I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I somehow ended up marrying a man who hates soup. I know! I mean, I love soup in all forms and all its glory. From chicken noodle to ramen to country vegetable, you’ll be hard pressed to find a week this time of year where I don’t whip up a bowl and slurp away to my heart’s content. I love it because it’s warming, I love it because it’s easy (…and – I’m just throwing it out there – it kind of helps that it usually comes with a hulking chunk of crusty bread). But according to Sunny, it’s not food, it’s (get this…)SUSTENANCE. Apparently it’s boring. It’s bland. It’s… bleughhh (whatever that means). You get the point.
So I kind of made it my mission this Autumn to find a soup that he will eat, so that I can eat more of the stuff (win-win, right?). And I think I’ve found it! We’re both big fans of Mexican Food, it’s our weekly jam; Burrito Bowls, Quesadillas, Chilli con no Carne (Quorn Mince, yo; it’s brilliant) are foods we can definitely agree on. He loves the beans and the smoky chipotle heat, I love the tomato and pepper based sauces and – let’s be honest – all the cheese. So I thought, why not throw all that (minus the cheese) into soup form? And that’s exactly what I did. Roasted tomatoes and peppers, chipotle chilli paste and coconut milk make up the stew, while the added onions, borlotti beans and butter beans bring in a little texture. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s absolutely delicious (and vegan friendly) – and best of all? The hubs totally agrees. Boo-ya. 😉
Creamy Mexican Red Pepper and Bean Stew
So good you’ll want seconds…
1 red romano pepper, chopped
250g mixed baby tomatoes, sliced
1 white onion, diced
1 can of butter beans
1 can of borlotti beans
good glug of olive oil
2 tbsp chipotle chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1tsp barbecue sauce(oh yes…)
1 can of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream to serve
fresh coriander to garnish
Set your oven to 180C. Throw the chopped red pepper and sliced tomatoes into an oven proof dish with 1 tbsp of the chipotle chilli paste, season with black pepper and then roast for 30 minutes.
Pop a deep cooking pot on the hob on a medium heat with some oil. Fry up the garlic paste and 1 tbsp of the chipotle chilli paste with the diced onion – until translucent.
Pour in the roasted pepper and tomatoes, then add the paprika, coriander and barbecue sauce. Stir until well-combined. Pour in the butter and borlotti beans, and then the coconut milk and water. Stir well to combine.
Crank up the heat and allow the stew to boil. Pop on a lid, turn the head down and allow the stew to simmer for about 20 minutes – stirring occasionally.
Season, then serve with fresh sour cream and chopped, fresh coriander. Yum!
You can watch a video of me making this soup over on IGTV. Have a lovely week everyone – keep warm! 🙂
Happy Monday! Halloween and Bonfire Night are done and dusted, Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland opened up last week and Morgan’s Arcade is kitted out like Diagon Alley again, which can only mean one thing. The C word (…no, not that one – behave, you!). Dare I say it? Christmas… is coming. And before you panic and hurl your phone at me, let me just tell you; I’m nowhere near ready. I promise. My tree is still firmly tucked away in its box in the garage, I’ve yet to hear Mariah Carey wailing away over my car radio and it’s waaaaay too soon to go scrolling through the Christmas category on Netflix (for me, anyway…). But, the one Christmassy thing that is in full swing over on my end is Christmas Shopping. I mean, I’d love to be that person who has a brainwave in March and starts picking up presents as and when she sees them, but nope, the panic sets in at the end of October and sees me right through until the last present has been ticked off the list.
That being said, I do love shopping for presents – and Christmas Shopping is the one time that I’ll actually head out and do it rather than slob on the sofa and Amazon Prime it – just because, I absolutely adore Cardiff at Christmas time. I love trotting up and down the high street to the tune of the Salvation Army and I love pottering around in the Arcades for those quirky, one off gifts that I simply can’t find online or elsewhere. So, once a year I put up a Cardiff Christmas Shopping Guide to shine a light on the amazing shopping Cardiff has to offer, but also the best pit-stops for a coffee (or a gin, let’s be honest) along the way.
This year, my guide’s going live just in time to tell you all about City of Arcades Day – which is happening on Saturday the 16th of November. There’ll be lots going on in the seven arcades dotted across Cardiff City Centre, including live music and plenty of offers in store. If one of the shops on my list has something special going on, then I’ve jotted it down in red. 🙂
Home & Gifts
Illustrate (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Unique graphic prints, t-shirts and accessories. My husband and I have a whole zoo-ful of Tobias’ Zentangle Animal Prints on our walls at home! Definitely worth checking out. Check out the online store here.
Oliver Bonas (The Hayes)
Perfect for: I think I’d quite happily set up camp and squat in any Oliver Bonas Store! It’s a trove-full of quirky homeware, books and gifts – but also beautiful fashion and accessories.
Flying Tiger (St Davids)
Perfect for: Quirky stationary and stocking fillers. Tiger also always has the best (and cheapest!) party supplies and decorations. When it comes to banners, baking accessories, candles, napkins and nick-nacks, Tiger is the place to go.
Creative Cardiff (The Capitol)
Perfect for: Shop full of products and gifts run by local artists and creatives.
The Joke Shop (Duke Street Arcade)
Perfect for: Fancy Dress Costumes, practical jokes and stocking fillers a plenty. Perfect if you’re planning on dressing up as Santa, or you’ve got pranks planned around the Christmas dinner table.
Scribbler (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Quirky Christmas cards, Secret Santa gifts and small stocking fillers.
Forbidden Planet (5, Duke Street)
Perfect for: Comic books, cult action figures and collectibles. If you’ve got a Sheldon Cooper to buy for then you’ll already know about Forbidden Planet and are probably a frequent visitor.
The Pen and Paper (Royal Arcade – Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Pens and Paper! One of the best places in Cardiff to go for ink, card, pens, notebooks, art supplies, calendars and diaries.
*City of Arcades Day: Block Printing Demo with Sarah Walker from 11.30am – 3pm.
Rules of Play (Castle Quarter Arcades)
Perfect for: Christmas isn’t Christmas without some kind of board game, right? Whether you’re a Cards Against Humanity fan or prefer to rinse the relatives at Monopoly then Rules of Play has got you covered.
*City of Arcades Day: 10% Off Modern Classics including Catan and Pandemic.
Castle Emporium (Womanby Street)
Perfect for: Market full of independent retailers selling clothing, jewellery, second hand books, artwork and skateboarding equipment.
Camera Centre UK (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Cameras, Lenses and Equipment for the budding photographer (or blogger) in your family.
*City of Arcades Day: Half price prints, exclusive deals on Sony Alpha cameras and lenses as well as free family portrait photography ALL DAY.
Buddug (Castle Arcade)
Perfect for: Beautiful Welsh themed gifts and jewellery.
*City of Arcades Day: Free Christmas Card and Mince Pie with every purchase.
Galactic Attic (High Street Arcade)
Perfect for: Vintage and retro toys, comic books and collectibles!
*City of Arcades Day: 15% off purchases all day, and a free photo with a Stormtrooper between 12pm to 2pm.
Shop Wales (Queens Arcade)
Perfect for: Welsh-themed gifts.
*City of Arcades Day: Free special edition Wales Toblerone with every purchase over £25.
The Welsh Shop (Castle Quarter Arcades)
Perfect for: Welsh-themed gifts and traditional, hand-crafted Love Spoons.
Beauty & Toiletries
Miss Patisserie (online and in Boots, St Davids)
Perfect for: Handmade Cosmetics, Bath Bombs, Candles. Tucked away in one of the Victorian Arcades (just off St John Street) Miss Patisserie is my go-to if I’ve got a pamper session planned – their bath balls are the bomb-diggity (much slower to fizzle out than, y’know, that *other* highstreet handmade cosmetics brand, and they create beautiful tie-dye swirls in the tub). All their products are handmade, vegan and cruelty free and downright gorgeous.
Neal’s Yard Remedies (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Natural Remedies; I think you’d be hard pressed to find a Mama who isn’t a big fan of their soothing hand lotions.
*City of Arcades Day: Cuppa and a free 15-minute aromatherapy hand massage with free samples from the frankincense range.
Molton Brown (The Hayes)
Perfect for: Beautiful toiletries and perfumes (My Mum’s a massive fan – I don’t think she’d ever be caught dead with a plain ol’ Carex hand soap in her downstairs loo!).
*City of Arcades Day: Complimentary hand and arm massages, fragrance consultations and a free fragrance sample to take home.
Jo Malone (The Hayes)
Perfect for: Gorgeous high end candles, perfumes and toiletries.
L’Occitane (St Davids)
Perfect for: French toiletries – beautiful soaps, shower gels and hand creams.
Kiehls (St Davids)
Perfect for:Cult skincare products for men and women (I can’t rave more about their Midnight Recovery Oil).
Lush Shop and Spa (Queen Street)
Perfect for:Handmade cosmetics, bath bombs and toiletries. Definitely check out the upstairs spa (such a cosy space!) if you fancy treating your SO to a day of pampering!
Most of the big names can be found dotted between Queen Street and The Hayes, with the majority tucked away in St David’s Arcade.
Hobos (High Street Arcade)
Perfect for:One of the oldest shops in Cardiff for vintage and second-hand clothing and accessories.
Shop Rugby (Duke Street)
Perfect for:Rugby Shirts, kits and accessories – as well as a few Welsh and Rugby-themed gifts.
*City of Arcades Day: Spin the wheel, win a prize all day.
Diba (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for:Clothing and accessories made in Wales using only natural fabrics like silk, cotton, wool and banana leaf!
*City of Arcades Day: 10% off all day.
Jon Ian (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for:Classic Cardiff Store selling designer shoes and handbags.
*City of Arcades Day: 10% off all day.
Sobeys Vintage (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Vintage clothing and accessories.
*City of Arcades Day: 10% off all day.
White Stuff (The Hayes)
Perfect for: Cosy fashion (and a few homeware and gifts) – the perfect place to find a Christmas Jumper!
*City of Arcades Day: 15% off full price items.
Urban Outfitters (The Hayes)
Perfect for: Quirky fashion with a vintage feel, but their homeware and gift section is where you want to be this time of year…
Kiti Cymru (Pontcanna Mews)
Perfect for: Fashion boutique in Pontcanna with carefully curated fashion from brands such as Lily & Lionel, Tatty Devine and Traffic People.
*City of Arcades Day: Entry into a free raffle with every purchase.
31 The Store (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Independent menswear store in Cardiff with products exclusive to Wales.
Route One (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Street wear and Action Sports clothing.
Two Seasons (Queens Arcade)
Perfect for: Ski, skate and surf shop selling main brands of clothing and equipment for adults and kids.
Cardiff Indoor Market
Perfect for: Cardiff’s indoor market is over a hundred years old and still going strong. It’s a great place to hit up if you need home hardware, specialist foodie gifts, pet supplies, sewing and crafty gifts and vinyl records. It’s absolutely criminal to come away without buying a bag of ten Welsh Cakes from Bakestones. Also, they’ve got their Night Market this week on Thursday (14th) from 6 til late.
Cardiff Outdoor Christmas Market
Perfect for: Opening this week on the 14th of November and running all the way through until the 23rd of December, the Christmas Market is one of the best places to support independent Welsh Brands and pick up one of a kind gifts. Find a list of this year’s vendors here.
Perfect for:(*16th and 17th of November only) Market packed full of stalls by local brands, crafters, makers and creatives. £1 entry – find out more information here.
Food & Drink
Wally’s Delicatessen and Kaffe Haus (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for: Foodie gift central. Wally’s has its own unique aroma, you’ll smell the spices and cured meat long before you step inside. It’s definitely the place to go if you’re looking for things to go into a Christmas hamper, as well as hot sauces, biscuits, chocolates, cheeses, pannettone and Christmas pudding. They’ve also got a coffee shop on the second floor.
*City of Arcades Day: Buy an open sandwich or platter from the Kaffehaus and get one half price. Sample Hensol Castle Distillery’s range of Crawshay’s Gins and Gin Liqueurs. Buy One Gin, Get One Liqueur Free
Wally’s Liquor Cellar (Castle Arcade – next to Gin and Juice)
Perfect for: Wines, drinks and spirits. Perfect if you’re looking to gift some quirky drinks or liquors – including Welsh-brewed products – or stock up for New Year’s Eve!
*City of Arcades Day: 10% off all purchases of Cloven Hoof products.
Vom Fass (High Street Arcade)
Perfect for: Specialist Oils and Spirits in aesthetically pleasing and quirky jars and bottles.
Bean Freaks (St Mary’s Street)
Perfect for: Natural foods, remedies and beauty products.
*City of Arcades Day: Free Goody Bag with every purchase.
Simply V (Castle Arcade)
Perfect for:Vegan groceries, toiletries and clothing.
City of Arcades Day: Get 10% off all purchases except non-food items.
Perfect for: Cheesy gifts, literally! Specialty cheeses and hampers. They also offer Cheese and Wine Tasting evenings from £25 a head which my Dad would be all over.
Bird and Blend (Castle Arcade)
Perfect for: Quirky Loose Leaf Tea Blends and Mixology. It’s just moved in to the old spot next to Troutmark Books where the Harry Potter Store used to be; I popped in the other day to see what it was all about and was blown away by all the beautiful tea!
Fabulous Welshcakes (Castle Arcade)
Perfect for: Beautifully made Welsh Cakes in lots of quirky flavours!
*City of Arcades Day: Limited edition salted caramel welsh cakes.
Books & Music
Spillers (Morgan Quarter)
Perfect for:LEGENDARY. CDs and Vinyl. The world’s oldest record shop and a Cardiff institution. ‘Nuff said.
*City of Arcades Day: Live music and DJ sets from 5pm until late.
Cranes (High Street/Lower End of St Mary’s Street)
Perfect for: Gifts for musicians. Cranes is the Mecca for Cardiff Musicians and the place to go to buy instruments and accessories.
Troutmark Books (Castle Arcade)
Perfect for: Lovely secondhand book store tucked away in Castle Arcade. Great place to pick up a secondhand gem! 🙂
Coffee Shops & Pitstops
Barker Tea House (High Street Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: Free mini Bakestones Welsh Cake with any Large, Hot Drink.
Nata & Co (Castle Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: Get 15% off all flavours.
Crumbs (Morgan Quarter)
The Plan (Morgan Quarter)
Llaeth a Siwgr (Yr Hen Llyfrgell)
Big Moose Coffee (Frederick Street)
Science Cream (Castle Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: 20% off Hot Drinks.
Arcade Vault Retro Gaming Cafe
*City of Arcades Day: Mario Kart 8 Charity Tournament.
Gin & Juice (Castle Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: Special Show Case of Gins with recommended garnishes and tonics.
Uncommon Ground (Morgan Quarter)
Waterloo Tea (Wyndham Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: Get 20% off gifted teapots and a free sample of loose-leaf tea with any tea that is bought to drink inside.
Hard Lines (Cardiff Indoor Market and Castle Emporium)
The New York Deli (High Street Arcade)
Coffee Barker (Castle Arcade)
*City of Arcades Day: Free mini Bakestones Welsh Cake with any Large, Hot Drink.
Happy Shopping! If you’ve got any Cardiff Christmas Shopping suggestions then I’d love to hear them – I’m always discovering new favourites! 🙂
Happy first of November! I don’t know about you – and I’ve definitely seen a few people talking about it over on Twitter and Instagram – but as soon as the clocks go back and Halloween hits, it feels like time suddenly puts pedal to the metal and zooms right on through all the celebrations from now until the New Year. We don’t get a break! Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving (if you’re American), Christmas, New Year – bam, bam, bam! There are loads of birthdays in my family this time of year too – from my husband (who’s hitting a ripe old age tomorrow) to my brother, and then on to me! Oh, and then there’s the General Election (*groan* and that’s about as much as I’m going to comment about it on here). With all that rushing around in the weeks ahead, it’s definitely important to steal a few quiet moments when you can just to chill and stop your head spinning for a bit. And my preferred method is definitely stealing away with a slab of chocolate, a hot drink and a good book or magazine.
While I’m most definitely a tea fanatic, I do love the odd hot chocolate this time of year – and usually in the evening. But let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the powdered stuff you reach for in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep – the stuff we’re talking about is made with real chocolate and is basically the great granddaughter of the so-called “Drink of the Gods” that all the nobility were obsessed with in the 18th century. It was brought over to Europe by the Spanish Conquistador Cortés and it became so popular so quickly (once they’d sweetened it with a little sugar) that it was even served up during the auto-da-fé of the Spanish Inquisition, and women became so obsessed with it that they insisted on swigging it during church! Lots of those Spanish noblewomen ended up marrying French noblemen and so the obsession spread. Parisian Hot Chocolate (“Chocolat Chaud”) is much thicker, and much richer than your regular cup of cocoa (yo yo), and pours into the cup like lava. It’s literally melted chocolate that you can drink. It’s so easy to make; too easy in fact, especially given that the traditional recipe calls for both whole milk and double cream before you even get around to adding in the chocolate. My recipe is a slightly skinnier version and uses just three ingredients, but it’s just as dreamy as the original and makes enough for two large cups (or four small taster cups). Even better, flask it up and take it along with you on bonfire night! Once you’ve cracked the base recipe, you can get creative adding flavoured syrups and spices – or even give it a go using different types of chocolate. 🙂
Parisian Hot Chocolate – “Chocolat Chaud”
You’ll never drink the instant stuff again (and you’re going to hate me for it)…
450ml skimmed milk
150ml double cream
150g of whatever chocolate you fancy (I really like Dark Milk Chocolate for this recipe; it’s got a higher cocoa content and so isn’t too sweet, but still has that creamy taste you’d expect from a bar of milk chocolate.)
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy – or just enjoy as is.
This recipe is so easy it should be criminal. First, pour the skimmed milk and double cream into a saucepan and then crank up the heat, stirring gently until you start to see small bubbles forming around the outside. Whatever you do, you don’t want the mixture to boil – so as soon as you start to see those bubbles, turn the heat down as low as you can.
Next, throw in your chocolate and stir until it’s completely melted into the milk and cream mixture.
Pour into cups and enjoy! It’s that easy! 😉
Have a cosy weekend guys, it’s going to be a gloomy one! 🙂
Did somebody say “Just… Make it Yourself”? Oooooh!
Alright, alright – I know that trudging off to the kitchen and just cooking something yourself kind of defeats the whole object of a Takeaway, but y’know what, sometimes there’s the rare evening where you really fancy takeaway food but just don’t want to fork out for delivery (…because *maybe* you forked out on a brand new silk shirt earlier in the week – naming no names, itwasme). Maybe you planned for a takeaway, but – boo – it’s that one day of the week where your local’s closed. Maybe you’re on a healthy eating kick and the thought of the obligatory oil slick at the bottom of an Indian takeaway pot puts you just a little bit on edge. Or, maybe you just fancy cooking something from scratch. Hey, it can happen!
You can’t beat a well-timed Takeaway, but then again, a quick and easy homemade dupe – a “Fakeaway” – can be just as satisfying. With that in mind, I’ve trawled the archives to find five of my favourite homemade takeaway dupes, most of which can be whipped up pronto tonto using ingredients bashing around in the back of your cupboard or the bottom of your freezer using a few nifty shortcuts. No delivery charges, no grease. Noice! 🙂
Cheat’s Mango Chicken
I think this quick and easy recipe for Mango Chicken has to be top of the pops (in my book, anyway) when it comes to a good Fakeaway. If you’ve got twenty minutes to spare, some frozen chicken nuggets and a jar of mango chutney banging around at the back of your cupboard, then you’re sorted. Sweet, sticky and oh so satisfying, give it a glow-up with some diced, fresh mango and sliced green onions – and you can even swap out the chicken nuggets for quorn or battered cod if you’re so inclined. Yum!
Easy Green Thai Noodle Soup
Do you remember those cheapo packets of instant noodles from the supermarket? The basic ones that came with a little flavour sachet in either chicken, vegetable or curry flavour? I used to be absolutely obsessed with them when I was in sixth form (many, many years ago when I knew how to cook instant noodles, scrambled egg and that was about it – good times!) – they cost about 30p a pack (back then!) and made such a quick and easy lunch. Well, believe it or not, they’re the star of this show. The flavour sachet makes a cracking base stock for this Green Thai Noodle Soup, along with a can of coconut milk and Thai Green Curry Paste. Thow in some spring greens and a few sliced mushrooms, and you’re done!
Korean Chicken Dak-Galbi
I’m still very much a beginner when it comes to Korean Food, but what I’ve tried so far I absolutely love – and if you’re a fan of chilli-based Asian food then I’m sure you will too.Dak-Galbiis basically Korean Pub Food. You’ll need to get your hands on a jar of Gochujang Chilli Paste (usually to be found on Amazon) which makes up a big part of the sweet and spicy sauce, but everything else is pretty simple and creates a cracking mid-week recipe to pull out of the bag for whenever you fancy a stir-fry that’s a little bit different.
Spicy Singapore Noodles
I can’t order a Chinese Takeaway without a super spicy serving of Singapore Noodles making the list. For me, the bright yellow, curried vermicelli is a must-order, and even better blitzed in the microwave for lunch the following day. It’s such a favourite of mine that I had to learn how to make it myself. As long as you’ve got a pack of dried noodles (rice are obviously best, but use whatever you’ve got/fancy), some curry powder, rice wine and soy sauce then you can whip up the marinade in no time. In terms of veg and meat (or no meat), it’s entirely up to you what you throw into the wok. A great recipe for making using of what you’ve got.
Sticky Honey Chicken
Here’s a new way to scoff the classic chicken dipper (although this recipe would be just as good with quorn or, hey, even some diced halloumi would work well). The hardest part of this recipe for Sticky Honey Chicken is whipping up the sauce – but even that’s a doddle, and can be made ahead of time using a few bottled ingredients in your cupboard. Once the chicken and rice are cooked, it takes less than ten minutes to put together – the perfect Fakeaway solution to a Monday night in!
Let me know what your favourite takeaway (or Fakeaway!) meal is in the comments below – I’m always looking for new recipes to try out! Have a great week! 🙂
“My Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon…”
So, I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with Conspiracy Theory Podcasts. I know, I know! See, my favourite women’s history podcast (Queens, in case you’re wondering – it’s completely brilliant) is kind of between episodes at the moment and so I went hunting for something else to listen to on the morning dog walk (read: muddy trudge in the drizzle to the local park). I found an episode aboutAmelia Earhart and conspiracy theories concerning her disappearance (THE WOMAN JUST VANISHED) and woops! I kind of fell down a hole. But you know what? They’re kind of perfect listening for gloomy Autumn days and even darker nights in. A bit of history, a lot of mystery… and, sometimes – yeah – a heavy helping of nonsense.
But what do Conspiracy Theory Podcasts have to do Cinnamon Buns, I hear you asking. Absolutely nothing. Except for the fact that they seem to be soundtracking most of my cooking and baking at the moment. For example, as I was baking these very sticky buns the other day, I was listening to a couple of episodes talking about how the Sugar Industry for a long time secretly fiddled scientific studies to throw the blame on fat for Heart Disease instead of sugar. If you’ve got any recommendations on podcasts, I’d love to hear them; I’m always looking for something new to listen to in between episodes of The High Low and Queens. 🙂
Anyway, Cinnamon Buns! I mentioned last week that I’m a big fan of sticky buns in all their forms, but the cinnamon variety are a favourite of mine – especially this time of year. I usually pick up one on my weekly shop as a treat to scoff with a cup of tea when I get back, but I hadn’t quite cracked making them myself. Historically, I’m not the best at baking bread; I’m impatient when it comes to kneading the dough, and even though I’ve got a bread maker to do all the hard work for me – the instant yeast it requires never really creates the pillow-soft dough I’m after. Then last year I started experimenting with Dried Active Yeast and had a bit of a breakthrough on the whole process of making homemade bread when I made this Halloumi Loaf(HEAVEN). Having got the knack of kneading and proving, I moved straight on to buns and finally managed to put together an easy Cinnamon Bun recipe that worked (thanks to The Guardian Food How-To section – always a great place to start when you’re looking to develop your own twist on a classic recipe). A sweet, springy dough perfect for rolling around the sticky cinnamon filling. These doughy buns however, are a little bit extra thanks to the added apple – an easy addition that gives the buns a little something special. Top with whatever topping you fancy – whether that’s cream cheese frosting, sugar glaze, or the cinnamon-spiced icing I went for here – and scoff ideally within a couple of days. As with most homemade bakes, they’re best scoffed fresh out of the oven. 🙂
Sticky Apple-filled Cinnamon Buns
Sticky, doughy and full of cinnamon-spiced apple pie filling. What’s not to like?
3 apples (any variety you fancy)
2 tbsp cinnamon
100g soft brown sugar
2 tsp cardamom seeds
300 ml whole milk
15g dried active yeast
50g melted butter (cooled)
50g caster sugar
1 large egg
420g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
First things first, make the filling. Peel and finely chop the apples – then boil them in water for about 20 minutes, until they’re soft. Get rid of the water, then mash them. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon, then set aside and leave to cool.
Gently bring the milk to the boil with the ground cardamom. Pour into a mixing bowl, leave it to cool slightly (down to about 37°C) and then sprinkle in the yeast. Put the bowl somewhere warm (I like to pop mine in the airing cupboard!) until the yeast has dissolved and activated (you should see some bubbles or foam forming over the surface of the milk).
Next, stir in the melted butter, sugar and egg.
Gradually pour in the flour and salt, mixing together to make a sticky dough.
Next, knead the dough. If you’ve got a fancy dough hook on your mixer, use that – if not, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves to get to work. I don’t like to add anymore flour, so the dough will be really sticky and impossible to work with at first – but stick at it (stick being the operative word!) and slowly everything will come together to create a smooth, pliable, stretchy dough.
Pop it into a clean, lightly-greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and then leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about an hour.
Set the oven to 200°C.
Next, roll out the dough into a rectangle about a centimetre thick – then spread with the apple filling. Roll it tightly into a sausage shape, then cut into six equally sized buns. Place the buns into a lined, deep baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes until well-risen and golden, then leave to cool.
Top with cream cheese frosting or icing, then scoff! 🙂