Recipe: Cinnamon buns

Recipe: Cinnamon buns

I’ve had a few requests for my cinnamon bun recipe after posting some I made for a friend’s house warming up on Instagram.

To tell you the truth I’ve tried many recipes, but not until recently did I settle on one. It was accidental really. I had buttermilk from a snickers cake I really wanted to try to make (and still do). It was expiring soon so I decided to whip up something relatively quick and easy (well, more so than the crazy snickers cake I aspired to bake).

Anyway, here’s the recipe I keep coming back to time and time again. They produce roughly 60 small fluffy cinnamon rolls.

photo 5

Cinnamon buns (makes approx 60 small rolls)
Ingredients
14g of active dry yeast (you can buy them in 7g sachets at Coles/Woolies)
¼ cup of warm water
1½ cups of buttermilk
½ cup of vegetable oil (I used canola)
4½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ a teaspoon of baking soda
½ cup of butter, melted
1¼ cups of brown sugar

1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Procedure
  1. Put the yeast into a large bowl, and dissolve in warm water. Leave this for ten minutes until it becomes creamy.
  2. Heat the buttermilk until it is just warm to the touch. Be careful not to let it boil! Take the oil and the warm buttermilk and pour into the yeast mixture to combine. cinnamon buns
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the liquid one cup at a time until a dough forms.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead all the lumps out. No need to knead it that much at this stage.
  5. Place it back into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. It should look like this:cinnamon buns
  6. Now to make the cinnamon spread – in another bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.cinnamon buns
  7. Take a quarter portion of your dough, place it onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle. I press it out into the rectangle shape I want then roll it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Take the cinnamon mix and spread it evenly onto the rectangle of dough you just rolled out. Roll it up into a log (I like more swirls, so I roll from the shorter side), and be sure to pinch the ends to secure it all in place.
  9. Slice the log into 2.5 cm pieces and place cut side up onto baking paper. Make sure you leave enough space between each roll as they will expand! Depending on how fluffy you want them you can leave them to rest overnight. (I’m too impatient for that so I bake it almost immediately!).Cinnamon buns
  10. Bake them in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a lot of gooey! They may not look very attractive when they come out of the oven, but trust me, they will taste amazing!photo 3 copy

I like to top them with some cream cheese icing, which is super simple to whip up whilst your buns are in the oven baking. I just find a generic recipe like this one with butter, icing sugar, Philly cream cheese and vanilla essence. If you wanted to be super fancy you could use some vanilla bean. But either will work!

Enjoy! Xx

Shepherd’s pie with cheesy truffle mash

Shepherd’s pie with cheesy truffle mash

H and I were faced with a dilemma last week – deciding what to do with some beef mince we had frozen a few weeks ago. Initially we had decided on nachos, but after realising I had some potatoes in the pantry, I searched around for a shepherd’s pie recipe. Now I realise traditional shepherd’s pie calls for lamb mince, but I didn’t think beef would hurt much.

I found a recipe by Donna Hay and adapted it a little to suit the beef modification. Plus I added some truffle to it. Who can resist truffle? This is a great recipe for preparing in advance on a weekend, and cooking in a snap on a school night during the week for a quick dinner. I used my piping bag to get pretty little florets on top, but in the end it melted together and didn’t resemble anything like what it used to be. Still pretty tasty despite its appearance.

Shepherd's pie

SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH CHEDDAR MASH
Makes 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
500g beef mince
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary/basil/thyme
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1kg dutch cream potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ cup milk
60g butter
1 cup grated vintage cheddar cheese/mozzarella/parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
  4. Add the tomato, vinegar, paprika, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Place the potato in a saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and squeeze through a potato ricer to ensure a smooth consistency.
  6. Add the milk and butter, then mash. Add the cheese and salt and mix to combine.
  7. Divide the beef between 4 x 1½-cup capacity ovenproof dishes (or one large dish).
  8. Top with the mash and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. I used a piping bag to get some pretty shapes on it and make it extra crunchy.
  9. Drizzle with truffle oil before serving.

What do you cook in advance for dinner during the week?

Recipe: Zucchini flowers stuffed with three cheeses

Recipe: Zucchini flowers stuffed with three cheeses

I’ve always loved the cheesy zucchini flowers at Cafe Sopra. When I saw a tray of fresh flowers at the fish market, I knew I had to try making it for myself. I didn’t really have a recipe, so I sort of just made it up as I went. I stuffed them with fetta, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses – with some parmesan on top. I used my onion ring batter recipe to coat.

Here is the end product. They were light and crunch and delicious, and definitely a recipe to pull out for the dinner parties! The recipe is under the cut.

Zucchini flowers stuffed with three cheeses

Zucchini flowers with cheese stuffing

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Recipe: Apple cider and cinnamon onion rings

Recipe: Apple cider and cinnamon onion rings

On weekends H and I take the time to make a gourmet dinner. On Saturday we managed to get our hands on some angus beef and brioche sliders, so that decided the main part of dinner. We had angus beef sliders with bacon, lettuce, cheese and kewpie mayo. Now I absolutely love kewpie mayo with everything and I knew we needed a side to go with the burgers.
Angus beef sliders with apple cider and cinnamon onion rings
Deciding against the usual curly fries still frozen solid in the freezer, I decided to look up some onion ring recipes. I haven’t had much luck with onion rings in the past, so I was a bit skeptical. I found a Donna Hay onion ring recipe that was promising that asked for beer. With not a drop of beer in the house, I looked for an alternative – apple cider was the only thing that came close.
Apple cider
I’ve been going through an apple cider phase lately. I altered the recipe slightly, and added some cinnamon to it for a little something extra. They turned out so crisp and crunchy. A definite keeper! Recipe after the jump.

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Baking Adventures: Chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting

Baking Adventures: Chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting

It was S’s house warming yesterday, and I decided to take along a chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert. I followed a Donna Hay recipe from her magazine. I admit I was a bit apprehensive at first, as reading the recipe seemed to be greatly involved. She recommends using a 20cm tin – I thought this too big and hunted around (and found) a 15cm tin instead. It wasn’t an easy thing to find!

A similar recipe is the chocolate layer cake from the Junior Masterchef series, found here. I wanted white cream cheese frosting though, for a lovely contrast.

I halved the original recipe, and ended up with my chocolate layer cake. It was super tall, and somewhat difficult to transport. Hah. It was surprisingly much heavier iced too!

Chocolate layer cake

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Dinner tonight: Beef sliders

Dinner tonight: Beef sliders

It is a never ending struggle trying to decide what to make for dinner. I’m a carnivore through and through and could live on beef alone. Brasserie Bread have some lovely brioche buns in regular and mini sizes – which is perfect for burgers and sliders. I love brioche and its sweetness combined with juicy beef. Drool.

I personally like to make my own patties, and squeeze a little cream cheese in the middle so that it oozes out when you bite into the burger. I just use beef mince and mix with bread crumbs, an egg and cumin powder. I’ve found keeping it simple just works best!