I’ve been meaning to make cinnamon buns for the blog (and for myself, yummm) for a while, and a recent lazy day off was the perfect opportunity.
I put my mixer and dough hook to work as I chilled out reading the papers, and a couple of hours later I had beautiful, soft cinnamon rolls and a house that smelt super delicious.
As long as you have a little time to hang around while these babies rise, these really are very easy to make.
The most work you need to do is to roll out the dough and smother it in buttery, cinnamon-y goodness.
And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing better than a hot, gooey cinnamon roll on a chilly day.
Seriously. There isn’t.
I made these mini for added cuteness (and to make me feel better about eating so many. Because they’re small, so it doesn’t really count, right?), but you can make them regular-sized and you’ll end up with 12!
Look at that yummy caramelised cinnamon filling up there!
I also drizzled these in a maple glaze, which moistens these and makes them all sticky but doesn’t add too much sweetness.
I hope you get a lazy day off soon, so you can get all up in these too! X
There’s chocolate, of course, because it is amazing and goes so well with anything peanut butter (and I’ve swirled it in rather than spread it over the top, too, so you get lovely big bites of chocolate).
To make the tart pastry, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and get out a muffin pan.
Place the butter, water, oil, sugar and salt in an overproof bowl.
Put the bowl in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the butter is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown around the edges.
Carefully remove the bowl from the oven and dump in the flour. Stir quickly, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the dish.
Put a tablespoon of dough into one muffin hole, and press it into the base and up the sides using your fingers. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
Prick the dough with a fork once or twice.
Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown all over.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the custard, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. This will prevent the cornstarch from going lumpy later.
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly, one tablespoon at a time. It will be thick and pasty. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the milk. Throw in the vanilla pod, too.
Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
When all the milk incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.
Once the mixture thickens and is just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously (to prevent lumps from forming) for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discarding the vanilla bean). Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate until cold.
To assemble the tarts, fill the tart shells with cold pastry cream. Top with the cherries and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
Hello everyone! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
I had a great break over the holidays, hence my absence from the little blog (for that I’m truly sorry. But I’m sure you were too busy drinking champagne and eating too much and being in food comas to miss me anyway!).
After a gorgeous Christmas with my family, I headed down the coast with my Mr Man for a beach break. We relaxed and worked on our tans and ate and drank way too much.
A few days ago I went back to work, and although it sucks that the holiday is over, it means I’m back on the blog!
This was one of the desserts I made over the holidays, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
It’s so easy to make that it has become a bit of a go-to for me recently, and I really love that you make it the day before and just pull it out of the fridge when it’s time to serve. It makes the actual day very relaxing, and means you can have an extra glass of champagne rather than being in the kitchen!
It’s Christmas Eve today! And the first day of my Christmas break.
After weeks of baking hundreds and hundreds (literally) of fruit mince pies, coating dozens and dozens of truffles and making slab after slab of nougat for Christmas at the bakery, the rush is finally over and the baking has stopped (well at work, anyway).
I’m enjoying some time off for the holidays, and am busy baking at home. Shortbread stars are in the oven, my chocolate tart needs to be filled and everyone’s slowly getting ready for dinner this evening.
The nougat I’m sharing with you today is beautiful – it’s soft, chewy, and tastes just like scorched almonds coated in chocolate.
I’ll let you in on a little secret too – I typically hate nougat, but this treat is a new favourite of mine!
It’s perfect for gifting for christmas (and that’s what I’ll be doing!), but due to it’s lack of Christmassy flavours, you can really enjoy this at any time of year.
I wish you all safe and happy holidays, filled with joy and laughter, lots of baked goods, carols and presents, turkey, and maybe even some nougat.
Prepare a 43cm cookie tray by spraying it with oil lightly, and lining the base with rice paper, so it fits snugly.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water, stirring well. Add the honey and glucose and place over a high heat. Use a candy thermometer to watch the sugar – you want it to reach 135 C (275 F).
Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Allow it to melt, stirring occasionally. Once it has melted, turn off the heat but leave the chocolate sitting over the pot to keep it warm.
When the sugar is coming closer to temperature, place the almonds on a tray and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Then open the oven door and leave the almonds inside to keep them warm.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches 130 C (265 F) turn the egg whites on high. Once the sugar gets to 135 C (275 F), turn off the heat. The eggs should have formed medium peaks.
Pour the sugar syrup slowly into the egg whites, as they are still beating, down the inside of the bowl. Once the sugar syrup has all been incorporated, switch off your mixer and change to the paddle attachment.
Turn it onto low speed and mix until the mixture becomes matte. Then, while the mixer is still on, pour the chocolate in slowly in a steady stream, until incorporated.
Add the warm almonds and continue to mix on a low speed until well dispersed.
Working quickly, scoop the nougat out of the bowl and drop it onto the tray. Use your hands (the mixture will be hot!) to spread it out so it is even and flat, being careful not to move the rice paper underneath.
Cover the top of the nougat evenly with rice paper, smoothing it down.
Christmas is so close now! Already just over a week away.
I spent today Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, listening to carols and decorating the tree.
I might even bake a little Christmas treat later to share with you next week, but today we have a classic dessert – apple tarte tatin (because to be super honest, I’m a little over all the Christmas baking at work. And who said that Christmas dessert needs to be all fruit mince pies and gingerbread men anyway?).
Now I sort of throw my tarte tatin together – no recipe. A little sugar, some butter, some more sugar… You get the idea. So the recipe is approximate, and feel free to adjust as you wish!
As for the puff pastry, I make puff at work, and as simple it is to make it using a dough break, it would be just as difficult to make at home with a rolling pin.
So I’m never going to ask anyone to make home made puff, but please, opt for a good quality, all-butter puff, rather than one that is made with margarine or baking fat.
Enjoy the lead up to Christmas, the planning and preparation, the baking and the carols, the spirit in the air, wrapping the gifts. And enjoy this dessert. X
1 sheet ready-rolled good quality all-butter puff pastry, thawed
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and halved
½ cup caster (superfine) sugar (110g)
3 tbsp butter (45g)
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
Preheat the oven to 190 C (375F) and get out an oven proof frying pan.
Trim the puff pastry into a circle that is an inch wider than your pan.
Put the frying pan over a medium heat and add half the sugar. You’re making a dry caramel, so watch it closely, and do not stir, but swirl the pan until all the sugar is melted. Add the remaining sugar and swirl again to allow it to melt and incorporate. Cook until it is a golden amber colour.
Add the butter and vanilla seeds, and now stir gently, until it is incorporated.
Place the apples in the caramel and cook, turning occasionally, until they are slightly tender – about 5 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place the puff pastry circle over the apples and carefully tuck the overhang into the edges.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling around the edges.
Allow to cool slightly then turn the tarte tatin out onto a serving plate – be careful not to burn yourself with the caramel.
It’s that time of year again, and it really has come around quickly (I swear I say the same thing every year though!).
It’s time for Christmas baking!
At work we’ve been baking Christmas cakes, gingerbread men, panforte, mince pies and nougat. The smell of beautiful Christmas spices is constantly wafting through the kitchen. So much so that they had me eager to start on Christmas at home.
It is really hot here over Christmas though, and it was particularly warm when I wanted to get baking, so this year I’m sharing a hot-weather-friendly Christmas treat – truffles.
I love the peppermint flavour through these truffles. It’s beautifully refreshing, particularly after dinner, and the chopped up peppermint candy on top adds a little Christmas colour and sparkle.
I also love that they’re squares! They’re so cute and would be perfect as little Christmas gifts, packed nicely into a pretty box (but feel free to roll these into the traditional balls if you wish).