March 31st, 2013
Once you venture into Homemade hot cross buns you will never buy them again! Try these or some other baking for Easter – check out our Easter recipes page
These buns take a few hours to prepare in order to get the dough to rise so if you want them for tea you should start making them in the morning!
For this recipe first Combine the beaten egg with enough warm water to give approximately ½ pint of liquid. Then whisk in the yeast, sugar and flour, cover and put in a warm place for 30 minutes. Sieve the flour salt and spices into a large bowl and rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre and add in the sugar and lemon zest and then mix in the dried fruit or mixed peel. Knead into a large dough ball and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour. Knead again to get rid of any bubbles and then bring back to a large ball and leave for another 30 minutes to rise further. You them shape the dough into 12 buns and mark each one deeply with a cross. You can pipe into the cross a wet mixture of flour and water mixture and then bake for 8-12 minutes. Glaze with Golden syrup as soon as they come out of the oven.
Hot cross bun with a marzipan twist has the variation of thinly rolled marzipan placed into the crosses and then the buns are glazed with a mixture of sugar and warmed milk.
Candlebridgebakery has shared her delicious recipe which is for Traditional Hot Cross Honey buns with a Vanilla Cross In This recipe you heat the milk in a measuring jug and dissolve the yeast. In another measuring jug beat the two eggs together and add the honey, natural vanilla essence, melted butter and corn oil and mix these well together. In a large mixing bowl sieve the strong bread flour, plain flour, gram flour, powdered cream, castor sugar, allspice, cinnamon, salt and bicarbonate of soda and then add the dried fruit. You then make a well and add the yeast mixture and then the egg mixture and combine together to make a dough. Knead the dough and then leave to rise for 90 minutes. Knead again and then leave for another 90 minutes (This isnt a quick thing to do!)
Now roll into balls the size you want your buns to be , flatten a little and mark with a cross using a knife – pulling the dough away from the cross to emphasis the cross. Glaze with a mixture of honey and hot water and then bake for 15 minutes. To make the vanilla frosting to go into the cross, sieve your icing sugar, and mix with hot water and vanilla essence and spoon the fondant into the cross.
March 24th, 2013
It’s my youngest sons birthday party today – its snowing and we are taking 15 ten year old boys to play low impact paintball at Zap Combat in Hertfordshire. So of course I had to make an appropriate cake.
My mum always helps me with the birthday sponge cakeand as I only decide on the theme of the cake the night before she usually makes me 2 square cakes.
I drew around the cakes with a dinner plate (this is if you dont make a cake using a round sandwich tin!)
I then made the butter icing which is double the amount of icing sugar as butter with a teaspoon of Vanilla essence and whatever colouring I need.
Then the most ingenious part of the process was thought of by my husband Kenny. We tied a piece of string to a bamboo skewer and the other end to a toothpick. We anchored the skewer into the middle of the cake and then turned the toothpick to tighten the string and used it is a sort of compass drawing a circle of different sizes onto the top of the cake. To make the circle smaller you just had to wind more of the string around the toothpick.
Then for the splat of the paintball guns I seperated out some of the white icing and mixed with yellow and green food colouring.
So this is a picture of my boys – the big ones are Jamies older brothers coming along to play with or rather shoot paintballs at the smaller kids. Actually the rules for the big ones were that they were only allowed to shoot anyone over 14 (each other)
And then we decided to come home for tea – they were absolutely freezing so we came home to light the candles.
March 8th, 2013
There are lots of brands especially grocery stores trying to push flowers or food to make Sunday roasts for mothers day and beauty products trying to sell moisturises – but as a mum I don’t want my kids spending loads of money on me for a commercial day to prove they love me. I love my kids and I really love spending time with them – but controversially I actually want some time off!
My ideal mothers day is “me time” pampering myself (which I never get time to do) – maybe spending the morning in bed with a light breakfast in bed – definitely freshly squeezed orange juice and time to read a good book.
If the weather is nice I would love a walk (OK kids company at this point would be lovely) and then something just for me – like a facial or a massage. OK at this point you might want to spend afternoon tea with the kids, but personally I would rather have an indulgence that I would only happen on this day or my birthday!
In my ideal day I will let the kids then make dinner and pack lunches for school – and sort the washing for the week – so I can do nothing but enjoy my dinner – walk away and let them clear up and go upstairs to soak in a lovely bubble bath.
My only problem is somewhere in this me day I want to do something lovely for my mum too! – There is a bit of a conflict in being a daughter to give my mum and great day and being a mum and having a me day – What would be an ideal mothers day for you?