Recipe: Cinnamon Buns

I think Cinnamon Buns are one of my all-time favourite sweet treats. It has to be good though – a flaky supermarket cinnamon swirl won’t cut it. It needs to be soft and bready, heavily spiced, sweet, sticky. There’s a Swedish Cafe in Putney that makes insaneelyyyy good ones (Blabar is also damn Instagrammable!) and quite honestly it’s a good thing we’re moving a teeny bit further away. Longer walk = more room for cake, right?!

 photo Cinnamon Rolls_zpseyjrrgca.jpgOne thing I’ve never done, however, is bake my own. Up until a few weeks ago that is! I’ve always shied away from sweet bread recipes. Enriched doughs tend to be horribly sticky and my slightly intolerant nature means I’m likely to swear and strop at it rather than lovingly knead until smooth. I subscribe to the generally knead-free bread bible written by James Morton, but this approach doesn’t exactly work for sweeter recipes.

 photo IMG_8322_zpsaizebahe.jpgEnter my new Kenwood kMix Stand Mixer.*

The dough hook means I don’t need to get up close and personal with sticky dough, my worksurfaces stay smear-free and I genuinely get to keep me cool. A definite bonus given this last week of heat – kneading dough is the last thing I want to be doing! However if you don’t have the lifesaving mixer, simply knead by hand for 15-20 minutes until smooth…

 photo Cinnamon Buns 19_zpsjkzjxhju.jpg photo Cinnamon Buns 6_zpsish6ndaw.jpgThe end result is a soft, bread-y roll, heavily spiced, sticky-sweet and totally delicious. I enjoyed mine for dessert, for breakfast, as a snack. Warm, cold, alone, with ice-cream, dipped into hot chocolate. All delicious. Very addictive. You have been warned!

Ingredients (Made 8 hugeeee ones)

  • 65g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 325g plain flour
  • 10g dried instant yeast
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100ml “blue” (full fat) milk
  • 45ml single cream – mix together with the milk
  • Filling: 40g caster sugar, 60g unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • For glazing: 1 medium egg, 30ml golden syrup, 2 teaspoons caster sugar

Make the dough: beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix the flour, a pinch of salt and the yeast together. Gradually add the milk and cream, and the flour mixture, alternating and mixing well. The dough will be sticky! Then knead until smooth. Cover with a clean tea towel leave to rise for an hour before rolling out to a rectangle (around 1.5cm thick).

Fill and shape: beat together the sugar and butter for the filling until light and fluffy. Spread over the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon. Use a knife to cut the dough into strips, around 1.5cm to 2cm wide. We went for 2cm and they were a little big for my liking! Roll up the strips like a snail and place on a baking tray (line with greaseproof!). Leave to rise for around 45-60 minutes, then brush with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C.

Glaze: mix the golden syrup with an equal amount of water. Brush over the rolls, sprinkle with the sugar and allow to cool slight. Best eaten within a day or so – though they freeze quite well (and make a good on-the-go breakfast…).

 photo Cinnamon Buns 20_zpsircskul6.jpg photo Cinnamon Buns 12_zpsblutyly7.jpgNow, whilst I wish I could take all the credit, this recipe was inspired by The New Nordic (the perfect coffee table book!); I’ve removed the cardamon as I’m not the biggest fan, cut down the sugar a little and of course upped the cinnamon! Yum, yum yum! I’m craving these right now as I sit here typing!

What’s your favourite sweet treat?

Lifestyle: A Swedish Supper @ The Stockholm Restaurant & Deli, Mortlake

A day in London with W isn’t the same without discovering some new little place to eat (and a trip to Wahaca of course!). A few weeks ago we were wandering around Mortlake and stumbled across this hidden gem. Stockholm Restaurant & Deli was the perfect way to spend a leisurely lunch. Quiet and relaxed, small and intimate, it served the most delicious food.

 photo IMG_0811_zpsmfbncz9z.jpgIncluded was a free salad bar. Far fresher than the horrors offered by the Harvester, this was just three choices alongside some rye bread, butter and crackers. A sweetcorn salsa, a cabbage slaw-type mix, and some form of tomato mix. No soggy leaves, no gloopy dressing, it was all zingy, fresh and filled a hole as our mains were cooked from scratch. The rye bread in particular was stunning, I could’ve eaten a plate of it.

 photo IMG_0805_zpslktjgpv1.jpg photo IMG_0806_zpscjmlx1ez.jpgW went with the classic Swedish Meatballs for his lunch (see my recipe). Served with mash and jam, it was utter perfection. There’s something so lovely about Swedish Meatballs, I adore them. These were juicy, with the sauce being rich and impossibly full-flavoured. The mash was the best I’ve tasted (sorry mum!)

 photo IMG_0804_zpsh4qs54pe.jpgI went more unusual, and ordered the Prinskorv – a type of Swedish sausage which came with a potato salad and beetroot. Utter heaven, and writing this is making me crave it. I’ve never had a sausage like it. Crisp on the outside (I watched them set fire to it in the kitchens – deliberate or not it was a good move!), with a coarse texture within, it was salty, tasting slightly spicy and cured. The potato salad was warm and rich, with a herby kick. The picked beetroot was ten times better than the jarred stuff – and I love that so this was right up my street.

 photo IMG_0810_zpso7ojry8i.jpgAlmost too full for pudding, we split a Cinnamon Bun instead. Sticky, sugary, spicy – I’d travel out to Mortlake just to pick up one of these.

It’s a bit out of the way, but I wouldn’t hesitate to visit Stockholm again. Their specials menu was ridiculous good value for money at £7.50 for a main course (my meal was off this menu), but even the full menu was pretty cheap for the quality. A different cuisine, different flavours, well worth the visit.

Have your tried Swedish food before?

Recipe: Swedish Meatballs

 photo 2014-03-15183941_zps3370449a.jpgI’m not entirely sure where it came from (I’ve never been to Ikea, let alone had their meatballs!) but a few months ago I ended up with a massive craving for meatballs. This coincided with a weekend my boyfriend was visiting, and we did our usual ‘late evening bargain hunt to Waitrose’ where we came across some Duchy Originals pork meatballs at an astonishly good price. Like triple check and ask again at the checkout price…unbelievably cheap! A bit of googling around and we decided to make up our own recipe, but bought a couple of things we decided were ‘essential.’

A few months on and I’ve been tweaking the recipe to my own tastes, and budget when I’ve been unable to find bargain meatballs. I take no shame in admitting I made ‘meatballs’ out of sausages (I do regularly for pasta bakes, but for some reason I feel embarrassed for admitting it in this recipe!), and bulked it out with mushrooms when I was feeling really poor towards the end of term…

 photo 2014-03-15183048_zps8d1bac03.jpgThe recipe here is the best version I’ve come up with, rich but tangy sauce, smooth and creamy, but with a bite from the mustard, sweetness from honey, and freshness from dill. This recipe has reminded me exactly how much I love dill! Its one of the quicker dinners I make, something comforting when I don’t feel like being a slave to my slow cooker. Perfect for this time of the year, on those grey days when it feels like we’ve regressed back into winter. Let me know how you find it, I certainly feel like its a hug on a plate!

Ingredients (Quantities for 1)

  • Meatballs – as many as you can afford/manage. I always find making then smaller makes the portion size seem more generous!
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1.5tsp mustard (mustard powder might be more useful on a budget, longer lasting than fresh!)
  • Splash of cream (I used around 50ml of soya cream)
  • Three/four sprigs of fresh dill
  • To serve: pasta, or creamy mashed potatoes. The sauce goes wonderfully with broccoli too!

Now let’s be making some meatballs…

 photo 2014-03-15181021_zps3c09f37e.jpgBrown your meatballs in a little oil. You want them to be really brown, and with an almost crunchy outside. Little bits of burnt bits taste good too! Once browned, place in a warm oven.

 photo 2014-03-15181604_zpsf122d6a9.jpgTilt your pan so you have a pool of oil/meatball juice. Stir your flour into this, and cook for a few minutes. Then gradually add your stock, stirring constantly.

 photo 2014-03-15181956_zps7d033a42.jpgAdd your mustard, honey, and some salt/pepper.

 photo 2014-03-15182743_zpsffaccdec.jpgThen pile your meatballs back in the pan, along with your cream. Bubble over a low heat until the meatballs are cooked through. Add some chopped dill around halfway through the bubbling time.

 photo 2014-03-15183048_zps8d1bac03.jpgServe with spaghetti or mashed potato, topped with a little extra dill.

 photo 2014-03-15183936_zpsdeb574b0.jpg

Do you like Swedish style meatballs?