Cardamom Buns

As much as I’ve tried to avoid baking sweet things, I do love the reaction I get when I share these treats with friends and family. The festive season has been the ideal time to test, tweak and perfect the recipe, although it’s a frightfully early start if you want to get them on the table in time for breakfast.

Ingredients: (makes 12)

Buns:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200ml milk
  • 5g salt
  • 7g sachet dried yeast (Easy Bake or Quick Yeast)*
  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g strong bread flour
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs

Filling:

  • 100g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom

Coating:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Start the buns by melting the butter in a pan with the milk and the salt. Allow it to cool a little.
  2. Mix the flour, yeast, cardamom and sugar in a bowl and incorporate the eggs and the melted butter and milk.
  3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth. A dough scraper will help as it will be quite wet and sticky at first.
  4. Leave the dough covered in a warm place to proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size. proving dough
  5. For the filling, mix the softened butter with the sugar, cardamom and cinnamon until combined.
  6. Roll out the dough out into a square about 35 x 35cm.
  7. Spread the filling over evenly and then roll the dough up.
  8. Slice it up into 12 pieces and place them onto a baking tray or into muffin cases. You can use a fine piece of string/cotton/wire to loop around slice the dough instead of a knife – this will prevent the dough getting squashed out of shape. Cardamom bun 2nd proof
  9. Cover and leave the dough to proof for a further 30-45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan or 200°C conventional) and mix together the remaining caster sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Brush with beaten egg, dust with plenty of the sugar mix and bake for 12-15 minutes.

cardamom buns

cardamom rolls

*If you’re using ‘easy bake’ or ‘quick yeast’, you can add it straight to the flour mix, otherwise, you’ll need to activate the yeast by first mixing it with a splash of warm water and a sprinkle of sugar. It will be ready to go as soon as it starts to bubble.

Apple Crisps

Apples going spare? We seem to always have a glut in our house, so I did a little thinking and made a batch of apple crisps as a snack for the children. These children are now addicted to them. Good job that they’re super-easy to make, healthy as, well, apples, and cheaper than a bag of deep fried salty potatoes.

It’s nearly Christmas, so a dusting of aromatic cinnamon seemed only appropriate.

apple slices

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon

Method:

  1. Core your apples (although this isn’t essential if you can be bothered picking out the pips).
  2. Slice them thinly using a mandolin or a food processor. I cut them to 2mm thick to get a crisp result. Any thicker and they become chewy.
  3. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet making sure they don’t overlap.
  4. Dust them with cinnamon powder.
  5. Bake at 110°C fan (120°C conventional oven) for 25 minutes.
  6. Flip them over and bake for a further 20 minutes or until they’re perfectly crisp.

The crisps will store for a few days in an airtight container if you can resist them…

baked apple crisps