A Christmas Spin on the Chelsea Bun

Yellow Cherry & Sultana ScrollsMerry Christmas and a VERY Happy new year to you all. I have to apologise again for my lack of posting – I have struggled to find time to write with working etc I must say I have missed it and I am looking forward to more regular postings. That said Christmas is always my chance to get creative in the kitchen. We don’t do traditional in our house and we haven’t for a long time, but now we don’t as we’re a pork free house so no Ham’s etc and Turkey is well and truly overrated in my opinion.

So this year we went with Steak – Angus Scotch Fillet – Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Lollipops which are just gorgeous, this year we didn’t make all the trimmings, but had salads etc on the side. Prawns of course, paprika potatoes & delicious desserts which I will share in another post.

The above scrolls were made for our Mother’s Group Christmas party which ended up being a breakfast as all the kids are early risers and it just made sense. So I brought a fruit salad dressed up Christmas style and these scrolls.

Christmas Fruit Salad

We have had copious amounts of Yellow Cherries and I have made jam and stewed the remaining which I used to make these scrolls.

You will need:

2 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

2 ½ cups plain flour, sifted

½ cup warm milk

185g softened butter

1 Tbsp sugar, extra

1 tsp mixed spice

1 egg

¼ cup soft brown sugar

good handful of sultanas

about 1 cup of stewed fruit – I used Yellow Cherries.

1 Tbsp milk, extra for glazing

2 Tbsp Sugar, extra for glazing

Glace icing

½ cup icing sugar

1-2 Tbsp milk

What to do:

Combine the yeast, sugar & a couple of tablespoons of the flour in a large bowl, add the milk and mix well. Set aside in a warm place until it’s frothy and thick. This should take about 10 minutes.  While you’re waiting for the yeast to activate sift the remaining flour into another bowl and rub in the softened butter with your fingertips until it resembles coarse sand or breadcrumbs. Stir in the extra sugar & the mixed spice. Add this to the yeast mixture with the egg and mix well using the dough hook on your mix master. Work the dough until it comes together to form a smooth ball.

Lightly oil your mixing bowl put the dough in and cover with cling film and place in a warm place to allow to prove for an hour or until it’s at least doubled in size.

Pre heat your oven to 210°C 415°F or gas 6-7. Ensure your mixed fruit is finely chopped if you’re making your own. Beat an extra 50g of butter with the brown sugar & mixed spice until it’s light & creamy. When your dough is ready, knock it back and roll out to approx 40 x 25cm (16 x 10 inches) rectangle, Spread the butter mixture all over the dough to within 2cm of the edge of one of the longer sides, spread the stewed fruit all over the dough and then sprinkle the sultanas all over it.

Roll the dough from the long side, firmly and evenly to enclose the fruit. Using a sharp knife cut the roll into evenly sized pieces about 2 ½ cm thick. Arrange the slices onto a well greased oven tray with the seams facing inwards. Flatten slightly, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 30 mins or until they’re well risen again. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown & cooked. When they’re almost ready stir the milk & sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved, brush this mix over the hot buns. Cool & mix the icing sugar, drizzle over the buns. You should get about 12 – 15 smallish buns.

Enjoy! I am also thinking they’d work wonderfully with stewed apricots or any other stewed fruit!

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THE best Banana Loaf Recipe!

Yes I am aware that’s puffery but I have tried banana loaf/bread in lots of places and this one rocks it big time, it’s an oldie & a goodie and that’s why I think it’s so good, the old recipes are tried and true. Made by all the wonderful home cooks our world is made up of!

This recipe comes from a book of Mum’s which I think she got either from her mum (my Grandma) or from their local church, it’s the Hamilton Lutheran Women’s association and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

This recipe will make 2 loaves.

You will need:

125g butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

3 cups of plain flour

6 bananas, mashed

3 1/2 tsp bicarb soda

Grease & line 2 loaf tins and preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs beating after each addition and then add the bananas & flour, mix well until combined and divide between the two tins. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and cooked.

This is wonderful served cold and buttered. I have never toasted it, but I love to hear how it goes if you do.

Ricotta Hotcakes

I love a bit of fresh ricotta and it makes for very light and fluffy pancakes/hotcakes so here’s the recipe I’ve tried quite a few times, through trial & error I have discovered that if you’re using ricotta you need to have a fairly thick batter, spread the batter out a little with the back of a spoon and let it cook for about 3 mins or until it looks as though it’s beginning to set, obviously this needs to be on a fairly low heat otherwise it will burn before you can flip it. Too soon and you’ll flip mush.

All golden & ready to eat

You will need

300g fresh Ricotta

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour

1 egg

about 1/2 cup milk, adjust this so you achieve a thickish consistency

Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and break up a bit with a whisk, add the brown sugar, egg, flour & milk and mix well, but not so much that the ricotta is completely broken up, you still want to see little chunks of ricotta.

In a hot pan, melt some butter & olive oil, spread the batter out & allow to cook until it’s set before flipping. Once cooked place on a serving dish and repeat the process, serve with your favourite toppings, although funnily enough with maple syrup it tasted a bit strange, much better with golden syrup or jam.