Saturday, 27 July 2013

Travel Buns!

I'm off on holiday to the beautiful city of Bath tomorrow, and what better way to avoid packing than making Chelsea Buns for the long car journey!

Sweet buns are one of my favourite things to eat. If it was socially acceptable I would eat the classic treat of hot cross buns, tea cakes and chelsea buns every day, for every meal.

That being said, I decided to shake up the usual cinnamon (my favourite spice) and raisin buns, and instead make them chocolate, lime & ginger flavour. The basic dough recipe for this comes from the silver fox that is Mr Hollywood.

Chocolate, Lime & Ginger Chelsea Buns

Ingredients - Dough
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter
1 egg
vegetable oil

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl. Making a well in the centre add the yeast. Melt the butter on the hob with the milk until the mixture is lukewarm. Stir this into the flour mixture with the egg until the it comes together in the bowl.
Then tip the dough on to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. 
Lightly grease the washed mixing bowl with the vegetable oil and place the dough inside, turning until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size. 
Once risen punch down the dough to it's original size and then turn out onto a floured work surface. Roll out to a large rectangle shape, approx 40cm long and 5mm thick, ready for the filling.

Ingredients - Filling
25g unsalted butter
grated zest of 1 lime
75g soft brown sugar
150g broken up dark chocolate
100g chopped crystallized ginger

Melt the butter in a pan and then brush all over the dough surface. Then evenly sprinkle over the lime zest, sugar, chocolate and ginger. 
After tacking down the long side of the dough (closest to you) begin to roll the opposite side towards you, taking care to keep the roll tight. Once rolled into a length, cut into 10 pieces, about 4cm wide and place in a baking tray, leaving a little space around each slice. 
Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes for the final rise. 

Bake the buns at 190C/375F for 20-25mins until they are golden brown (cover with foil if needed). 

To finish, once buns are cool, glaze with melted orange marmalade (or any other jam you have in the fridge!) and drizzle with icing. 

I have one more word to say about these buns......delicious!



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Afternoon Tea Treats

Now lets be honest, having visitors is just an excuse to bake.

Afternoon tea is one of my favourite meals and I jumped at the opportunity to create my own (and use my brand new glass cake stand) when my Grandparents visited last weekend. 

As per tradition my tea included a variety of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats, all washed down with tea and pink lemonade. 

Both these recipes are easy and yet they look great sitting in the centre of the table. Not to mention they are so tasty that you will have to restrain yourself from going back for seconds!

Here's how I made them...

Bakewell Cheesecake 

160g almond biscuits (Amaretti)
60g butter
160g ricotta
160g cream cheese
2 large eggs
132g soured cream
1 tbsp cornflour

Flaked almonds
Raspberry jam

Break up the biscuits into fine crumbs, mix with the melted butter and press firmly into a 20 x 30cm tin, that has been lined with baking parchment (makes it a LOT easier to get it out of the tin once cooked). 
Add butter, ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, soured cream and cornflour to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the cheese mixture onto the biscuit base and spread evenly. 
Dollop spoonfuls of the raspberry jam into the tin, then using a cocktail stick mix the jam into the cheese mixture gently to create a ripple. 
Bake for 40mins at 160C/320F until it is lightly set all over. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge overnight. 
For serving, slice and sprinkle with flaked almonds. 

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tarts

Salted caramel sauce (you can slave away making this, or like me, by it from m&s)
110ml double cream
1/2 tsp caster sugar
40g unsalted butter
150g dark chocolate
40ml cold milk
Mini pastry cases (call me lazy, but small pastry tarts are a nightmare to make)
Cocoa power for dusting

Coat the inside of each pastry case with a liberal layer of salted caramel and then put to one side.
Pour the double cream into a large sauce pan with the sugar and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the butter and chocolate, stirring until both have melted into the cream. Then add the cold milk and stir until the mixture is smooth, thick and shiny. 
Pour into each case, allow to cool and then chill until set in the fridge. 
Before serving decorate with whole pecans and dust with cocoa powder.