Orange & Sultana Cinnamon Swirls

IMG_2019What a crazy couple of weeks! I’ve been so super busy, I’ve not had time to make or bake a thing!

Apart from my Sister’s fabulous 40th birthday party, the gigs I’ve attended (Queens of the Stone Age & Depeche Mode), a Blackpool trip to see the illuminations (lots of fun!) and an amazing family Wedding – I feel like my life consists mainly of work and the bloody 30 day shred! (Which is actually amazing to be honest, I highly recommend!). Doesn’t seem all that bad when its written down! 😉

Never fear! I have been plotting and planning and I am very excited to share today’s recipe with you! 🙂

I am a complete pastry fiend and getting myself past the bakery section of the supermarket proves to be a personal challenge. As far as I am concerned Cinnamon Swirls are the stuff dreams are made of, the food of the gods. A couple of months ago we introduced Cinnamon Swirl Friday at work…..its proved very popular but this is the first time i’ve ever actually made some!! Another tick on my ‘To Do’ list 🙂

Apparently the first Cinnamon roll was baked in Sweden and they even have their own ‘National Cinnamon Bun Day’ on 4th October! Amazing! A little late this year but think i’m going to make it my personal mission to celebrate this yummy occasion with the lovely Swedes every year! 🙂

Anyway, on to the ingredients & recipe…..enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 15g fresh yeast or 1½ tsp dried yeast
  • 75g butter, room temp
  • 200ml milk, room temp
  • 2 large eggs (Free range), plus one egg yolk, for glazing
  • vegetable oil, for oiling

For the filling

  • 200g sultanas
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

For the syrup

  • 50g golden caster sugar

Recipe:

1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a stand mixer using a dough hook. Crumble in the fresh yeast/dried yeast and then rub the softened butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until you there are no large lumps left.

2. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the milk and 1 egg into the well. Again, mix together in the stand mixer using the dough hook.

Remember: This is quite a sticky dough – keep mixing until all of the flour is incorporated, this will soak up the liquid.

3. Once your dough is mixed, turn it out onto a clean surface and knead for around 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dont be afraid to really go for it! 🙂

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IMG_1918Tip: Cut a small piece of the dough off and stretch the dough as thin as you can – Hold it up to the light, if you can see light shining through the dough and you can see the shadow of your fingers held behind the thinnest part, your dough is ready!

4. Your dough will now need to prove. Put the dough in a bowl that has been coated in a little vegetable oil, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 90 minutes.
Now you can make the filling! Mix the sultanas with the orange zest and poor in the juice of the orange (about 100-125ml) and set aside for around an hour.

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Tip: You can make the sultana and orange mixture the day before if you like!

5. Using the standard wire beater attachment, beat the sugar, cinnamon and softened butter until well combined.

6. Lightly grease the base and sides of a roasting tin or stoneware dish with butter and line with baking parchment.

7. After 90 minutes your dough should have nearly doubled in size. Tip the dough out of the bowl and knock the air out of it.

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8. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about the thickness of a £1 coin. This can be hard work as its quite elastic but its worth it! Keep going until the longest side of your rectangle is about 14cm long.

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Tip: Be quite forceful with your rolling pin, really press down to help roll the dough in to a rectangle shape.

9. Using a spatula or palette knife, spread the cinnamon paste over the surface of the dough – make sure you get it right to the edges and in the corners

10. Drain the orange soaked sultanas (keep the juice to one side for now!) then sprinkle the sultanas evenly over the dough.

11. Now you can roll the dough up in to a sausage shape. Make sure you roll it up length ways, starting with the long side of the rectangle shape.

Tip: Flour your work surface and lay the rolled dough on top of the flour before cutting into it.

12. Cut your dough in to around 12 evenly sliced pieces. (I got 15 – I might have rolled the dough too thin?).

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13. Place the slices next to each other with the spiral shape facing up, into the greased & lined tin. Again, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes.

14. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

15. After 45 minutes the buns should have risen and feel springy. Beat the remaining egg and egg yolk together in a small bowl, and brush over the buns with egg glaze. This will help them brown and give them a lovely deep colour.

16. Bake the buns at 200C/Gas 6 for 10 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 180C/Gas 4. Cook for a further 20 minutes.

17. Whilst the buns are in the oven, you can make the syrup. Pour the remaining orange juice from soaking the sultanas into a small saucepan with the golden caster sugar. Gently heat the mixture, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once all of the sugar has dissolved you can set it to one side.

18. As soon as the buns have finished baking, remove them from the oven and brush over them with the orangey syrup so that the flavour can soak in – Yummy!

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19. Leave the buns in the tin for around 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

20. Finally, once the buns are completely cool, use icing sugar to drizzle over them for a finishing touch! I used a piping bag for a little extra precision but don’t be afraid to go for it free hand! 🙂

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Remember: You really wont need to use much icing sugar at all as these buns are already very sweet – I think it just makes them look a little prettier!

Enjoy! S & P x

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Rudolf’s Favourite Christmas Cake

Its so very nearly time for Christmas and I couldn’t be more excited!!

I’m one of those rather annoying people that tends to get very excited about the festive period very early……..so much so that my lovely work colleagues have banned me from saying the “C” word – (Christmas, obviously) – meanies!

I get reprimanded every time I say it and a tally mark added to the white bored. So, obviously I got carried away today about how happy I was that I had made my lovely Christmas cake last night and in doing so I managed to get myself 2 extra tally marks on the board before I’d even realised what I’d said!! Bah!

Scrooges!!

Beisdes, what’s not to love?! I love fairy lights all year round (I could never have enough fairy lights in my life) especially at Christmas though, I love the films, the snow, the feeling of cold on my face whilst being snug and warm in my oversized coat and fluffy ear muffs, I love the food…and the wine! And who could forget all of the extra time I get to spend with my family?! With all that to look forward to I don’t see why I shouldn’t be excited from August onwards! The second half of the year is best anyway 😉

This year I am making 6 Christmas cakes because who doesn’t like a challenge?! 5 x 8inch ones and 6inch-er.

Its a bit of a hybrid recipe and I have to admit that I took the foundations of this cake from the lovely Delia. I hope you enjoy, let me know how you get on 🙂

Top Tip: For best results you will need to start prepping this cake the night before baking it.

Ingredients needed for the boozy fruit…

IMG_1262Ingredients needed for the cake…

IMG_1279Ingredients:

For the boozy fruit
(Made at least 12 hours before baking)

  • 450g of Currants
  • 175g of Sultanas
  • 175g of Raisins
  • 80g of Glacé cherries (finely chopped)
  • 80g of Mixed peel (finely chopped)
  • 4tbsp of good quality brandy!

For the cake
(8inch round)

  • 225g of sifted plain flour
  • 225g of soft brown sugar
  • 225g of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 0.5 tsp of grated nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp of mixed spice
  • 0.5 tsp of cinnamon
  • 50g flaked almonds (crushed up a bit)
  • 4 eggs (fresh)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of black treacle
  • Grated rind of 1 Lemon
  • Grated rind of 1 Orange
  • Grease proof paper
  • Brown paper
  • String

Recipe:

1. First thing is first – add all of the ingredients from the boozy fruit list to a bowl big enough for all of the ingredients. Use your hands to mix it all together before adding 4 tbsp of branding to the fruit and covering with a clean tea towel. Leave for at least 12 hours

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2. Next, start prepping your cake tin (I definitely learnt this from Delia!). Line around the tin with 2 layers of baking paper. Grease the tin before adding the baking paper.

Tip: Cut a length of baking paper, enough to sit around the inside of the tin and fold it in half length ways. Fold it back 1 inch along the length and snip it at intervals, cutting at a slight angle. It will help the baking paper to sit flush against the tin. Then use the base of the cake tin to cut out a double layer for the bottom of the tin.

3. You will then need to tie brown paper around the tin with string to protect it during its long slow bake.

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4. Preheat your oven to 140c/Gas 1

5. Next add 225g of butter (at room temp) and 225g of soft brown sugar to a stand mixer (or you can use an electric hand mixer) and beat together until light and fluffy.

Remember: Don’t skimp on this part!

6. Next take your 4 eggs and beat them in a separate bowl. You will need to add this to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, preferably whilst still mixing, to prevent the mixture from splitting.

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7. Once all of the beaten egg has been added to the butter and sugar mix you can then sift in 225g of plain flour. Mix until all has been incorporated.

8. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice. Mix until all has been incorporated.

9. Add the soaked fruit to the cake mixture along with the 50g of almonds, the grated zest if the orange & lemon and 1.5 tbsp of black treacle. Turn the mixer to a low speed to mix these ingredients in.

10. The mixture is now ready to be spooned in to the prepared cake tin! Once all of the mixture has been transferred across in to the cake tin, smooth it down with the back of a spoon.

photo11. Finally – take a large piece of baking paper and fold it half – ensure a small hole – around the size of a £2 coin has been cut out of the middle of the parchment and place over the cake tin before putting it into the oven.

IMG_133712. This cake will take around 4 hours to bake.

Tip: To test if your cake is ready simply remove from the oven and press in the centre of the cake – if it springs back its good to go. If it leaves an indent it needs to go back in for a little while longer.

13. Let the cake cool in the tin for around 45 minutes before removing from the tin and leaving the cake to cool completely on a rack.

Voilà! 🙂

IMG_1338Remember: Once your cake is cool you should use a skewer to poke several holes in to the top and the base of the cake so that you can then ‘feed’ brandy to Christmas cake. A couple of tablespoons every fortnight or whenever you see fit will help your cake mature nicely.

Tip: Wrap your cake in brown paper tied up with string and then wrap around a double layer of foil before storing in an airtight container. Only bring out to feed and decorate.

IMG_1339IMG_1340I hope you like the recipe! Icing and decorating blog to follow in December! Hopefully I can make it look as good as it tastes! 🙂

Love S & P x