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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hot Cross Buns Revisited

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Last Easter I discovered this fabulous recipe from Jamie Oliver. The recipe appeared in

Jamie Magazine Issue 18:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/magazine/recipes-view.php?title=hot-cross-buns

I’m re-blogging the recipe in this pre-Easter week, as I am going to try a new recipe later this week for Easter 2015.

Here are Jamie’s Hot Cross Buns with a few tweaks of my own.

I tweaked a little: the 220 degrees C temperature seemed very hot, so I took it down to 200 degrees C.

Also, I halved the “cross” ingredients : 50g instead of 100g flour and 25 ml water rather than 50. You can make plenty of crosses from the smaller quantities.

After tasting, I think that the fruit quantities need increasing and the spice quantity definitely needs to be more. I used cinnamon and nutmeg instead of mixed spice, too.

These latter comments are a matter of taste  – I have left Jamie’s fruit and spice quantities as is in this version, but I will be putting more of each in next time I bake hot cross buns.

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Ingredients

Dough
50g sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
450g flour
2 tsp mixed spice or 1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg.
100g mixed dried fruit
25g chopped mixed peel
Zest of 1 orange
1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted
50ml milk, warmed

Decoration
50g flour mixed with about 25 ml water to make a dough  + 1 beaten egg for brushing

Sticky glaze
2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 orange

Method

Mix 1 teaspoon of the sugar with the yeast and 150ml tepid water in a jug until frothy.

Sift the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and the mixed spice into a large bowl, then add the dried fruit, peel, orange zest and remaining sugar.

Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture, then add the beaten egg, melted butter and 40ml warmed milk. Using a fork or wooden spoon, stir in a circular motion until you have a dough. Add a little more milk if the dough is too dry.

Place the dough on a clean surface dusted with flour and knead until it is smooth and glossy, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to prove until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Knock the dough back and knead again to its original size. Divide the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces and shape into round buns. Place on a lightly greased baking tray, spaced well apart. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise again until doubled in size, about 35–40 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.  For the decoration, place the dough or shortcrust pastry on a clean surface dusted with flour and roll into a sausage about 1cm thick. Cut the sausage in half, and cut each half into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece again to make 2 thinner, 5mm strips of about 8cm long. You should have 24 strips in total. Brush the risen buns with some of the beaten egg and lay the dough strips on top in the shape of a cross.

Brush with the rest of the beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile for the glaze, place the sugar and juice in a pan and gently heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is bubbling. Brush the buns with the glaze.

Eat immediately with lashings of butter, or serve toasted the next day.

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Mascarpone Ice Cream Terrine

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What to do with lots of mascarpone? On the weekend I made a frozen creation for friends who had excess mascarpone, using a variety of delicious things folded through the cream cheese. The predominant colour vibe was pink and green, using raspberries and strawberries, meringue and pistachio praline.

Very easy to make, and you can include whatever you fancy as the fold-through ingredients.

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Ingredrients

1 quantity of pistachio praline

2  x 250g tubs mascarpone

200g condensed milk

1 tbls orange liqueur

Handful of fresh raspberries and/or strawberries

Meringue pieces (we bought green and pink meringues – any colours will do)

Method

To make pistachio praline, scatter a handful of pistachio nuts on piece of baking paper on a baking sheet.

Heat 1/2 cup of caster sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Be careful not to stir the sugar – tilt the saucepan to help melt the sugar. Cook for several minutes until the sugar turns a deep caramel tea colour and take off the heat. Quickly pour over the pistachios.

Leave to cool and harden. When completely cold, place the praline in a ziplock bag and bash into pieces with a mallet or rolling pin. Make sure you have small fragments and praline powder as well as some large shards for decoration.

Combine the mascarpone and condensed milk in a bowl using a large spoon. Add the orange liqueur. If the mixture is too stiff, you can loosen it a little with some pouring cream.

Add the fold-through ingredients, being careful not to break up the berries.

Line a rectangular plastic container with cling film. Spoon the mixture into the container. Cover with the overhanging cling film. Freeze for several hours or better still overnight.

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Turn out onto serving platter, removing cling film. You will need to leave for a few minutes to soften as the terrine will be hard and difficult to cut.

Serve with the praline shards, berries and crushed meringues.

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Devil’s Double Choc Malt Cookies

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This is a another great recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.  The cookies are really easy to make.
The recipe is quite unusual –  condensed milk instead of sugar for the ingredients, and there are no eggs. The method is different from a normal cookie recipe too. Jamie suggests serving a couple of cookies sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream  – I thought that mascarpone might be nice –  it doesn’t melt and it’s not too sweet.

 

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Ingredients
50 g unsalted butter
200 g quality dark chocolate
1 x 396 g tin of condensed milk
25 g ground almonds
2 heaped teaspoons Horlicks*
200 g self-raising flour
100 g Malteasers
50 g quality white chocolate
* I omitted the Horlicks – I didn’t have any – and the cookies still tasted quite malty with just the Malteasers.
Method
Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan on a low heat until smooth and combined, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk, followed by the almonds andHorlicks. Sift in the flour and a pinch of sea salt, mix together, then chill in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer). Once cool, but still pliable,smash up theMaltesers and roughly chop the white chocolate, then mix it all together.Preheat the oven to 170° degrees C. Divide the mixture into 24 equal-sized balls and place on a couple of large baking trays lined withgreaseproof or baking paper. Flatten each a little (you can freeze them at this stage to bake another day if you like),  then bake for around 12 minutes, or until chewy in the middle and firm at the edges. Leave to sit in the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve on the cookies their own, or sandwich together with ice cream, whipped cream or mascarpone. Scatter over chocolate shavings or drizzle with melted chocolate.
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