Generally speaking I’m not too fussed about smoothies. I love fruit so eating it never feels like a chore and I also think that eating it rather than drinking it makes me feel more full (and therefore a lot less likely to reach for less […]
I’m almost certain that homemade bread is good for the soul. The process of making the dough, the smell as it bakes and that first taste when it’s fresh from oven – it really does make me feel good. I love making a batch of something like this to indulge in over long weekend breakfasts.
I know that cardamom buns are a speciality in Sweden, particularly for fika (that’s a coffee break to you and I) but the only place I’ve ever actually tried one was in London so I’m not even going to pretend that these are in any way authentic. In fact they’re so in-authentic that I’ve adapted my recipe for coconut buns, which uses a tang zhong (roux) in the dough, but they are incredibly delicious! It’s the roux that makes these buns so deliciously soft and moist. Make it by simply combining 25g of bread flour with 100ml of water in a pan and cooking it until it becomes nice and thick. Leave it to cool before incorporating it into the dough mixture.
400g strong white bread flour
big pinch of salt
2 tsp instant yeast (1 sachet)
70ml warm milk
70ml warm water
40g butter (melted)
100g softened butter
25-30 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pearl sugar to finish (optional)
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the salt, sugar and yeast. In a separate jug whisk together the melted butter, milk, water, egg and the cooled roux. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid mixture. Combine to form a soft dough and knead until it is smooth and springy. You can do this either by hand or with an electric mixer but to be honest the dough is so nice to work with that it’s very therapeutic to do it by hand.
Wash and dry the bowl to make it lovely and warm and then lightly oil it (use something flavourless.) Wipe a large piece of cling-film around the bowl to oil that too. Pop the dough into the bowl and loosely cover it with the cling-film and then leave it somewhere draught-free to rise until it has doubled in size, this should take about an hour.
Whilst the dough is doing its thing you can make the filling. Use a pestle and mortar to crack open the cardamom pods, remove the black seeds and discard the husks. Crush the seeds and coarsely grind them. Cream together the butter, sugar and spice to make a nice soft paste. Take the dough out of the bowl and pop it on a lightly floured surface. Give it a quick knead to knock some of the air out of it. Divide it into two even pieces. Roll each one out into a rectangle, about 14″x 10″. With the long edge facing you spread the filling over the lower half of each piece of dough before folding the top down to cover it. Press the edges to seal it and give it another quick roll. Cut each rectangle into six even pieces, slicing from top to bottom, then take each piece and cut it in half vertically stopping just short of the top so that the two strips remain joined. Twist the strips around each other and then into a knot, tucking the ends underneath. Place them on a lightly greased baking tray, spacing them well apart. I used two trays and put six on each. Lightly cover the buns and leave them to rise again for another hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c. Once the buns have puffed up and risen, uncover them and brush them with a little milk before sprinkling on some pearled sugar (or Demerara) and bake them for 20-25 minutes, until they have a soft crust and are golden brown.
You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner! I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly […]
When I was younger I would generally end up dodging breakfast, much to my mothers frustration I should imagine. I always felt that the extra 15 minutes in bed was far more preferable! I’m quite different now and get positively excited about the first meal […]
I’ve told you before about how much I love cherries. I’ve probably mentioned the tears that ensued when I swallowed a cherry stone as a child and my dad told me a cherry tree would grow out of my head.
Ordinarily cherries are far too expensive to buy too often. It seems that this year though cherry growing conditions in the UK have been pretty perfect and we have quite a glut! In other circumstances cherry jam would seem like such an extravagant thing to make but I was given a sackful (an actual sackful!) last time we visited Mr Colonial Cravings family.
Turning the fruit into jam not only means that I’ve preserved all that cherry joy to enjoy for a little bit longer but it also gives me some scope for a few more cherry based recipes. Watch this space…
makes about 2 medium jars
850g sour cherries, pitted
600g jam sugar (sugar with added pectin)
juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
knob of butter (optional)
Put a small saucer in the freezer to test the jam later for setting point.
Stir together the fruit and sugar in a very, very large pan. Add the cinnamon stick and set it over a moderate heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle rolling boil and leave it to bubble for around 30 minutes. If you have a jam/sugar thermometer then you want the mixture to reach around 105°c.
Test the jam to see if it’s reached setting point by dropping a spoonful of it onto the saucer that you put in the freezer earlier. Leave it to cool for a moment then push your finger through it, if the surface wrinkles then it’s ready. If it’s not quite there then let it bubble for a little longer. Once it has reached setting point turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon and stir in the lemon juice. If the jam has a lot of foam on the surface then stir in a knob of butter to disperse it.
Pour the jam into warm sterilised jars, label, seal and leave to cool.
I’ve taken the delicious salad that Rach from our little community shared on here last summer as the flavour inspiration for these. I bloomin’ love beetroot and dill, alone or together, they put me in veggie heaven. These little vegetable patties are so delicious, crisp […]
I love visiting Brittany, probably because it’s quite similar to Cornwall. And because the food is so delicious. I can’t go to Brittany and not eat a galette at some point. Preferably filled with gooey, melty Emmental. Mr Colonial Cravings is a fan too, although he favours salty cured meat and runny eggs. I love the nuttiness of these buckwheat pancakes, paper-thin and crisp around the edges. I may even prefer them to their sweet crepe cousins. They’re one of my favourite lazy weekend breakfasts!
makes about 4
150g buckwheat flour
fillings of your choice; egg, cured meats, grated cheese, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms…
Put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Melt the butter and lightly beat it with the egg and the water.
Pour a little of the mixture into the centre of the flour and gradually whisk it in. Keep repeating this until all of the liquid has been used and you have a smooth batter. Set this aside to rest for an hour.
Very lightly oil a large frying pan (obviously use a crepe pan if you have one) and place it over a moderate heat. Pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan and spread it out into quite a thin layer. Leave it to cook for about a minute before loosening the edges and flipping the galette over. Immediately add whatever topping your using so that they have ample time to cook and warm through. Once the under side has browned a little fold up the edges and then transfer the galette to a plate for serving.
This tasty little vegetarian number makes a fairly regular appearance on our week night dinner menus. It’s a really quick and easy one pan wonder. It’s not limited to dinner time either, this is a great dish for brunch or lunch too. And it’s not […]