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June 2, 2010

No I’ve not turned into a devil worshipper while I’ve been away! I’m actually singing about the praises of a particular British canape which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. My boyfriend and I were talking about snacks to make as the World Cup is fast approaching and we wanted something easy, tasty and different to eat while watching football besides the usual crisps and chocolate snacks on offer.  Here’s how our conversation went:

“How about devils or angels on horseback?” suggests boyfriend.

“You what? Never heard of them! They sound like evil weird snacks!” I replied.

“They really nice and tasty, ate them when I was a teenager. You should try them!” says boyfriend.

SO, went ahead with boyfriend’s suggestion and found out that angels on horseback are oysters wrapped in bacon and then baked or grilled and served as an appetiser. On the other hand, devils on horseback  are simply prunes wrapped in bacon. It’s such a cool name for these little “devils”, a much more enticing name than boring prunes with bacon! Devils on horseback are much cheaper to make than angels on horseback and there are various fillings you can put in your prunes. Heston Blumenthal, a famous British chef with a scientific approach, suggests soaking prunes in brandy overnight if brandy is your tipple and then stuffing the prunes with mango chutney. Other people pair stilton cheese with a toasted almond. Have a go at making these with two different fillings, very easy to make and good for entertaining. Bring on the revival for devils on horseback!

Devils on horseback (mango chutney or stilton with almond fillings)

Makes 24 (serve 4 to 6 per person)

24 pitted ready to eat prunes

Brandy (optional)

Mango chutney (1/2 to 1 tsp per prune)

Approximately 50 g Stilton cheese crumbled

24 thin rashers of streaky bacon

12 whole almonds

24 toothpicks or cocktails sticks

Uncooked devils on horseback stuffed with mango chutney

  1. If you want brandy soaked prunes, put the prunes in a narrow deep container and add brandy until the prunes are covered. Cover the container and leave overnight for the prunes to absorb some brandy.
  2. Compare the short side of one of the bacon rashers to the length of the prune. If it is alot longer than the prune, slice the bacon to the appropriate length so that it is about the same length as the prune.
  3. Soak the toothpicks or cocktail sticks in water at least 10 minutes before you want to cook the devils on horseback to prevent them burning under the grill.
  4. Preheat the grill to a medium setting and toast the almonds under the grill for about 1 minute on each side, do not leave unattended otherwise it’ll be sod’s law that they’ll be burnt!
  5. Divide the prunes into two piles, half will be stuffed with mango chutney, the remaining half with stilton and almonds. Use your fingers (great if you have thin, small ones!) or a very small spoon to push the mango chutney in the hole where the stone was previously taken out. Place aside  and repeat with 11 more prunes. Then stuff the remaining 12 prunes with a bit of stilton cheese and push an almond in. Repeat with the remaining prunes.
  6. Then wrap a bacon rasher around each prune and secure carefully with the toothpick or cocktail stick.
  7. Line a grill pan with foil and place the prunes on the foil. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned.
  8. Wait about 5 minutes for the prunes to cool slightly before eating.

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