Monday, 30 September 2013

Chai Spiced Rolls: GBBO Week #6

Bit of a late round up for last week's GBBO as I've been busy baking for Macmillan, but hopefully it will refresh your memories in time for tomorrow's new episode! Sweet dough was last week's theme and the first challenge was to make a tea loaf, which is a sweet yeasted bread, traditionally served at tea time and flavoured with fruits and spices. Adding eggs, butter or sugar to dough can be problematic as it can 'retard' the yeast. This means that the activity of the yeast, and therefore rising of the dough, is slowed down.

The only baker that got full marks on this challenge was Ruby, with her Citrus Tea Loaf. Paul and Mary loved the deep citrus flavour and thought it looked great. Glenn, Christine and Kimberley's tea loaves were all underbaked, although Christine faired worse as the judges didn't even eat any of her mostly raw loaf! Beca made a traditional Welsh Bara Brith. Frances made a Chai Tea Loaf that finally had much more substance than style! And poor Howard got bad results with his Date & Hemp Yorkshire Loaf.

The signature challenge this week was an Apricot Couronne, using a Paul Hollywood recipe. This is an enriched dough, filled with apricot, marzipan, walnuts and raisins. It is then twisted into a crown shape.

I just had to feature Mary's face when Paul revealed his Couronne from under the silver dome, she loved it!

The baker's were not told how long to prove or bake the Couronne for. However despite this, they all did very well on the challenge! All the Couronne's were baked well and tasted good accordingly to Paul. The mistakes made were minor, and unfortunately for Howard he came last, with Glenn and Beca not far behind. Ruby won the challenge, with Frances second and Kimberley third. The Couronne is finished with a drizzle of icing and flaked almonds sprinkled on top. If you fancy making one, you can get the recipe here.

The showstopper challenge started the night before so that some of the baker's doughs could prove overnight. The judges requested two different varieties of European sweet buns. Several of the bakers made brioche, which is enriched with butter and therefore requires a long chilling time so the dough is easier to shape.

The bakers introduced us (well me for sure!) to a variety of European breads such as German Schnecken, Norwegian Skolebrod, Swedish Kanelbullar and Czech Kolaches. Frances turned her sweet buns into a game of noughts and crosses with her Hot Cross Brioche and Rhubarb & Custard Kolaches.

Christine, Ruby, Frances and Beca all got excellent results and were praised for good flavours, lovely textures, and well baked buns that Paul and Mary liked a lot. I was sad to Kimberley not do so well this week, her sweet buns were underbaked and underproved, the same as her tea loaf. Glenn's sweet buns "looked awful" accordingly to Paul and were dry and didn't taste good. Howard's buns were also branded bland and the judges could not taste the peach in his Peachy Brioche. Although even the judges were impressed with how much they looked like real peaches!

Sadly it was Howard who left this week. He started off very well, but has had some hiccups along the way. I love the way he experiments with unusual ingredients and he is certainly a brave baker that will be missed! Tomorrow on GBBO they'll be making suet puddings, holy choux buns and puff pastry.

I was inspired by Kimberley and Frances' use of chai flavours this week, and I also decided to make these rolls as I followed the same recipe last year and made Cinnamon Fruit Rolls. But my dough did not rise and despite tasting good and being edible, the rolls were not soft and fluffy like bread should be. I think that I killed the yeast early on. I really wanted to get these rolls right this year!

I started by gently melting 100g butter in a pan along with 125ml semi skimmed milk. (Plus 125ml of water which I missed as I didn't read the recipe properly - see my realisation of this further down). Once it was melted I left it to cool, when it felt luke warm, I added a sachet of dried yeast and 1 tbsp caster sugar and mixed in. I covered the pan with a plate and left it for 10 minutes.

I sifted 550g plain flour into a large bowl, and added 50g caster sugar (minus the tbsp used above) and 1 tsp salt. I made a well and poured in the yeast mixture as well as 1 egg and 2 egg yolks.

I mixed until combined into a dough. I kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface, then placed it in a covered oiled bowl to rise for 2 hours. My dough was quite dry and I didn't even use all of the flour, I was confused by this but admittedly I was in a bit of a rush at the time.

I made a chai spice blend using 100g light brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger.

I have never baked with cardamom before. I bought the pods as I couldn't find it ready ground. I've since found out you can buy it from online retailers pre-ground. But here's a simple guide on how to use the pods.

I tapped the pods gently with a rolling pin until they split open and I tipped out the seeds. Discard the husks.

I put the seeds in a bowl and crushed them with the end of a rolling pin - use a pestle and mortar if you have one, or even better a spice grinder.

I lined a greased a loose bottomed cake tin.

My dough had risen, but not as much as I would've liked. Still, it was an improvement on last time I made these!

I melted 25g butter in a pan, and rolled out the dough to a size of about 40 x 30cm (16 x 12"). I brushed the butter over the dough, leaving a 1cm strip free at one end.

I sprinkled over the chai spice blend, then brushed the 1cm strip with some beaten egg. Keep hold of the leftover egg for later.

I rolled the dough into a sausage shape and use a serrated knife to cut it into equal pieces. I marked out the pieces before I cut. I got 12 rolls out of my dough.

I placed them into a lined and greased loose bottomed cake tin. There were four extra pieces that I put into a loaf tin. I covered them and left to prove for about 1 1/2 hours.

Whilst they were proving I realised...damn...I'd messed up again! I was reading through the recipe again to write up this post and realised to my horror that I'd forgotten to add 125ml water at the very beginning. No wonder my dough was so dry!

I was so relieved when then puffed up nicely on the second prove! I brushed some of the remaining beaten egg from earlier over them.

I baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown. The rolls puffed up in the middle like little cones and one roll even came undone and spiralled out. Despite this, I was just happy they baked well and looked lovely and golden! Plus smelt amazing!

I split them open and was pleased to see soft bread texture! I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar (2 tsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon) over the hot rolls and left them to cool.

Once they were fully cool I made some lemon icing from 65g icing sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice, add a few more drops of lemon juice depending on how runny you want it. I think the lemon is a great zingy hit of flavour alongside the aromatic cardamom and cinnamon of the rolls.

I finally feel like sweet dough worked for me. Although I have to say it is not my favourite thing to bake. It's very time consuming, even more than regular bread. And I think you can get nice brioches and sweet rolls from good bakeries. I think I would make sweet dough again at home, but it's not something I would do often. I loved getting to use cardamom as it's so popular at the moment and it was great to taste it in a bake as I never have before. I now understand what the hype is all about! What do you think about sweet breads?

I am also entering my Chai Spiced Rolls into October's AlphaBakes challenge, hosted by Caroline Makes... and The More Than Occasional Baker. This month's letter is 'C'.

print recipe

Chai Spiced Rolls
  • 125g Butter
  • 125ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 125ml Water
  • 1 sachet of Dried yeast
  • 38g + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Caster sugar
  • 550g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 100g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 65g Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
Gently melt 100g of the butter in a pan along with the semi skimmed milk and water. Once it is melted leave it to cool, when it feels luke warm, add the dried yeast and 1 tbsp of caster sugar and mix in. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for 10 minutesSift the plain flour into a large bowl, and add the 38g caster sugar and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture as well as the egg and egg yolksMix until combined into a dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface, then place it in a covered oiled bowl to rise for 2 hoursMake the chai spice blend by mixing the light brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, cardamom, mixed spice, nutmeg and gingerMelt 25g of the butter in a pan, roll out the dough to a size of about 40 x 30cm (16 x 12"). Brush the butter over the dough, leaving a 1cm strip free at one endSprinkle over the chai spice blend, then brushed the 1cm strip with some of the beaten eggRoll the dough into a sausage shape and use a serrated knife to cut it into 12 equal piecesPlace them into a lined and greased tin. Cover them and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hoursOnce proved, brush some of the beaten egg over them.Bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brownMix the 2 tsp of caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and sprinkle over the hot rolls and leave them to coolMake a lemon icing by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice, drizzle over the cooled rolls

Friday, 27 September 2013

Treat Petite Round Up - September

The theme for our very first Treat Petite challenge was 'No Theme' - anything goes! As a brand new challenge, it was so exciting for me and Stuart over at Cakeyboi to see the entries coming in thick and fast!

The first entry was from Caroline Makes... with these amazing Cupcake Ducks! I am such a sucker for a novelty cupcakes and I thought these were brilliant. Each duck was given it's own personality, one is a vampire with fangs, one has sunglasses on, and one has eyelashes and kissable lips!

These Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are from Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker. I think the styling of the photo is perfect, with the ice cream tablecloth, the 'fallen' ice cream and the chocolate spoons. Peanut butter and chocolate is such a yummy combination!

Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes made these stunningly blue Blackcurrant Macarons. They were made as a gift for a friend who got married in Greece, and the blue was to represent the beautiful blue of the Greek sea. I love the vivid colour, and they are filled with blackcurrant jam.

Vohn from Vohn's Vittles made these pretty Chocolate and Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, made with Mackays Dundee Orange Marmalade. There is some great history behind marmalade in her post. This is the third recipe in a series Vohn has made with Mackays jam as the inspiration, the Chocolate Lime Tart she made sounds amazing too!

I entered my GBBO inspired Petit Fours, which were Mini Lime Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream, Fresh Raspberry & Chocolate Decoration, and Cherry & Almond Viennese Swirl Biscuits. I was really pleased with the look of the cupcakes and the chocolate decoration. The biscuits were so crumbly, and melt in your mouth.

Lisa from United Cakedom made these gorgeous Golden Honey Madelines. She used organic clear honey from the Sainsburys SO range, and used a recipe from Great British Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley's Home Baking book.

How much fun are these 3D Dinosaur Cookies?! This is another amazing entry from Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker. Ros made the cookies with her brother and also made a family of gingerbread people that are being eaten by the dinosaurs in the above photo!

Janine from Cake of the Week entered these Coffee Orange Cupcakes. She was inspired to make these after having orange syrup in a cup of coffee and loving the taste! She also used a seven minute meringue frosting which sounds delicious. Janine also runs a challenge called Baking With Spirit for bakes involving alcohol.

Our first international entry was from Canada! Stephanie from Kitchen Frolic made these gorgeous looking Blueberry Muffins. This is my favourite flavour of muffin and they are such a simple yet tasty treat for a quick snack, or a relaxing break with a hot drink.

Ros at The More Then Occasional Baker entered her third bake with these Peanut Butter Granola Bars! These are a great snack for lunchboxes and for eating on the go, they can be made from any store cupboard ingredients and are a great way to use up any dried fruit you may have lying around.

These Swedish Buns were submitted by Sophie from Feeria's Cookery Journal. These cinnamon flavoured buns sound like the perfect breakfast bread for a weekend treat! I think I will be making these soon!

Holy wow...! Well you all know how much I love Nutella, and my mouth is seriously watering by looking at these Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella Cream by Kate at the Gluten Free Alchemist. She has been experimenting with gluten free bakes ever since her daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease, and it looks like she is doing a very good job of it!

The tasty treat poking out from this tea cup is an Earl Grey Cupcake by Kirsty at Kirsty's Cakes & Bakes. Earl Grey is her favourite kind of tea and she likes it because it's lighter and has a fragrant citrus scent. She iced the cupcakes with a lemon buttercream to represent the slice of lemon the tea is served with.

These gorgeous Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream Frosting were submitted by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. I love the two toned icing, and she made these to celebrate National Cupcake Week.

Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen made these Chocolate Crunchie Munchies. These are a no-bake treat featuring cereal, chocolate and dried fruit. I love the cute silicone heart cases she has presented them in!

The next entry are these intruging Chocolate Mousse Brownies - another gluten free entry, this time from Laura at I'd Much Rather Bake Than... They look delicious and are described as "melt in the mouth". Laura was inspired by a GBBO recipe to make these brownies, the nuts on top is a fab twist, although she admits this was a mistake, it's turned out great!

And finally, these gorgeous Red Velvet Cupcakes are by the fabulous Supergolden Bakes. Everything she makes looks so gorgeous thank to her amazing photography skills! These cupcakes omit the typical red food colouring you find in most red velvet cupcakes and are covered in a delicious frosting.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this month! I'm thrilled with all the petite treats you have made. If you like the look of any of the above entries - head on over to the blogs involved and give them some love! Look out for October's theme announcement on Cakeyboi soon!