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Tuesday 11 June 2013

Baking for Beginners: Sticky Toffee Pistachio and Cardamom Buns

Sticky toffee anything gets me all excited and as I was pottering about in my kitchen bemoaning it's distinct lack of cakes (I know), I spotted a bag of pistachios and a tin of Golden Syrup and the idea for this recipe hit me. I'm basically still patting myself on the back over this one as I wasn't too sure about wether they would work as I was winging it (I know you I do this with baking but I really can't help myself) and HOLY STICKY BUNS BATMAN they are a baking TRIUMPH - huzzah!

These are basically a twist on the sticky pecan buns that I am addicted to buying from my local deli, I've used pistachio, cardamom and orange blossom as my flavour additions but you could swap the pistachios for pecans and use cinnamon instead if you prefer, change the orange blossom to rose water and leave out the ground almonds if you like, I just really love the extra texture they provide. These are by no means healthy (and not even close either) but they are ace and can be eaten whilst still warm from the oven...go on, you know you want to...

Sticky Toffee Pistachio and Cardamom Buns (makes 12)
You will need:

For the dough:
  • 2 tblsp light soft brown sugar
  • 160ml warm water
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the filling:
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 70g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 heaped tblsp ground almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
For the topping:
  • 100g butter
  • 2 heaped tblsp golden syrup
  • 150g shelled pistachios
  • 1 capful orange blossom water (optional)
  • finely grated zest of half an orange
Make it!
  1. Make your dough: in a small bowl combine the sugar, warm water and yeast and stir well before mixing in the melted butter. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, cardamon and cinnamon and stir until thoroughly combined, add your yeast mixture and mix well to form a dough.
  2. On a lightly floured surface knead your dough for about 10 minutes until soft and more elastic then return to a bowl, cover with some cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  3. Make the topping: Put the topping ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat, swirl the pan to mix, it will start to bubble and darken slightly, cook for about 4 minutes then remove from heat and spoon the mixture evenly into a muffin tray and set aside.
  4. Roll out your dough into a rectangle, you want it to be quite thin (about 5mm). Now for the filling: brush all over with most of the melted buttr then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cardamom powder and almonds if using. Carefully roll up your dough (I like to roll so I have the longest edge in front of me so its long rather than thick) and when you reach the end brush the seam with some more melted butter to help it stick.
  5. Using a very sharp knife cut the roll into sections about 3cm thick and put each disc on top of your nut mixture in the muffin tray. If you are left with any extra bits you can always fill in any gaps.
  6. Leave to rise for about 45 minutes to an hour whilst you preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. If you have any melted butter left you can brush it over and around the buns to use it up. Bake for 30-35miutes or until they are golden brown then lay a sheet of baking parchment on the counter and carefully flip the muffin tray over so the buns fall out, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before tucking in.
    Above right: dough rising in the muffin tray. Left: freshly tipped from the tray

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