Let's bake sea snail scrolls
One of Justin’s favourite groups of animals is the molluscs. The molluscs, whose name means ‘soft’, are the second largest phylum* in the animal kingdom and one of its most diverse. In the ocean, this group accounts for 23% of all the named marine organisms and includes snails, sea slugs, nudibranchs, chitons, limpets, squid and octopus.
* A phylum is the fancy name that biologist use to describe a group of related living things (animals or plants). Similar to a genus or species; just with more members!
To celebrate this amazing group of animals, Justin and his family have decided to get creative in the kitchen. Are you ready to make some delicious sea snail scrolls?
You will need
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- Spinach, corn, bacon, cheese or any fillings of your choice
- Small carrot sticks (for decoration)
- Milk (optional)
Step 1: Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Step 2: Remove the puff pastry from its packaging and allow to thaw until soft and flexible.
Step 3: To make the shell, evenly spread the fillings over the first sheet of puff pasty then roll tightly. This will reduce sagging once it starts to bake. Cut the log into five even scrolls.
Step 4: To make the body, cut the remaining sheet of puff pastry into five even strips. For each strip, roll a small amount from one edge and squish the sides together to make a head. Leave a gap of about 5 cm in the centre (this is where the scroll will go later!) then tuck the two corners at the other end to make the pointed tail.
Step 5: Bake these in your now preheated oven for 4 minutes.
Step 6: Remove the snail bodies from the oven and place the scrolls on top. Add the carrot eye stalks to the head then give each snail a light brush with the milk (if using).
Step 7: Put the snails back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
Step 8: Allow to cool slightly then enjoy!
Elevate the bake
Cooking with children offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn and grow. Increases in language, cognition and fine motor development are well documented, but did you know that the kitchen can also inspire lessons centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics?
Why not use some on the prompts below to practice STEM principles during your next sea snail scroll bake:
- Shop for the ingredients together. Why are ingredients kept where they are – pastry in the freezer; cheese in the fridge? What do the carrots/corn/spinach feel and smell like?
- How do tools help us to cook more efficiently? Is it better to cut the cheese or grate it? When spreading the fillings, should we use tongs, a spoon or just use our hands?
- Sing songs that repeat or have patterns. Make up something silly together or be inspired elsewhere! ♫ Down by the bay, where the sea grass grows….♬