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Friday 25 April 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

I can't even deal with how delicious these are...

Here's the deal. You can't get a decent cinnamon bun where I live.

I know there's a time and place those pain aux raisins type things you can get in the supermarket, but they are nothing like the sticky, gooey, spicily sweet rolls I dream of. And we've just remortgaged, so it's not as though I can just up sticks and move.

Reader: I have decided to put an end to my suffering. I have learned how to make the very cinnamon rolls I thought I could only get in America. And, shockingly, they are ridiculously easy to make.  Easier than pie. (Which, actually, I don't find easy at all.)

I looked around at several different recipes and found that they were wildly different both in ingredients and in method, even down to the rolling. So, I took a rather devil-may-care approach and made up my own version, using different bits of each of the three recipes I liked best. My cinnamon rolls are buttery, sweet and frosted with cream cheese icing. They are heaven.

I am really pleased to have been asked to contribute a recipe for Macmillan's 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' fundraiser. I have been to a Macmillan Coffee Morning before and we all had a great time. I was going to submit one of my other recipes that are already on the blog, but have decided that these cinnamon rolls are perfectly suited to this type of event. They are inexpensive (actually, all I had to buy was cream cheese - you probably have the rest of the ingredients in your cupboard as well), easy to make, and taste sweet and comforting.

Besides, I think we're all over cupcakes and macaroons by now.

If you bake these, or if you hold a coffee morning to support Macmillan, or if you do both of those things, definitely leave a comment and let me know how it went. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls 

You will need:
600g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g fast action yeast (or whatever type you have)
80g caster sugar
250ml milk
80g unsalted butter
3 eggs

150g soft brown sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter
a little milk

50g unsalted butter
100g cream cheese
300g icing sugar

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl - you could also use an electric hand whisk), combine half of the flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar. Attach the paddle beater.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the flour mixture, along with the milk and eggs. Beat on low speed until smoothly incorporated. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again on high speed this time, for three minutes.
  3. Change to the dough hook. The mixture will be very liquid. Slowly knead in the remaining flour until you have a smooth dough. It will still be quite wet feeling, but it shouldn't be very sticky. If you need to, add a little extra flour. If you want to do this all by hand, I would just put everything in a bowl together, and mix well/knead until you have a smooth dough. Don't be put off by not having machinery!
  4. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and chill in the fridge overnight. It will rise slowly in the cold of the fridge and double in size.
  5. Next morning, knock the dough back in the bowl and knead it again lightly. Roll it out on a floured surface. You want to aim for a rectangle of around 30 x 20 cm. Spread this generally with the soft butter (or melt the butter and brush the dough with it). Next sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll up the dough tightly, starting from the long edge. Cut the roll into eight slices.
  7. Place these slices on a baking sheet (I would grease it), and press down lightly. Leave to rise for a second time, for as long as it takes to heat the oven to 190°C. 
  8. Brush the rolls with milk (or melted butter if you have some leftover), and bake for 25 minutes. 
  9. Make the icing: beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and beat thoroughly.
  10. Cool for five minutes before slathering on the icing and serve warm.

Friday 4 April 2014

UK Coffee Week (7-13 April)

So, next week, in the UK at least, is dedicated to that most heavenly of caffeinated beverages, coffee, and Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 50 coffee pods to celebrate.

More about that in a minute. First, what's this coffee week business? Well, the Fine Coffee Club (who are giving away the coffee) put it rather nicely:

UK Coffee Week really is for everyone who enjoys coffee and wants to give something back to the countries which produce the beans we love so much. It doesn't matter if you are an instant coffee drinker or an artisan roaster: everyone can support UK Coffee Week.

The Fine Coffee Company gives 20% of the cost of their Rwandan coffee direct to the farmers at The Rwandan Coffee Farmers Company (RFCC). The RFCC is right now building a coffee roasting and packaging plant that will provide an income for 50, 000 local coffee farmers and, of course, create jobs.

The pods the company make are compatible with Nespresso branded machines. And I know you want to get a hold of some.

Delicious Delicious Delicious is giving away 5 x 10 pod packs of the following coffees:

Dark Roast - A darkly roasted blend of premium Central American and African beans that delivers a full-bodied, well – rounded bold taste. Recommended drink: Latte

Light Roast - A mild, easy drinking espresso consisting of the finest beans from Colombia, Costa Rica and Africa, this blend has a fruity flavour with a softly rounded character. Recommended drink: Espresso

Lungo - best enjoyed as a longer shot. Hand selected coffees from South America and Africa result in full-bodied intensity and a lasting rich flavour. Recommended drink: Americano with a splash of cold milk

Guatemalan - Guatemala's rich volcanic earth has produced this rich Arabica with many layered flavours. Darkly roasted, with a medium body, bright acidity, floral aromas and dark fruit flavours, leaving you with a clean lingering after taste. Recommended drink: Americano

Rwandan - Our 100% single origin Rwandan coffee has a full body and strong acidity. This coffee is rich and smoky, there are brown sugar and bittersweet dark chocolate flavours alongside the black tea note that is characteristic of Rwandan coffees. Recommended drink: Americano or Espresso

How to win:

Simple. See up top there I have a photo of a latte with a flower on it? I love coffee art. In the past, I have had coffees with dogs, hearts and even Hello Kitty on the top. 

Leave a comment or tweet me @peterdelicious telling me what you'd love on top of your latte. I'll pick a winner at random next Friday.

Good luck! 

(For the record, and for equity, I would like Ewan McGregor's face on top of my latte.)
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