Sweet, squidgy, fragrant with spice – what’s not to love about a cinnamon bun? As yet I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t weaken at the knees with the mention of a CB. My children adore them and regularly make urgent requests for me to bake some. There is no great secret to making these, bread flour rather than plain gives that fluffy soft dough which is then wrapped around a buttery, sugary cinnamon filling. The final flourish of icing completes the picture and makes them pretty much perfection in our book.
So, whilst these are super easy to make remember to allow a bit of time. Like other recipes using yeast it requires a couple of rises. I give myself about a 4 hour time frame (which includes cooling them if you are going to ice them) but there isn’t more than about 30 minutes of hands on time. Just letting you know in case you want to get them ready for the end of school….
I find a stand mixer easiest for this as it is quite a soft dough.
450g strong white bread flour
60g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
225ml milk, warmed to just blood temperature
1 egg beaten
75g soft butter, cubed
For the filling –
100g soft butter
80g soft brown sugar
2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
200g Icing sugar
Put the flour, yeast, salt, 60g sugar and cinnamon into the bowl of your stand mixer. Once mixing add the warm milk and beaten egg followed by the 75g soft butter, a bit at a time until it comes together then let this mix for 5 minutes. Leave to rise for an hour in a warm, draught free place. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until approximately the size of a tea towel then spread with the 100g soft butter. Mix the 80g soft brown sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon together and then sprinkle this evenly over the butter. Roll up from one of the long sides and then cut into even pieces about 2cm thick. Depending on the length of your roll you’ll get about 12-16. Place these cut side down and well spaced on a large baking sheet and leave to rise again for another hour. Just before the time is up preheat the oven to 190 and then bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed up and golden. Leave to cool. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with just enough water to get the consistency you are happy with before trickling it over the buns either neatly and artistically or rather more erratically as I have done in the photograph above.
To me this has a faintly Autumnal air about it and I had been saving it until the end of the Summer but then someone asked me for the recipe. In truth it is good any day of year and as apples are around all the time a good one to have up your sleeve.
I adore Pannacotta, there is something about the creamy wobbliness that is irresistible. Usually I make a vanilla version which I can then serve with any fruit that happens to be in season, pureed gooseberries, rhubarb and blackcurrants all being favourites. Should the fruit bowl be bare however, then a good chocolate sauce (one without cream) makes them a pudding of dreams. You can find my Vanilla Pannacotta here (July 2014).
This one came about because I’d made a note ages ago to combine cinnamon with apples and maple syrup and eventually got around to having a go. A favourite North American combination I suspect and a possible Jelly Bean one too if that is your thing. I tried pie and crumble and whilst a good combo the individual flavours got a little muddled. An ice cream was a nice idea but try getting apples to make themselves heard against cinnamon in an ice cream. This pannacotta really works though. Gently bosky sweetness from the cinnamon goes so well with the creaminess of the pannacotta which is kept the right side of too rich with the addition of yogurt. The apples and maple syrup compliment each other politely, allowing both to show themselves off.
Cinnamon Pannacotta with Maple Syrup Apples
On another occasion just make a panful of these sweet, soft apples and serve over vanilla ice cream.
200ml whole milk
100ml single cream
100ml Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g caster sugar
2 gelatine leaves
2 eating apples such as Braeburn, peeled, cored and finely sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften. Heat the milk, cream, cinnamon and sugar until it just reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and add the squeezed out gelatine, whisk well and leave to cool, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the yogurt and divide between 4 ramekins or small metal moulds. Put into the fridge for at least 4 hours to set. About 20 minutes before serving prepare the apples, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the apples gently in this for about 10 minutes until turning golden brown and becoming floppy. At this point add the maple syrup and cook for a further 5 minutes until the apples are well coated and the syrup reduced. To serve, dip each ramekin briefly into hot water before turning out onto a plate and serve with the apples. Serves 4.