Spiced orange hot cross buns

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Hot cross buns are easy to make but it does take a bit of time to let the dough prove. Not recommended if you are in a hurry.
I tend to make hot cross buns a few time a year not just on Easter. They are great toasted with butter.

Prep time Baking time Temperature Difficulty Servings
2+ hours 8-12 minutes 220C / 200C fan assisted easy 15 buns

You will need the following:

650g strong white bread flour
100g of mixed fruit
50g mixed peel
1 tsp salt
6 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, coriander seed, nutmeg)
60g unsalted butter
7g / 1 tsp yeast
zest of 1 orange
100g caster sugar
1 medium sized egg
400 ml milk

For the cross
9 tbs flour (levelled tablespoons)
7 tbs cold water

 

JFP_6726The ingredients.

JFP_6752In a mixing bowl add 6 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, coriander seed, nutmeg) to 650g strong white bread flour.

JFP_6744Add 1tsp salt.

JFP_6756Add 60g unsalted butter.

JFP_6764Use your fingers to mix in the butter.

JFP_6772JFP_6774Make a well by pushing the flour to the sides of the bowl.

JFP_6777Add 7g / 1 tsp yeast.

JFP_6778Add 100g caster sugar.

JFP_6841JFP_6821Add the zest of 1 orange.

JFP_6850Add 1 medium egg.

JFP_6857Add 400ml milk.

JFP_6885Mix the ingredients together.

JFP_6898JFP_6908Once your ingredients are mixed, knead your dough for 5 minutes.

JFP_6928After kneading the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface.

JFP_6933Add 100g of mixed fruit and 50g mixed peel to the dough.

JFP_6940JFP_6960Work the fruits into the dough.

JFP_6971JFP_6986Stretch the dough as much as you can.

JFP_6998Knead and stretch the dough for 5 minutes making sure all the fruits are incorporated into the dough.

JFP_7002JFP_7008Place the dough in a buttered bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 1.5 hours.

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After 1.5 hours turn out the dough.

JFP_7030Cut and roll the dough into balls. You should be able to get about 15 depending on the size.

 

JFP_7032JFP_7045JFP_7065Cover with cling film and leave to rise for another hour.

JFP_7054Carefully remove the cling film. Now the crosses can be added.

JFP_7073Add 9 tbs flour (levelled tablespoons) to a mixing bowl.

JFP_7078Add 7 tbs cold water.

 

JFP_7102Mix together until the mixture is smooth. Add to a piping bag (I am using one for macaroons, which works quite well).

JFP_7118Slowly add the crosses to the buns.

JFP_7140Next we need to glaze the buns. I used spiced orange marmalade, but any marmalade will do. Do this as soon as the buns come out of the oven.

JFP_7142JFP_7153Glaze the buns as soon as they come out of the oven, while they are still hot.

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Hope you enjoy!

Passion fruit cake with popping candy

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I baked this cake for a sport’s relief charity bake-off at work. I was very experimental and I was not sure if this was going work. Luckily people seemed to enjoy it!

The outside of the cake is white butter cream and the inside is bright, yellow sponge. I used Sugarflair coloring paste to achieve the vivid color. They are a bit pricey but won’t effect the flavor of your cake like the cheaper colorants tent to do. The passion fruit is from a pre-made coolly with 100% pure passion fruit. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the popping candy but you can buy them in most grocery stores or online. It’s best to use unflavored popping candy.

Prep time Baking time Temperature Difficulty Servings
45 minutes 25 minutes 200C / 180C fan hard 16 slices

Here is what you will need.

For the sponge cake

  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 225g softened butter
  • 2 tbs of milk
  • 8 medium eggs
  • 200ml sunflower/olive oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp yellow coloring paste

Icing and, topping and decorations

  • 350g royal icing sugar
  • 150g soft butter.
  • 4 tbs of passion fruit coolly
  • 200g bitter dark chocolate
  • popping candy
  • yellow coloring paste

JFP_5493The ingredients. I forgot to add the popping candy to the picture and some more eggs!

JFP_5493Add 450g self raising flour.

JFP_5506Add 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

JFP_5512Add 450g caster sugar.

JFP_5538Add 225g of soft butter, followed by 2 tablespoons of milk. This will help to loosen up the mixture.

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JFP_5581Add 8 beaten eggs to the ingredients.

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JFP_5610Add 200ml of sunflower oil. I used olive oil instead. When using olive oil make sure the oil has a neutral taste. It it has a strong olive oil flavor it will significantly change the taste of your cake. I also found that using oil adds some additional moisture to the cake after baking.

JFP_5615Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

JFP_6392JFP_5619Add 1 teaspoon of Sugarflair coloring paste. Add more for a brighter color.

JFP_5630Beat the ingredients together using a mixer.

JFP_5633The mixture will be very lumpy in the beginning, but just keep on beating for about 5 minutes until smooth.

JFP_5645JFP_5650JFP_5658Divide your mixture equally into 3 or 4 28 cm buttered cake tins. Depending on how high you want your cake to rise. I used 3 tins. Don’t worry too much about the exact sizes of your tins. As long as the mixture fills half of your tin it should work fine. It’s also very important to butter your tins even if they are non stick. This creates less resistance when the cake is rising and will help it keep its shape. Also bang your tins on the counter before you put them in the oven. This will help get rid of any access air in the batter and will give the cakes a more leveled rise.

JFP_5727Bake at 180C (fan assisted) for 25 minutes.

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Once the sponges have finished baking turn them out on cooling racks. Wait until they are completely cooled before you start icing.

JFP_5746Cream together 150g butter and 300g of royal icing sugar. Royal icing sugar hardens better compared to other icing sugars.

JFP_5750If you have lumps in your icing sugar use a sieve to break up the lumps.

JFP_5752Beat it until fluffy and smooth. The longer you beat it the whiter the icing will get.

JFP_5764If your cake is slightly uneven, use s sharp knife to level it.

JFP_5768Start adding your icing sugar to the cake.

JFP_5773In a separate bowl add about 8 table spoons of the icing mixture and 2 tablespoons of your passion fruit coolly . Beat until smooth.

JFP_5774Add 4 tablespoons of the icing sugar and passion fruit coolly mixture to each layer if the cake (The cake has 2 layers)

JFP_5778Continue icing the cake and adding the icing to each layer of the cake followed by the icing and coolie mixture. Once you have iced your cake with a thin layer of icing on the outside, put it in the fridge to harden for about 20 minutes. This is called a crumb coating. When you put the rest of your icing on you will get a smoother finish.

JFP_5820After the cake has been in the fridge for 20 minutes, add the rest of the icing.

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JFP_5759Break up and melt 200g bitter dark chocolate.

JFP_5781Add your popping candy to a non stick baking sheet.

JFP_5798Add your melted chocolate to the popping candy. Make sure your chocolate has cooled a bit before you do this.

JFP_5802Let the chocolate set. To speed up this process you can put the sheet with the chocolate and popping candy in the fridge for a few minutes.

JFP_5844For the topping of the cake use 5 tablespoons of the icing mixture. 1/2 teaspoon of yellow coloring paste, 2 tsp of passion fruit coolly and 50g of icing sugar to increase the thickness. Mix until smooth and add to the top of the cake. It should be thick enough not to run down the sides of the cake.

JFP_5873Spread the topping out evenly.

JFP_5879Your chocolate and popping candy would have set by now. Break or cut them into pieces and decorate the side of your cake.

JFP_5942This should be the end result.

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The contrast of the yellow sponge against the white icing sugar looks very pretty.

Perfect for Easter!

Enjoy!

Prosciutto, mushroom and truffle oil pizzas

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Prep time Temperature Baking time Difficulty Servings
30 min prep + 90 min for resting the dough 180C 20 min medium 3 Pizzas

This is one of my favorite pizzas, its relatively easy to make and the truffle oil gives it a great flavor!

You will need the following:

  • self raising flour
  • 7g / 1 pack yeast
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs truffle oil (for dough)
  • 3 tsp truffle oil (for each pizza)
  • 12 – 14 brown mushrooms
  • 125g gorgonzola cheese
  • 100g parmesan cheese
  • prosciutto (cured ham)
  • rocket (arugula) 

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Add 1 pack (7g / 1 tablespoon) of yeast to 300 ml of tepid water. Leave it to stand for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast develop.

JFP_4259Sift 500g of flour into a large mixing bowl.

JFP_4279JFP_4301Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of truffle oil to the flour.

JFP_4307Add your yeast mixture to the flour.

JFP_4335Mix the ingredients together.

JFP_4369JFP_4385Use your hands to knead and stretch the dough for 5-10 minutes. This step is important since it stretches the gluten within the dough. This will make it more elastic and help capture the gasses released by the yeast. This allows the dough to rise.

JFP_4393Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rise for about 90 minutes.

JFP_4399After 90 minutes the dough would have more than doubled in size.

JFP_4409Pierce the dough so that the access gass can escape.

JFP_4424JFP_4446JFP_4451Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 3 equal size balls.

JFP_4481Drizzle 1 teaspoon of truffle oil on top of each pizza.

JFP_4500Flatten out on the pizzas on baking or pizza trays using the tips of your fingers. The truffle oil will help make this part easier!

JFP_4511JFP_4566Add Gorgonzola cheese, although I would recommend that this is done at the end of baking instead. Its a very soft cheese and will melt quickly.

JFP_4604Bake the pizzas for 20 minutes at 180C. While the pizzas are baking, we can prepare the toppings.

JFP_4601Chop and fry some 12-14 brown mushrooms.

JFP_4635JFP_4692The trick to frying mushrooms is a VERY warm pan. Heat your pan for a minute then add 1 teaspoon of oil (cooking or olive) and one teaspoon of butter. The butter will help brown the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and fry for about 4-5 minutes.

JFP_4680Grate 100g Parmesan into a bowl. You can also shave it instead of grating. Shaved Parmesan looks much nicer on a pizza!!

JFP_4697Remember to get you salad rocket (arugula) ready as well as you prosciutto (cured ham). All the toppings are now ready for our pizzas.

JFP_4704After 20 minutes the pizzas should look like this.

JFP_4709JFP_4755Drain your mushrooms with a ladle and add the to the pizzas. If you chose to add the Gorgonzola cheese at the end of baking instead of the beginning, add it now.

JFP_4769Add the Paremesan cheese.

JFP_4795Add some salad rocket (arugula) leaves.

JFP_4852Add the prosciutto (cured ham)

JFP_4875Use a pizza cutter and slice! The dough had quite a good rise, which meant the pizzas had a thick base. If you prefer thin base pizzas then make sure you use plain flour instead of self raising flour. You could also add a teaspoon of salt to your flour before adding the yeast mixture. This will stop the yeast from developing too much and gives a flatter dough.

Hope you enjoy!!

Chickpea, sausage and cumin

JFP_5487This is a great dish that does not require many ingredients. Super quick to make and won’t break the bank!

Prep time Cooking time Difficulty Servings
15 min 10 min easy 4

You will need the following:

    • 2 large smoked sausages
    • 1 green pepper sliced
    • 1 red pepper sliced
    • 1 large onion sliced
    • 2 cans of chick peas
    • 2 tablespoons cumin
    • 4 tablespoons maggi
    • 3-4 single cream (optional) 

JFP_5230The ingredients.

JFP_5263JFP_5266JFP_5315Cut the smoked sausage into slices and fry until crispy. Leave the fat from the sausage behind. The onion will be fried in it next.

JFP_5287JFP_5291JFP_5296Fry the onions until soft and brown.

JFP_5308JFP_5322Fry the green and red peppers until soft.

JFP_5327Add 2 cans of chickpeas to the pan with the fried peppers.

JFP_5349Add the fried onions back to the pan.

JFP_5365Add the sausage back to the pan.

JFP_5375Add 2 tablespoons of cumin.

JFP_5388Add 4 tablespoons of maggi.

JFP_5409Fry all the ingredients together for about 5 minutes, until the chickpeas are warm. Sometimes this dish can be a little dry. If this is the case add 3-4 tablespoons of single cream.

JFP_5480Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy!

Poulet Breton

the first one

I encountered this dish for the first time in Café Rouge and decided to recreate it at home. This has been one of my favourite dishes for the last couple of years, it goes really well with a glass of white wine.

 

Prep time Cooking time Difficulty Servings
20 min 45 min medium 4 – 6

You will need the following:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 leeks
  • 3 courgettes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 10 white mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • mirin (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • chicken stock
  • 500ml water
  • single cream
  • maggi (seasoning sauce)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbs butter
  • sour cream
  • dill
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon thyme

JFP_3203The ingredients.

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JFP_3315Peel and boil 4 large potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft.

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JFP_3337Peel and shave 3 carrots.

JFP_3365Chop 3 leeks.

JFP_3375Add 500 ml of boiling water to 2 chicken stock cubes.

JFP_3381Add 3 bay leaves to the chicken stock.

JFP_3391Chop 3 courgettes.

JFP_3409Chop 10 white mushrooms.

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JFP_3436Cut 4 chicken breasts into thin strips.

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Add a tablespoon of oil to a hot pan and fry the chicken strips until brown. I usually add about 1 tablespoon of Mirin (Rice wine), halfway through. The sugar in the mirin caramelizes on the chicken. It also helps to soften it.

JFP_3582Add any liquid that might be left after frying the chicken to the chicken stock. This will contain a lot of the flavour needed for the dish.

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JFP_3610Add the mushrooms, courgettes and leek to a heavy lidded casserole dish and fry.

JFP_3643Once the courgettes and mushrooms have been fried, add the shaved carrots.

JFP_3661Add the fried chicken strips.

JFP_3677Add the chicken stock.

JFP_3699JFP_3710In the same jug mix 350ml of water and 150ml of single cream.

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Cover and cook for about 45 minutes. In the meantime start preparing your mash potatoes.

JFP_3633Once your potatoes have boiled drain them and add 2 tbs butter, salt and pepper.

JFP_3804Add 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of dill.

JFP_3851Mash the ingredients together using a potato masher.

JFP_3858Dish up mashed potato in the middle of your plate and arrange the chicken around it.

JFP_3934Add some lemon thyme as dressing and a splash of maggi for flavour.

Enjoy!