,
to the shindig going on down there.
They collided, both decided to put on Dame Edna frocks,
this was not a ‘do’ for cassocks or for smocks.

Fiesta, a SG travesty, with apologies to John Edward Smallshaw

gazelle-horns-03

This pastry is pretty, graceful, messy (if you add a snow of icing sugar as I did). Its names (for the variations of this pastry), in English, Arabic, French, are exotic, pretty, alluring: gazelle’s ankles, gazelle’s horns, kaab el ghazal, tcharek el ariane, tcharek el mssaker, cornes de gazelle.

I saw one variation of this pastry on Linda’s blog, La Petite Paniere, and it went to the top of the baking list. Almonds, orange blossom water, vanilla, cinnamon, and more orange blossom water, can you smell the gorgeous smells?

I used a different recipe from the NYT archives, because it used far less butter in the pastry and avoided a late-night dash to the shop (and here’s a butter-less version). The NYT recipe probably produced a pastry that is less melt-in-your-mouth than Linda’s butter-ful one. Instead, the pastry was shattering-crisp, and scatters icing sugar in all directions when you bite into one.

Messy, and fun, especially at work with colleagues trying to protect silk blouses and ties from the sugary snow storm.

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And a sugary snow storm always makes a party better, yes? That is why, as your Fiesta Friday host this week, I’m bringing a few trays of these pastries to crank up the party vibe a notch. If you haven’t been to a Fiesta yet, please do! It’s a lovely bunch of peeps that bring tantalising food, drinks, DIY, sausages, Harry Potter theme park photos, and lots of bloggy love.

Your co-host Margot and I, we’ve even dressed up for this party. Because the only thing better than a sugary snowstorm is a sugary snowstorm on fancy costume. Right my possums (and gazelles)? Ps, don’t you think Dame Edna’s glasses look a little bit like gazelle’s horns? Coincidence? I think not!

Dame-Edna-Everage-010

Here are my baking/pastry notes. The recipe, with my variations, is at the end of the post.

Pastry notes: I found the NYT pastry a little difficult to work with at first. But after resting in the fridge for a day, it was beautifully pliable, could be rolled very thin, and also sealed easily with a bit of water.

I also tried this with an improvised gluten free flour mix. It was harder to roll out and shape than the regular flour pastry, so the GF version had a thicker pastry layer, and looked more like ovalesque dumplings than graceful gazelle horns. But, it was still pretty tasty, so this recipe has GF potential!

Sugar syrup: I had some honey, rose water and cinnamon syrup left over from an, ahem, interesting tahini cake experiment (which was so unique it may never be repeated). When the pastries came out of the oven, I brushed syrup over them, and dusted them with icing sugar. Since the NYT pastry did not have added sugar, I liked the extra sweet honey note from the syrup.

Shaping: I shaped the pastry in two ways. First was Linda’s method of cutting out rounds of pastry, and folding them over thick logs of almond filling – great if you like a higher filling to pastry ratio. For the second batch, I tried to create longer, thinner shapes like these, with thin ovals of pastry and thinner logs of almond filling – this helped to show off the crispy pastry.

gazelle-horns-08

Gazelle’s Horns

(Pastry adapted from New York Times archives, and sugar syrup from Wandering Spice)

Makes: about 3 dozen gazelles, I mean, horns.

Ingredients

Honey & rosewater syrup
(note this makes a lot of syrup, which you can save for other things, like baklava)
1 2/3 cups white sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp orange blossom water
1/4 tsp rose water

Filling
2½ cups (10 ounces, 280 grams) blanched, slivered almonds (or you can use really fresh ground almonds)
3/4 cup (about 95 grams) confectioners or icing sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted
1 egg white
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Pastry
2 cups (about 260 grams) plain / all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons orange blossom water

Sugary decorations
½ cup or more of sifted confectioners / icing sugar

Method

1. For the sugar syrup (optional): mix sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow the syrup to boil 2-3 minutes without stirring (if the sugar crystallises on the edge of the pan, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush). Add the lemon juice and continue boiling for 5-10 minutes, depending on whether you want a more liquid syrup or a thicker syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the stove and stir in the orange blossom and rose waters.

Allow to cool. In the meantime, make the pastries.

2. For the filling: If using a food processor: pulse together almonds and confectioners’ sugar until powdery. Add remaining filling ingredients and pulse until a stiff paste form. If mixing by hand: in a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, add to the dry ingredients, and mix with a spoon until a stiff paste forms. For both methods: shape the paste into a ball, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to two days).

3. For the pastry: If using an electric mixer, mix flour, 2 tablespoons melted butter, egg yolk, orange blossom water and 2 tablespoons cold water until combined. With mixer running, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water (one tablespoon at a time), until the dough just comes together. Continue to beat until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes.

If mixing by hand, place flour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix the liquid ingredients together, add to the flour, and mix quickly with a spoon until the mixture just comes together.

For both methods: cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. (I also found that the pastry became easier to work with after resting for a day in the fridge)

4. Prepare to bake, preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C. Grease 2 baking sheets.

5. Make the pastries: Divide dough in half and cover one half with damp cloth. Transfer other half to a lightly floured surface and roll it to 1/8-inch thick. Cut dough into 3-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Alternately, divide the dough into 18 pieces, and roll each piece to 1/8 inch thick.

Using your hands, roll filling into a ball and place in center of a piece of rolled out pastry – you will need about two teaspoons to fill the pastry, but be ready to add or take some away if your pastries are smaller or larger. Lightly brush border of the pastry with water. Fold the pastry over and press the edges to seal (you can also crimp the edges with a small fork). With tip of a sharp knife, make 3-5 small slits on top of each pastry, or wherever you see an air bubble. Bend pastries into a crescent shape and transfer them to baking sheets. Leave some space between the pastries, although they do not expand during baking.

Do the same with the remaining pastries. Then roll out the second half of the dough, and repeat.

6. Baking: transfer pastries to the centre or bottom 1/3 of the oven. Bake until the edges are slightly golden and the other parts of the pastry are barely coloured, 20 to 25 minutes. Take the pastries out of the oven.

7. As soon as the pastries are out, brush orange blossom water or sugar syrup over each pastry, then dust in lots of confectioners’ sugar, completely the tops of the pastries completely. Alternately you can place the orange blossom water/syrup, and confectioners sugar in shallow bowls, and dip the pastries in each so the pastries will be completely covered in confectioners sugar. Leave to cool for at least a few hours. Decorate with rose petals (optional) and serve.

”Fiesta

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69 thoughts on “Gazelle’s Horns and Fiesta Friday: a party with a sugary snowstorm

  1. A Home Cook 2 August 2014 at 2:18 pm Reply

    How could anyone not like this. Just far too delicious. Thanks for bringing it along, and so much too. You must know how much we all like our pastries here.

  2. […] Saucy […]

  3. tinywhitecottage 2 August 2014 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Oh my goodness Saucy. There you go again, creating something extravagant and making a smashing appearance as co-host of FF! I love a messy snow storm and these gazelle’s horns are quite impressive! Nice!

  4. sabine 2 August 2014 at 3:30 pm Reply

    Love your styling, and the flavors are wonderful!

  5. Margot @ Gather and Graze 2 August 2014 at 6:09 pm Reply

    Oh yay – we’re twins for the night… and such a glamourous pair of co-hosts we make! 😉 Your gazelle’s horns look phenomenal Saucy – please excuse me for a moment while I remove myself to a quiet corner for a moment to snaffle a few! and yes, the more icing the sugar the better! Must say I’m a little exhausted already… I’ve never spoken to so many people in the one day before! They’re all remarkably well-behaved though, so I guess we’ll let them stay and party a little longer! 😉 Can I fix you up a champagne cocktail? Grab you a beer or wine?? Let me know… here to help! M

  6. Mandi 2 August 2014 at 6:38 pm Reply

    These are just absolutely delightful. Might bookmark them for the Christmas season…

  7. radhikasethi 2 August 2014 at 7:36 pm Reply

    These look amazing!

  8. ladyredspecs 2 August 2014 at 7:37 pm Reply

    Wow, you and Margot have both outdone yourselves this week, dress ups and decadent desserts. Gazelle’s horns look far more tempting than the name implies!

  9. lapetitepaniere 2 August 2014 at 11:27 pm Reply

    Wow Saucy, your Gazelle’s Horns are absolutely fabulous, the long ones are perfect (typically from Morocco and West of Algeria). You really impress me, I’m happy that I inspired you for the party. Thanks for co-hosting this week 🙂 Have a fantastic week!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 9:51 am Reply

      Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear I didn’t stuff them up! They were delicious, a whole box was gone in one day and husband is already asking for more, haha! Thank you for the inspiration!!

  10. apuginthekitchen 2 August 2014 at 11:46 pm Reply

    I love your elegant, crisp gazelle horns, and be very generous with the sugar, that makes them extra special. What an amazing recipe and you really took great notes, very helpful. I am quite fond of Dame Edna and think that you and Margot chose a lovely and flamboyant muse. See you at the party, this one will prove to be fabulous!!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 5:17 pm Reply

      Yes, I’ve found being very generous with sugar helps a lot of pastries! Especially middle eastern ones that should be accompanied by strong sugary coffee or tea.
      I’ve been telling party-goers all weekend that Margot made a special Dame Edna cocktail, maybe we should actually make it!

  11. Loretta 3 August 2014 at 12:54 am Reply

    ooo, these look like a lot of work went into this, and the results are absolutely gorgeous!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Thank you Loretta, it certainly took much less time to eat, than to make! 🙂

  12. nancyc 3 August 2014 at 4:21 am Reply

    Those look like such yummy treats!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply

      Thank you, they were! And husband has asked for more…!

  13. skd 3 August 2014 at 5:34 am Reply

    Such exquisite pieces of work. I can smell and taste all the aromas and flavors.. Yummmmmm😋

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply

      Thank you! The aromas were pretty tempting even before they went in the oven! 🙂

      • skd 4 August 2014 at 1:58 am

        I can guess that ☺😋

  14. Michelle 3 August 2014 at 6:06 am Reply

    You definitely outdid yourself for co-hosting this week, these are amazing!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 9:03 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! Too much sugar is never enough. 🙂

  15. chefjulianna 3 August 2014 at 6:43 am Reply

    Oh Saucy! You have completely outdone yourself tonight! What an extraordinary platter you have prepared for us. I hope you have some bibs or something! You’re not kidding about the sugar snowstorm! My sparkly dress has been a bit dulled by the new sugar coating I am wearing! But wow, they are so divine! Thanks so much for being our co-host tonight! You look marvellous darling! 😀

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:46 pm Reply

      Haha! There is rather a lot of sugar, isn’t there? Maybe we can sprinkle some more glitter and sequins around, to spark things up even more! 🙂 It’s fabulous to see everyone dressed up and sparkly!

  16. flavourphotos 3 August 2014 at 10:11 am Reply

    So pretty! I love the presentation and gorgeous light… do you really not have a DSLR??

    Could I ask you a question, as host for Fiesta Friday you probably know this. I really enjoy visiting the other blogs and leaving a comment or two but in my wordpress dashboard I seem to only find the last handful of places where I left comments. Sometimes people reply and I don’t know how to find a list of those comments in context. What do you do?
    Thank you and Happy FF.

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:52 pm Reply

      Hi there! Thank you for your kind words! I use a good quality Nikon point and shoot camera for this blog, it has a couple of manual controls but nowhere near as sophisticated as a DSLR (every time I look at one, I get intimidated by all the buttons!)
      As for comments, I find that my phone app only shows the last 20 or so comments, so I have to check it kinda regularly. But if I log in on my laptop, I can choose to show new comments only, so once I’ve viewed / replied to a few comments I can refresh the display.
      I hope that helps a little?

      • flavourphotos 4 August 2014 at 9:22 am

        I’ll need to find this new comment option but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Thank you for your help.
        About the camera… I think you just proved the point that you can have super expensive kit and still not take decent pictures and on the other hand, if you’ve got a good eye for photography, a point and shoot can do the job very nicely 🙂

  17. deliciouslynell 3 August 2014 at 10:17 am Reply

    These look so gooood!

  18. Michelle 3 August 2014 at 11:23 am Reply

    Those look fabulous!

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:53 pm Reply

      Thank you, they are not as time consuming as they look, bonus!

  19. Hilda 3 August 2014 at 12:35 pm Reply

    You are a wonderful co-host and a brilliant baker. This is one recipe I will be sure to try. Thanks so much for bringing it along to the party.

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:57 pm Reply

      Thank you Hilda, for your kind words!

  20. Lily 3 August 2014 at 12:46 pm Reply

    wow, what fancy little pastries, I love how crispy they are and hey messy is good, especially when it come to food, thank you so much for sharing:)

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:57 pm Reply

      Messy is so much fun isn’t it? Glad you like these pastries!

  21. Arl's World 3 August 2014 at 1:38 pm Reply

    Wow, this look amazing …so pretty and delicious!

  22. Traditionally Modern Food 3 August 2014 at 3:00 pm Reply

    Wow looks delicious:-)so flavorful

  23. Thalia @ butter and brioche 3 August 2014 at 4:26 pm Reply

    wow! these look beautiful.. definitely going to be recreating the recipe in my kitchen.

    • saucygander 3 August 2014 at 8:58 pm Reply

      Thank you Thalia! I hope you like them if you do make them!

  24. cafegarima 3 August 2014 at 7:26 pm Reply

    These are delightful sugary yums!

  25. Sadia Mohamed 4 August 2014 at 12:18 am Reply

    These are such a lovely treat. Treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds im sure. 🙂

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 8:41 am Reply

      Thank you Sadia! I think I’ve yet to see a middle eastern pastry I didn’t like and this was no exception!

  26. sarahpie13 4 August 2014 at 12:40 am Reply

    So sweet of you to check the GF potential, these sound amazing and I’m adding them to the list of things I can bring to a party!Thanks for hosting this week 🙂

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 8:47 am Reply

      Sarah, I find good GF flour mix more interesting, and why should wheat flour have all the fun? 😉 Thank you for visiting!

  27. dedy oktavianus pardede 4 August 2014 at 2:44 am Reply

    wow, lovely sweet bites, we used to called it kue terang bulan or shinny moon in Indonesia…

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 8:39 pm Reply

      That’s so interesting, thank you for telling me about this!!

  28. Julie @ HostessAtHeart 4 August 2014 at 7:03 am Reply

    What a sweet offering you have for us. I like the sweet snow that you’ve added to your bakery. Thank you for hosting FF this week. I loved the flair that you brought!

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 8:41 pm Reply

      Julie, thank you very much for visiting, I’m glad you liked this week’s party!

  29. […] are taking these to Angie’s Fiesta Friday hosted by the lovely girls- Angie, Saucy & […]

  30. Johnnysenough Hepburn 4 August 2014 at 10:59 am Reply

    These white snow storms, especially at parties…are they like the type that Angelina Jolie was sporting on her lower left cheek (just below her cutesy littl’ nose) en route to the opening of her new film recently?! Possibly not! Actually, should certainly hope not. Anyway, loving these little pastries. Of course, anything to do with almonds. Must buy in orange blossom water!

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 3:08 pm Reply

      Sir, only the sugary type of white snowstorm is served at this blog party! Hahaha, the cheek! (Pun intended)

  31. Fae's Twist & Tango 4 August 2014 at 4:57 pm Reply

    Indeed finely made gazelle’s horns. Diligence needed and time consuming, but I see the beauties you have made. Just gorgeous!

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 9:15 pm Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Fae! These pastries are worth the time spent!

  32. lemongrovecakediaries 4 August 2014 at 7:55 pm Reply

    Oh you and Margot have made me want to get my own pair of Dame Edna glasses and slip on a little something purple haha. Love the pastries – so delicious!!

    • saucygander 4 August 2014 at 8:44 pm Reply

      Karen, please do, it would be so much fun! Actually I’ve been talking up Margot’s (imaginary) Dame Edna cocktails (as you do), I wonder what it would actually look like?

  33. Liz 5 August 2014 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Good call on the poetry, pastries, and frock 😀 Lovely party!

  34. Chitra Jagadish 5 August 2014 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Delicious sugary pastries just looks fantastic……droooooooooling. .

  35. Mary Frances 6 August 2014 at 3:08 am Reply

    Perfect party fare. These sound so aromatic and I love the dusting of sugar and rose petals.

    • saucygander 7 August 2014 at 9:53 am Reply

      Middle Eastern pastries can be magical with these ingredients! Thank you for visiting!

  36. Suchitra 6 August 2014 at 10:09 am Reply

    Interesting pastry! Love Dame Edna’s horns😉I mean glasses!

  37. lapetitecasserole 7 August 2014 at 12:01 am Reply

    I can smell the rose water from here, beautiful as usual Saucy, I love your “delicate touch”!

    • saucygander 7 August 2014 at 9:55 am Reply

      Oh thank you so much for these kind words!

  38. Kloesunny @ Kloe's Kitchen 9 August 2014 at 5:17 am Reply

    These look amazing! I bet they took a while. I call those kind of recipes “labor of love!!!” (probably love of food, but oh well! ha)

    • saucygander 11 August 2014 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Definitely a love of food Kloe! And a love of eating pastries! 🙂

  39. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets 18 August 2014 at 10:48 am Reply

    I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t turn down a single one of these, regardless of shape. Buttery pastry, sweet filling and sugar snow storms. It’s a winter wonderland, and I say bring it on.

  40. lizzygoodthings 25 October 2014 at 3:36 pm Reply

    Oh my goodness, how absolutely divine! Can I have one now? xox

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