Here's a little treat you can make yourself with leftover pastry, as I did last weekend. Perfect for sharing , these beauties take no time at all and their spices sit really well with a number of beers. Basically, you need a lump of shortcrust pastry - about the 150g's worth.
If you don't have any left over, you can make your own by taking 100g of Plain Flour, and cutting 25g of butter and 25g or lard into it. Add a pinch of salt, then rub it all together until it turns to breadcrumbs. Add lukewarm water a little at a time until it turns to dough. Cover in cling film, and rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then, knead it again, and roll it out on a floured surface.
Ok, here's the fun part - over the pastry, sprinkle Muscovado or brown sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and ground Almonds. You can put as much on there as you like. Roll the whole thing up so it's like a sausage, wrap in cling film and chill again for 30 minutes. You can use this time to preheat your oven - about 180c should do it.
When ready, using a sharp knife, slice into rounds and place on a greased baking tray. Brush the tops with Honey, and then bake for about 20 minutes until golden on top. I find you get good results if you baste with honey again ten minutes in. Leave to cool, and there you go. Little pastry treats, ready to be shared.
I enjoyed a few of these with a bottle of Hobson's Old Henry (5.2%abv). Old Henry is described as an 'Auburn Ale', which sounds good, I have to admit. It's a smooth, nutty ale, and deep amber in colour. There's not much in the way of hop profile apart from a pleasant bite at the end of the sip, but there is a fudgy, moreish richness in the body that fans of Courage Directors or Old Speckled Hen would like. This malt-led richness lends itself perfectly to the sweet but slightly spiced flavours in the Spirals.
Shropshire-based Hobson's are an interesting brewery - I would recommend a hop over to their site, where you can watch a decent clip detailing their involvement in saving The Sun Inn, the last parlour pub in the UK, and read about their eco-credentials, which are impressive. Kudos, Hobsons.