Apple and Cinnamon Kanelbullar

Swedish Sticky Buns stuffed with Cinnamon-spiced Apple – yum!
Apple and Cinnamon Kanelbullar - The Cardiff Cwtch - Welsh Food Bloggers

I feel like I’ve gone list-crazy the past few weeks. I’m either permanently attached to my notebook, or the list app on my phone (I’m OBSESSED with it). And it’s not because I’m one of those super organised “I don’t know how she does it” kind of girls – ha ha, I wish! Nope. It’s because I suddenly don’t seem to be in possession of a brain anymore. It’s gone. The majority of my brain cells seem to have gone on strike during working hours, not that it matters because most of the time I’m way too tired to engage those that have stuck around in solidarity. The fact that I’m even stringing full sentences together right now is a miracle; baby brain is a very real thing. I’ve left my keys in the front door too many times to count, jumped my own train of thought between stations, burnt boiled eggs (oh yes, that’s actually possible), forgotten names (I’m usually so good with names!) and left that thing upstairs that I was going to use for the um… something or other, waaay too many times to count. Counting? Forget it. If I didn’t have my list app and notebook to remind me how to function, then I’d be completely useless.

I’m sure there was supposed to be a clever segway into Cinnamon Buns leading on from that, but I’ve lost it. Oh well. 5 weeks to go, and counting.

Thank God I took the time to scribble this recipe down in detail in my notebook is all I’m gon’ say, because it’s a keeper. Cinnamon Buns just happen to be my absolute favourite of the sticky, sweet bun species; I’ve been working on a recipe for the perfect, fluffy enriched dough for a while now and I’ve finally found The One. It makes a cracking batch of traditional cinnamon buns, sure, but add some stewed apple into the mix and plait them into a traditional Swedish Kanelbullar and they’re even better. It just so happens that the apple tree in my back garden has delivered the goods yet again this year – so there’ll be plenty of batches of these babies to come over the next few weeks. Who needs a brain when you’ve got buns, hun?

Apple filled Cinnamon Buns - The Cardiff Cwtch - Cardiff Food Bloggers

Apple and Cinnamon Kanelbullar

makes 9
Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 75g butter
  • 400g plain flour
  • 15g dried active yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 200g diced apples (any variety other than cooking will do)
  • 20g caster sugar

To finish:

  • Egg wash (1 small egg and 1 tbsp water)
  • Sugar syrup (35g caster sugar, 4 tbsp water)
Apple and Cinnamon Swedish Cinnamon Buns - The Cardiff Cwtch - Cardiff Bloggers
Method
  1. Combine the milk and butter in a microwaveable bowl and gently heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar and cardamom and then leave to cool for 1 minute (ideally you want the temperature to drop to between 32˚C and 35˚C). Once cooled, stir in the yeast and then leave for 10 minutes to allow it to activate.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt then knead for at least 10 minutes either by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook until you have a soft and springy dough (it’ll be sticky to begin with, but persevere!). Cover with a cloth, then leave the dough somewhere warm to prove for about an hour.
  4. Whilst the dough is proving, make the filling. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, then gently allow to come together over a low heat. The butter and sugars should melt and combine, and the apples should soften. For a smooth, paste-like filling, feel free to either mash or blitz it in a blender – or leave it if you’re happy with more of a chunky filling. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and then roll it out into a rectangle that’s about half a centimetre thick. Spread the cooled apple and cinnamon filling right to the corners, then fold one of the long edges into the centre of the rectangle. Fold the opposite long edge into the middle, slightly overlapping the other one. Slice the folded rectangle from long edge to long edge into 9 equal slices. If you’re a fan of traditional cinnamon rolls, then simply roll each slice – or if you want them to look more like the knots above then you’re going to need to flatten out each slice, slice into three strands, plait, and then roll.
  6. Pop the buns into a lightly greased muffin tin, cover with clingfilm and then leave to prove for another hour.
  7. Heat your oven up to 220C, coat the buns in a light egg wash, and then bake for 12 minutes. Whilst still warm, brush with sugar syrup – then leave to cool.
  8. You can just leave them right there, but once they were completely cool I decided to add an extra sticky maple glaze and a few scattered chopped nuts (…does wonders covering up a messy plait!).

Have a lovely week everyone!  💛 💛 💛

Emergency 4am Cookie Dough

avert any serious cookie crisis in 15 minutes flat…
The Cardiff Cwtch - Emergency Cookie Dough - Welsh Bloggers

How the hell I’m suddenly into week 34 of my pregnancy, I have no idea. It only feels like a few weeks ago that I hugged my husband in the car park of our local hospital on a very bright and sunny May afternoon and showed him pictures of the 12 week scan he wasn’t allowed to attend. Now the trees are suddenly shedding their leaves, we’re heading deeper into Autumn (and into another Lockdown – yeesh) and things are starting to feel very, very real. We’ve decorated a nursery, we’ve filled a drawer with baby clothes (and had several arguments over just how many cute polka dot onesies one baby actually needs – if you know the answer to that one, let me know), and – as of last weekend – we’ve reached the end of our Covid-proof Zoom NCT Classes.

Noticing how the weeks seem to be flying by, I’ve started thinking about everything I want to get done before I head into that – ohmygawd, baby could show up any second – end zone, and high up on my list is a heavy dose of batch cooking. Whilst I love cooking, and I’m sure there’ll be the odd day where I’m desperate to get back into the kitchen, I just can’t see it happening for at least the first couple of weeks. So I’ve started sifting through my favourite recipes, pulling out a few that’ll do well in the freezer. But what about deserts? I mean, frozen veggie chilli that’s just as good nuked in the ol’ microwave as it is fresh out of the pot is good, but something sweet to enjoy when the baby’s sleeping and you get to steal back a moment for yourself is even better, right?

The Cardiff Cwtch - Emergency Cookie Dough - Welsh Food Bloggers

One of the NCT girls had a great idea for any pre-baby batch cooking list, and you bet I’m adding it to mine. A foolproof 4am cookie dough that’ll go from frozen blob to crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle cookie in 15 minutes – perfect for perking up those early morning feeds. I’ve been working on an ultimate cookie dough recipe for a while – one that’s easy and adaptable in terms of fillings – and I’ve finally settled on this one, which just so happens to work best when the dough’s frozen. Now I just need to work out how many batches I’m going to need to get me through those sleepless newborn nights…

Emergency 4am Cookie Dough

makes 10
Ingredients
  • 125g softened butter
  • 110g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 195g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g chocolate chips (or whatever filling you fancy)
The Cardiff Cwtch - Freezable Emergency Cookie Dough - Cardiff Bloggers
Method
  1. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then crack in the egg. Stir until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour and salt. Pour into the butter, sugar and egg mix, then stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Line a tray with grease-proof paper, then scoop out equal, rounded dollops of cookie dough onto it (I like to use an ice cream scoop). Transfer the dough to the fridge for an hour to firm up, then pop the blobs of cookie dough into a freezer bag to freeze and lie in wait for cookie emergencies.
  4. When you’re ready to cook, set the oven to 200°C (fan), then bake the cookies on a foil-lined baking tray for 15 minutes – or until crispy on the outside and soft and puffy in the middle.
  5. Leave the cookies to cool slightly and settle (resist attempting to move them until they have!), then enjoy!

Have a great week everyone! Let me know what your favourite cookie filling is in the comments – I’m going to need a little inspo ready for batch cooking week! 🍪🍪🍪

10 Autumn Bakes to try This Weekend

Ten banging bakes to fuel you through a soggy Sunday on the sofa…

Batter up! Because, is there anything better than a Baking Day? Don’t answer that; the truth is that most of the time there are plenty of things I’d rather be doing than holing up in the kitchen spilling flour all over the countertops. Autumn is the exception; as soon as those leaves start falling, it’s all I want to do. It’s probably down to the weather. I mean, we’ve swapped those long summer weekends spent out and about in beer gardens and on beaches, with cold and gloomy ones where staying in and dragging the duvet downstairs onto the sofa becomes the best offer on the table. And those are the weekends I’m living for right now. Marathon lie ins followed by lazy breakfasts (check out some of my favourite brunch recipes here) and a day spent pottering about the house. Slowly crossing things off the “To Do” list in between ticking things off the “To Watch” list and baking something sweet and satisfying to curl up with a cuppa and scoff later. 

I’ve done a bit of digging through the archives and picked out some of my favourite guaranteed cosy cakes, breads and bakes to make a list of 10 Autumn Baking Ideas that are perfect for one of those lazy Autumn weekends spent indoors. This one’s set to be a washout (again, ugh!), and so whether you’re planning on a full on Baking Day or just fancy passing the time with a bit of boredom baking, why not give one of these babies a try? 🙂

Orange and Nutella Babka

I’d never heard of the utter genius that is the Babka until this time last year when they seemed to be all over social media. Stuck somewhere between cake and bread, they’re basically a pillowy, sweet dough that’s rolled with any kind of filling you fancy – from chocolate to the oh so Autumnal apple and cinnamon – and then twisted and knotted before throwing it into the baking tin, giving it it’s trademark swirls.

I’m playing around with another Babka Recipe as we speak, but for now here’s last year’s Nutella and Orange-spiced offering.

Apple Pie Cake

If you want to know what I’m up to this weekend, then here’s your answer. I’ve got a mate coming to stay and my parents popping over for a Sunday roast and so one of these Apple Pie Cakes will be going in the oven tonight. If you’re bored of bog-standard apple pies and crumbles, then this is the bake you’ve been waiting for. Sweet, cinnamon-spiced apple pie mix swirled on top of a beautifully moist buttermilk sponge, it’s quite possibly my favourite cake EVER; it’s easy to make and delicious scoffed with custard, double cream or ice cream (or even by itself!). Save now, thank me later.

Biscoff Buns

I’m a total bun-head; I love iced buns, sticky buns, cinnamon buns… My anaconda don’t want none, unless you got buns hun. Especially cinnamon buns. Phwoar. I’m still working on my recipe for whipping them up at home, but until I stumble on the perfect recipe, here’s a twist with a Biscoff filling. If you’re yet to stock your cupboard with a jar of Biscoff Spread, then you’re missing out, my friend! That delicious little saucer surfer of a biscuit is now in spread form and works beautifully on toast, in porridge, and as the filling for this tear and share tray of sticky Biscoff Buns. Yum!

Feeling Blue-berry Muffins

Sometimes it’s nice to just go back to basics and bake something simple and satisfying, right? Well you can’t go wrong with a tray of Blueberry Muffins fresh out of the oven and bleeding blueberry juice all over the shop. The added crunchy topping to these blueberry muffins give them a little something extra.

Banana Crumble Cake

Bog-standard banana bread gets a glow-up with this recipe for Banana Crumble Cake. Hands down one of my favourite recipes with its moist, banana sponge (without the dense mattress texture you sometimes get with banana bread) and crunchy cinnamon crumble topping. You’ll never want waste speckled bananas on anything else!

Chocolate and Praline Dipped Madeleines

Here’s a recipe to keep in mind for party season, when you need to take a plate of something. Madeleines are so simple to make, but add the Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline topping and you’ve got something that not only tastes delicious but looks like it took you hours to make.

(These Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Muffins are also a winner if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial…)

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

How many times have you gutted a pumpkin to carve and thrown out all the good stuff? How many times have I said, “I’ll make it into soup or risotto!” and still ended up throwing it all out? Well, if you fancy actually using up your pumpkin guts for once, then you can’t go wrong with this very easy Pumpkin Traybake. Full of spice and topped with a cream cheese frosting, this bake makes use of every part of the pumpkin that doesn’t get turned into a lantern for Halloween – even making use of the seeds for a crunchy topping. 🙂

Bramble Bars

We’re pretty much nearing the end of blackberry picking season now, but if you’ve still got some stored up in the freezer and don’t fancy popping them in a crumble, why not try these Bramble Bars instead? Part flapjack, part bakewell tart – they’re sandwiched with a layer of sweet, blackberry jam. Yum!

Bara Brith (Welsh Mottled Bread)

It’s never going to win any beauty contests, but there’s nothing better than a slice of hot Bara Brith smothered in butter with a cup of tea. For the uninitiated, it’s a spiced tea loaf filled with dried fruit soaked overnight in tea. Very easy to make, Bara Brith is Wales itself in bread form; traditional, homely and full of tea.

Bakewell Tarts

I couldn’t resist picking up a pack of Cherry Bakewell Tarts from Home Bargains the other day and – oops – I’ve already pretty much polished it off. Hey, they’re small, alright?! These homemade Bakewell Tarts are not small, but are just as moreish – plus the recipe is a snap thanks to a few short cuts. Bake at your own peril! 😉

Happy baking! Let me know what your favourite Autumn bake is in the comments section! 🙂