Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Baking new friends

Well, there's nothing like getting stuck into the kitchen to get you feeling settled into a new home. And indeed nothing quite so effective as bribing your new flatmates into liking you with a few sugary treats. So, last week I endeavoured to get to grips with my new kitchen and a foreign language baking aisle and got to work making some Swedish cinnamon buns. Not very Belgian I know but anyway.
It happened to be Sweden's national holiday last week, and I'd love to say that I baked these in honour of  the day and my new Swedish friend from French class (yes I'm learning French...badly), but I didn't. The thought never even entered my mind. I made them because I saw a post with a recipe for them online and they brought to mind the most delicious cinnamon buns I ever had courtesy of the lads at 3fe on Grand Canal Street in Dublin. If you're ever passing, those boys have good buns. I thoroughly recommend them. So, being a bit far from Grand Canal Dock right now, and craving these most tasty of treats I set about making my own.
Honestly, they were a bit of a disaster. First of all, I didn't use nearly enough sugar, or cinnamon, or butter for that matter, when I rolled them up. For which, I didn't have a rolling pin and had to improvise. Then I over-baked them thanks to my new oven being ridiculously hot. So the end result was a not very flavourful, slightly dry/semi burned bun. They were rescued a bit by the addition of a sugar glaze at the end, which once again reinforced that oh so valuable lesson, sugar improves everything!
Long story short, I'm not sure they won me any great kudos with the new flatmates but getting stuck into baking is making me feel more at home, and even if they have to pretend to enjoy the spoils, it's nice to have people to bake for.

Never one to be put off, and with more new friends to be bribed at a gathering this evening, I decided to give them another go today. Having bought myself a rolling pin at the weekend and having read the recipe more thoroughly this time, I was all set for round two. And I'm happy to say they were much more of a success. The sugar glaze was such a saviour last time, I decided to stick with it and though it's not in the recipe and probably would be frowned upon by the swedes, I think it's a good addition.

The recipe can be found here.
For the sugar glaze you simply heat some castor sugar with some water. I used about 50g sugar for 125ml of water and I added some cinnamon for that extra hit! When you have a slightly sticky consistency you can dip the buns into the syrup to coat the top of them.

dough ready for prooving

it should double in size

filling of butter, sugar and cinnamon. (check out my cool new rolling pin)

all ready for a second prove