17 October 2013

A Whiff of the country life

Rather than pottering about in the bustlin' smoke & impoverishing my quivering bank account even more or beavering away at uni assignments in my little room of ice (let's face it, never going to happen), I'm hopping on the train & headin' home for a big 'ol mighty Autumn reunion with the very best! 

Buckets of steamin' tea, mama Salmon's scrumptious Aga delights, muddy country stomps & some stolen snuggles with my main man Coco. 

I can't think of anything better right now.

It also happens to be the birthday of one of my big brothers so I suppose I should make an appearance & wish him a raucous affair. 

Saying that, the nature of his presents most definitely defy the age he'll be turning...but he happens to do a mighty fine job of doing that himself with his monkey shenanigans & playful remarks.

Wild guess as to who the birthday boy is.

But it's this little guy whose face I can't wait to smoosh with my own...

Chillin' out, maxin' relaxin'

I'm missing my little noodle. 
He's the most adorable little guy you'll clap eyes on..he's a mute little mouse but an absolute bundle of charm & full of beans. 
He'll run into doors, trip over his own feet, get himself tangled in a heap of trampoline strings but his happy little tail never stops swinging. 

Such a fine specimen of a chap.

His snugglin' skills are also second to none

Booming laughter, rough tough comfort treats & some filthy stomps through the big bad woods, all washed down with mountainous tipples of wine & late night chats...escaping back home will be the perfect antidote to my hustlin' bustlin' daily grind of Cardiff! 

Oh the woes of being a University student.

Hurry up Thursday you flirty minx, I want miss Friday to flash us a cheeky glimpse & bring me one step closer to some countryside mischief! 

My wellies are lookin' a little too clean for my liking...


04 October 2013

Juicy buns in the oven

So guess what?! Here I am, whittling away on my laptop trying to get a scrummy cinnamon bun post up for you today & I find out it's cinnamon bun day!! A shocking yet marvellous coincidence. Totally planned of course. 
Sometimes I really do surpass my own expectations. 

Anyway, time to roll on with the show...

With the insistent showers of Cardiff not letting up anytime soon, it's time to get a lil sunshine lovin' blasting in through your windows. Without hesitation, let me introduce you to my sinfully juicy hot buns. 

Not those type of buns you filthy cretins. I mean these rich, buttery, sultry morsels...

Gooey, toasty, melt-on your tongue cinnamon rolls, slathered in a sticky blanket of sweet icing.

They're singlehandedly an utter winner to tuck into for breakfast. 
With pillowy folds of golden dough you can sink your gnashers into & a sprinkling of warming spice nestled amongst swirly ribbons of caramelised sugar, what better way is there to rouse you from your sleepy slumber? 

Golden, crunchy & downright delicious.

Go on, whittle up a batch of these luscious ladies.
Tomorrow morning, when you stumble over to the coffee machine in your cookie monster pj's, you won't be muttering when one of these sugar nuggets is gettin' all toasty in the microwave & making a beeline for your grumblin' belly. 

Cinnamon sugar breakfast buns: 
Yields 12-14 rolls

I was lazy & used some we had hiding away in the freezer but if makin' from scratch, give this recipe a crack:

375g all-purpose flour
56g sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet of yeast
60ml water
118ml milk
113g butter
1 large egg


A majestical sprinkling of cinnamon (roughly 2 tablespoons)
170g dark muscovado sugar
113g melted butter
Handful of currants, e.g.raisins, cranberries (optional)


250g icing sugar
2 heaped teaspoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk


Dough: Whack 2/3 of your flour, the yeast sachet, sugar & salt into a medium sized bowl. 
Then, simmering on a medium heat, slowly heat the milk, water & butter in a saucepan until it's sizzlin' & pipin' hot (whip out a thermometer & wait until it reaches around 120°-130°...if you want to be a savvy-technical whiz kid). I'm not, so I just take a cheeky guess as to when I think it's finito.
Back to your mixing bowl, stir in your wet, hot ingredients & give everything a big 'ol stir until combined. 
Then, crack in your egg & the remaining 1/3 of your flour & beat until you're left with a smooth as a baby's bum mixture.
Now it's time to get down & dirty - get your hands in that bowl & shape the mix into a round ball, making sure not to knead the dough at this point.

Pop a wet tea towel over your bowl & leave it to rise for 10 minutes, nestled in a warm, cosy corner somewhere. 
If you're a country bumpkin in possession of a beautiful Aga, then now's your cue to feel smug. Lucky bugger.

Scramble about in your kitchen cupboard & pull out a cupcake tin. This is going to work perfectly for baking your lil individual rolls without the mess!

Heat your oven to 180 °C & grease your tin with a slick of melted butter.

Fish out your homemade ball of dough (or unwrap the cling film from the one you've scavenged...) grab a rolling pin & on a floured surface, begin to roll it out until it's about 1-1 1/2 inches thick.

Try & roll it out into a rectangle shape as this'll make it easier when it comes to rolling the whole baby up.

Mine didn't quite resemble a rectangle in the end. 
Again, wholly intentional of course.

Voila! Just marvel at the beautiful symmetry there.

Next, pop your butter into the microwave to sizzle on down to a runny, buttery syrup. 
With a pastry brush or a spoon, slop a good 'ol dollop of it onto your dough & spread it out evenly.

Casually just gleaming away, relishing the limelight. 

It's time to get the filling crack-a-lackin'! 
Snatch up your cinnamon & sprinkle away like there's no tomorrow! There's no knead to be neat here, it's a creative masterpiece in the making...

Layer over a hunky covering of some dark muscovado sugar.
If that's not enough to get your heart singin', grab some raisins, cranberries, walnuts, whatever takes your fancy & pepper them on top.

Time to get these buns on the roll!
With steady hands & a patient tummy, roll it up like a jellyroll. Start from whatever side feels more comfortable but remember to roll from the longer side of the rectangle!

Mum's sports day pep talks, though not befitting for a competitive 3rd grade running race, appear to be very apt here...slow & steady wins the race.

With a knife, slice up your sausage into roughly 12-14 evenly sliced pieces.

Pop your slices into the lightly greased pan you prepared earlier & whack them into the oven to golden & toast for around 20-30 minutes.

If they get too carried away in the heat & tan too much, pop a sheet of foil on top of them until their cookin' time is up.

Whilst they're in the oven, measure out your icing sugar & sieve it into bowl. 
I was a tad alarmed at the amount going in at first..but dough be afraid! 
It all whittles down to a rather underwhelming amount in the end...

Snag your sticky, gooey golden syrup & drop it into your icing sugar.

Splash in your vanilla extract & milk & let it all mingle.

 Grab your buns from the oven. They should have beefed up, crisped up & be smouldering in all their beautiful glory by now.

I wish you could smell these through the screen.
Smells like candy-canes at Chriiiistmas.

With a spoon, gather a mound of your icing & drizzle the goods all over the little nuggets. 

Don't be stingy here. Go. To. Town.
Get that sweet, heavenly glaze dripping from all corners & snuggling in every nook & cranny.

Flick the switch on the kettle, pick out a stonkin' big mug & fill it to the brim with tea or coffee.

Wiggle yourself into the sofa & munch your way through the swirls of crispy, caramelised sugar & cinnamon explosions.  

Suagr n' spice n' all things nice. These little sunshine buns are like sugar for the soul.

What can I say? I like big buns & I cannot lie.

 Hola National cinnamon bun day!

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